Half people say they use social media as a source of news each week, according to the latest Reuters Institute's Digital News Report. Around one in ten say it is their main source.
Facebook is by far the most important network for finding, reading/watching, and sharing news. Almost half of the surveyed respondents say they use Facebook for news, which in turn represents two-thirds of all Facebook users.
YouTube is also a key network (19%) while Twitter remains an important social network for news (10%) favoured by journalists, politicians, and heavy news users in particular. Instagram continues to grow fast, along with WhatsApp in some countries.
Social media are significantly more important for women and for the young. More than a quarter of 18–24s say social media are their main source of news – more than television for the first time.
The growth of news accessed and increasingly consumed via social networks, portals and mobile apps means that the originating news brand gets clearly noticed less than half the time in the UK, and Canada.