According to the 2012 State of the News Media report by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Facebook and Twitter are still relatively small drivers for news. Many more people get their news online by going directly to a news website than they do by clicking on a social media recommendation.
Just 9% of Americans very often follow news recommendations from Facebook or Twitter, compared to 36% who very often go directly to a news website and 32% who find news by using a search engine.
52% of people who get news online say that they do find at least some news from Facebook and Twitter. But that figure is significantly lower than the 92% of people who get some news by going directly to a news website and 85% who use search.
The PEJ social media study also shows that Facebook and Twitter function very differently as news sources. On Twitter, people tend to get their news from a variety of sources. On Facebook, the news comes mostly through friends and family.
70% of respondents said that they get most of their news on Facebook from friends and family, compared to 36% on Twitter.