Twitter News Consumers: Young, Mobile and Educated | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project

Twitter News Consumers: Young, Mobile and Educated | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

Nearly one-in-ten U.S. adults (8%) get news through Twitter, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Compared with the 30% of Americans who get news on Facebook, Twitter news consumers stand out as younger, more mobile and more educated.PJ_13.11.01_twitterNews260

In addition, a separate Pew Research analysis of conversations on Twitter around major news events reveals three common characteristics: much of what gets posted centers on passing along breaking news; sentiments shift considerably over time; and however passionate, the conversations do not necessarily track with public opinion.

This two-part report is based first on a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults (including 736 Twitter users and 3,268 Facebook users) and, second, on an analysis of Twitter conversations surrounding major news events which spanned nearly three years. Twitter posts were analyzed for the information shared, sentiments expressed and ebb and flow of interest.

According to the survey, 16% of U.S. adults use Twitter. Among those, roughly half (52%) “ever” get news there — with news defined as “information about events and issues that involve more than just your friends or family.”

Mobile devices are a key point of access for these Twitter news consumers. The vast majority, 85%, get news (of any kind) at least sometimes on mobile devices. That outpaces Facebook news consumers by 20 percentage points; 64% of Facebook news consumers use mobile devices for news. The same is true of 40% of all U.S. adults overall, according to the survey.

Profile of the Twitter News Consumer

Twitter news consumers stand out for being younger and more educated than both the population overall and Facebook news consumers

Close to half, 45%, of Twitter news consumers are 18-29 years old. That is more than twice that of the population overall (21%) and also outpaces young adults’ representation among Facebook news consumers, where 34% are 18-29 years old. Further, just 2% of Twitter news consumers are 65 or older, compared with 18% of the total population and 7% of Facebook news consumers..

Twitter news consumers also tend to be more educated than the general population and than Facebook news consumers. Four-in-ten (40%) Twitter news consumers have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 29% of the total population and 30% of Facebook news consumers.Close to half, 45%, of Twitter news consumers are 18-29 years old. That is more than twice that of the population overall (21%) and also outpaces young adults’ representation among Facebook news consumers, where 34% are 18-29 years old. Further, just 2% of Twitter news consumers are 65 or older, compared with 18% of the total population and 7% of Facebook news consumers.

Separately, Pew Research Center tracked and analyzed the Twitter conversations surrounding 10 major news events that occurred between May 2011 and October 2013. The events ranged from the opening night of the summer Olympics to the Newtown Conn. school shootings to the Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage. Using computer software developed by Crimson Hexagon, researchers examined which elements of the news events were discussed, the tone of the tweets and the ebb and flow of Twitter engagement. From that research, three central themes emerge:

A core function of Twitter is passing along pieces of information as the story develops. Even with the outpouring of emotion after the July 13, 2013, acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, the largest component of the Twitter conversation (39% of all expressed sentiments in tweets about the event) shared news of that verdict without offering an opinion. Straight news accounts also led the Twitter conversations about the Oct. 1 rollout of the Affordable Care Act (42%) and the concurrent federal government shutdown (35%) — two events that stirred political passions.

The Twitter conversation about big news events can shift and evolve, both in terms of sentiment and topic. In the two weeks after the March 2013 Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage, Twitter sentiment was far more opposed to the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage (55%) than in favor (32%). Yet in the month after that, support for same-sex marriage (43%) easily trumped opposition (26%). A study of the aftermath of the Newtown shooting reveals how quickly the focus of the Twitter conversation can change. On Dec. 14, 2012, expressions of sympathy for the victims made up nearly one-third of the conversation; by Dec. 17, it was down to 13%. In the same period, attention to President Obama, the shooter and mental health issues more than doubled — from 11% to 24% of the conversation.

Although sentiment on Twitter can sometimes match that of the general population, it is not a reliable proxy for public opinion. During the 2012 presidential race, Republican candidate Ron Paul easily won the Twitter primary — 55% of the conversation about him was positive, with only 15% negative. Voters rendered a very different verdict. After the Newtown tragedy, 64% of the Twitter conversation supported stricter gun controls, while 21% opposed them. A Pew Research Center surveyin the same period produced a far more mixed verdict, with 49% saying it is more important to control gun ownership and 42% saying it is more important to protect gun rights.

