Anyone who watches the way those around them consume the news, or thinks about their own news consumption habits, is probably well aware of how large a role social networks like Twitter and Facebook now play in the way we get news, and also of how much that consumption is coming through mobile devices. A new report released Thursday by the Pew Center for the People & the Press confirms that both of those trends are large and growing — the study says that the influence of mobile in news consumption has almost doubled since 2010 and the impact of social networks has almost tripled in the same period. Those numbers are even higher for younger users.
The Pew report notes that the number of Americans who regularly go online for news has remained almost exactly the same since it did a similar study in 2010: about 46 percent said that they get news online at least three days a week. But the number of people who said they regularly get news on a cellphone, tablet or other mobile device has ballooned from 9 percent to 15 percent– and the number who said that they regularly see news on social networks has gone from 7 percent to 20 percent.Pew notes that these two trends also go together, in the sense that users who have smartphones (about 48 percent of those surveyed) were far more likely to see news on social networking sites.