A new study reveals that 8% of Americans get their news on Twitter — people who are younger, more educated and more mobile than the 30% of Americans who get their news on Facebook.
Half of the 16% of U.S. adults who use Twitter get their news on the social network, according to the study, which was published by the Pew Research Center on Monday, the second in a series of studies analyzing the relationship between social media and news.
The study reveals other differences between Twitter and Facebook users in the ways they consume news. On Twitter, 85% of users read the news on mobile devices “at least sometimes,” a larger percentage than Facebook users (64%).
Last week, Pew published a study that revealed 30% of Americans get news on Facebook — most of whom aren’t there for that purpose. The study on Twitter released on Monday does not address whether Twitter users are accidental news consumers, too.
Twitter news consumers are also younger and more educated than their Facebook counterparts. 45% of them are between the ages of 18 and 29 (for Facebook, only 34% are in that age range), and only 2% are 65 or older (compared to 7% on Facebook).
The survey is accompanied by a series of analyses on Twitter conversations related to news events like the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man accused of killing Trayvon Martin, and the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. These studies reveal that Twitter is a more popular platform for breaking news than sharing opinions, and that sentiments shift very rapidly.