Because of the vastly different audience sizes across major social media sites, there are two different ways to think about measuring change in news use on these platforms. One is to compare the share of each site’s users that get news on the site, while the second is to measure the total percentage of Americans that report seeing news on the site.
Pew Research first looked at the share of each site’s users who get news there. Overall, three of the sites measured — Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat — had an increase in the share of their audience that gets news on the site. Since 2013, at least half of Twitter users have reported getting news on the site, but in 2017, with a president who frequently makes announcements on the platform, that share has increased to about three-quarters (74%), up 15 percentage points from last year. On YouTube, about a third of users now get news there (32%), up from 21% in 2016. And news use among Snapchat’s user base increased 12 percentage points to 29% in August 2017, up from 17% in early 2016.
Growth on these three sites follows investments the companies have made over the last year in developing their news usability. Twitter, in addition to getting nearly daily attention from the president’s posts, spent the year promoting the platform’s potential for news publishers and has announced launches for multiple news streaming partnerships. YouTube launched and expanded YouTube TV, and the site added a “breaking news” summary on its homepage. It also continues to be used for disseminating information to small, dispersed communities. Snapchat won over a number of big news names this year for its group of Discover publishers: CNN, NBC, and The New York Times joined, and the platform plans on continuing to bring in others. Read the rest at Pew Research.