News Consumption Across Social Media in 2021

November 8, 2021

A new report from Pew Research Center showed U.S. media consumption habits in 2021, a year into the pandemic. The report showed a little under half (48%) of U.S. adults say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes.” This is a 5 percentage point decline compared with 2020, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021.

Additional results showed that:

  • Nearly a third of Americans (31%) regularly get their news from Facebook;
  • One-in-five Americans (22%) say they regularly get news on YouTube;
  • Twitter is a regular news source for 13 percent of Americans, and 55 percent of Twitter users get news on the site regularly;
  • Instagram is a regular news source for 11 percent of Americans; and
  • Fewer than one-in-ten Americans say they regularly get news from Reddit (7%), TikTok (6%), LinkedIn (4%), Snapchat (4%), WhatsApp (3%) and Twitch (1%).

In some cases, there are drastic demographic differences between the people who turn to each social media site for news, such as:

  • White adults make up a majority of the regular news consumers of Facebook and Reddit (60% and 54%, respectively);
  • Just over a third of Instagram news consumers (36%) are White;
  • Both Black and Hispanic adults each make up a sizable portion of Instagram’s regular news consumers (20% and 33%, respectively);
  • People who regularly get news on Facebook are more likely to be women than men (64% vs. 35%);
  • Two-thirds of Reddit’s regular news consumers are men;
  • A majority of regular news consumers on LinkedIn (57%) have a four-year college degree or higher; and
  • Younger adults, those ages 18 to 29, are far more likely to regularly get news on both Snapchat and TikTok than other age groups.

As always, we encourage you to share your comments below or reach out to unews@umn.edu with any questions.

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