News Consumption Across Social Media in 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.

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