Facebook, Reddit Leads Readers for News Sources Per Study

 technology, facebook, reddit, news sources, pew study

Print papers are entering the realm of endangered species as digital print continues to skyrocket; reading those stories are becoming more prevalent via social media – especially through Facebook and Reddit. While Facebook leads the way, per a Pew Research study, for total viewership for getting news on a site – a secondary site commands respect of involvement from users. Facebook may own the pathway to news stories, but it is Reddit that has a dedicated user base to sharing and commenting on news stories.

62 percent of Reddit subscribers get their news directly from Reddit. This shows a dedicated viewership from their own platform of users. Facebook may have a larger base of subscribers, but a lesser percentage actually gather their news from the site, approximately 47 percent, states the study. This shows that Reddit has a dedicated and loyal user subscriber list that are less likely to turn to other social media platforms to receive news.

Reddit received praise for their coverage of the Colorado shooting that happened in 2012. The social media news teamsters, gathered information from across press releases and digital news outlets to share quickly. The boards became a live wire of instant information available from varying news outlets placed within one strong platform. This shows how social media is becoming a lead source for readers on current news. Facebook joins the list along with Youtube, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. The Pew Research study revealed a considerable factor when it comes to news delivery.

Reddit kept users up to date during the tragedy of the Aurora shooting
Reddit kept users up to date during the tragedy of the Aurora shooting

Consider the previous days of hearing the rolled paper thwack against the door prior to the sunrise. With a yawn and a cup of coffee in hand, opening the door resulted in a wintry non-welcome as readers tried hunting down their newspaper. Now larger print newspapers are slowly embedding into digital print sources. Digital media is starting to acknowledge a larger presence beyond publishing – the social media “share” factor is truly driving traffic sources to their newspaper home pages.

Facebook has a user base of over 1 billion individuals compared to Reddit’s smaller yet more dedicated user base of 69.8 million subscribers. Facebookers will stray to other outlets, 71 percent of Facebook users will overlap and turn to Twitter for additional news information. Whereas, Reddit sees, again, 62 percent of their own users turning to their own site for information.

The results from the study is not surprising. Social media use is exploding in insane numbers; across the board over 1.2 billion users access an aspect of social media, with multiple instances of use. The power of persuasion for outlets can be an amazing tool, when one turns to the wonders of social media. Facebook notoriously connects users with hard-hitting stories from around the world, as millions share the information in groups and on their walls.

Facebook is a strong outlet to share news
Facebook is a strong outlet to share news – but doesn’t maintain the consistency of dedicated users

Reddit’s concept of response and simplistic posting offer it an edge of not only sharing a news story but promoting commentary between members. The back and forth allows engagement of debate, ideology and camaraderie. Twitter’s retweet tool can take an ideal and make it a success to over 200 million users and readers. The explosion of social media has resulted in greater connectivity on scales never seen before. Youtube alone shows how just one uploaded video can lead to mass media promotion (think Rebecca Black’s Friday song).

The Pew Research study confirmed what many may had known. Facebook, Reddit and other platforms, leads readers for news sources by bringing a greater awareness to a topic. Political campaigns, new business ideas and networking has becoming renewed in the light of social media. In addition, news outlets receive the benefit of new audiences from shares, commentary and tweets. In that instance, media outlets across the world owe social media platforms two words: thank you.




Angelina Bouc

Pew Research
World Economic Forum