By Melony Roy
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pew Research Center, in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has been tracking trends in digital technology and journalism for a while, and the latest study show the number of people who use Facebook and Twitter as sources for news is on the rise.READ MORE: Chestnut Hill Hospital To Be Renamed If Sale Goes Through
Jesse Holcomb, Associate Director of Journalism Research at the Pew Center, says he wanted to know to what extent people are using Twitter and Facebook as a source for news.
“With this report we wanted to see whether those numbers had changed from the last time we asked those questions,” Holcomb says, “and in fact we found that yes, indeed, users of these social platforms are now more likely to say they get news there than they did in 2013 when we questioned them last.”
The rise of the role social media plays in finding about news was noted across the board. “Users of Twitter for news grew among younger users, as well as those who are older,” he says. “On Facebook, news usage grew both among men and among women.”READ MORE: Sheriff's Deputies Dismantle Protest Encampment At Site Of University City Townhomes
He says one thing that really stood out was that these platforms are not just sources for news, they’re used differently for different kinds of news. “Fifty-nine percent of people who get news on Twitter say that they’ve used it to keep up with a news event as it was happening, that number was only thirty-one percent for people who get news on Facebook,” Holcomb says.
These findings come at a time when social network are increasing their emphasis on news, and Holcomb says Facebook and Twitter are well aware of the roles news can play on their sites.
“News engagement on social platforms is a phenomena that’s not going to go away any time soon,” he says. “We can expect that it’s going to change — that other platforms are going to emerge as important players in this space.”MORE NEWS: List: Philadelphia Area Food Banks
Facebook recently launched “Instant Articles,” and Twitter is set to unveil its news feature, “Project Lightning.”