July 7, 2016

The Modern News Consumer

4. Social engagement

While many Americans get news from social media, few social media news users are heavily engaged with news there.

On social media, the level of engagement declines as the input required from the individual increases
  • About a quarter of social networking news consumers (26%) often click on links to news stories on social media. But only 16% often “like” news stories and fewer than that often comment on or discuss news stories, or share/repost news stories on social media.

More social interaction about news still occurs offline.

Despite digital advances, most still share news by word of mouth
  • While people get news online at very high rates, the conversation about the news is not happening there at nearly the same rate as it is offline – people still overwhelmingly share news with others in person or over the phone.
  • This is even true when it comes specifically to news people get online. In the follow-up survey in real time, researchers found that when they got news online, respondents were more likely to speak with someone about the news they got than they were to do anything else, including emailing or posting about it; on average, when people got news online, they spoke with someone else about it 30% of the time, more frequently than posting about it on social media, sending it via email or text, or commenting about it on a news organization’s website.
In a real time analysis, speaking with others is the most common way to respond to getting news online