30% of Americans Get Their News on Facebook (study)

Study: 30% of Americans Get Their News on Facebook.

1-3-americans-facebook-news

A new study reveals that 30% of Americans get their news on Facebook, and suggests that the social network drives people to media sites who may not have otherwise done so. Of that 30%, more than half — 78% — said they click on news links to media sites after initially logging on for unrelated reasons, such as checking out friends’ pictures or updating their statuses. In fact, only 16% of Facebook users say that getting news is the primary reason they log on.

The study, published by the Pew Research Center on Thursday, found that almost half of American users click on news in their Facebook feeds. Since 64% of adults in the United States use Facebook, that means one in three Americans consumes news on Facebook.

However, only 22% of the 30% who get their news on Facebook think the site is a useful source for information about the world, and only 4% of those think Facebook is “the most important way” to get their news.

“People go to Facebook to share personal moments — and they discover the news almost incidentally,” Amy Mitchell, Pew Research Center’s director of journalism research, said in a statement. “The serendipitous nature of news on Facebook may actually increase its importance as a source of news and information, especially among those who do not follow the news closely.”

The study quotes one respondent, who said he believes

“Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it.”

“Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it.”

The importance of the social network also depends on how much of a news junkie the user is.

Among those who click on news links in their Facebook news feeds, just 38% of heavy news followers think the social network is “an important way to get the news,” but among those who follow news “less often,” 47% consider Facebook as an important source.

On Monday, Facebook announced that it was driving 170% more traffic to media sites this year than in 2012.

This is the first of a series of studies on social media and news published by Pew in collaboration with the Knight Foundation. For this study, Pew surveyed 5,173 Americans ages 18 and older. You can read the full report here (.PDF).

How mobile devices have changed daily news consumption | Impact Lab

How mobile devices have changed daily news consumption | Impact Lab.

Not all mobile devices are equal when it comes to access.

Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized how consumers access media content. But move away from the big picture and there are essential details to consider, such as when consumers access your content.

The Financial Times is just one business investing a great deal of resources in analysing digital usage patterns. The graph below shows subscriber access during the day – the blue section shows desktop and laptop access and the orange section shows mobile devices.

– Desktop/laptop: The FT tells us that PC usage peaks when FT subscribers reach their desks and drops off steadily during the day. Usage is low at weekends.

– Mobile devices: There’s a big spike in mobile usage as people check the FT on their tablet or mobile when they get up, keep reading through their commute, then tail off as they get to work and presumably switch to their PC. There’s then another, smaller peak in the evening on the commute home, which lasts into the evening.

– Weekends: One of the most interesting aspects of mobile usage for the FT is the usage at weekends. As you can see there’s a big spike in mobile access on Saturday morning, a smaller one on Sunday morning, and another peak on Sunday evening. Mobile is by far the most common method of access to the FT online during the weekend.

A key point here is that the bulk of this traffic is additive – the FT is seeing high levels of traffic to its website during times when there was previously very little, simply because people now have a way of accessing it.

We are not seeing a substitutional effect,” FT head of data Tom Betts tells TheMediaBriefing. “People reading across multiple devices increases their consumption, they read for more and longer.”

You can see a similar weekly consumption pattern in data from the Guardian, as presented by Steve Wing, The Guardian’s former director of mobile who spoke at one of TheMediaBriefing’s half day Market Briefing events last year but has since left to run CBS’s UK consumer division.

PC access starts high during the week, dips slightly by Wednesday, climbs again towards the end of the working week, then plummets on Saturday before climbing again slightly as the weekend ends.

iPad, smartphone apps and the guardian mobile website all also start strongly on Monday, but stay lower than the PC website throughout the week. Yet at weekends usage climbs, approaching the same levels seen on the guardian.co.uk website mid-week.

Another chart from Wing shows that the print consumption pattern mirror iPad access, though it tails off earlier in the evening.

Different kinds of mobile

Not all mobile devices are equal when it comes to access.

The below graph, presented by Guardian mobile apps product manager Tom Grinsted late last year, shows the share of traffic taken up by different mobile access methods and guardian.co.uk.

The white line, though not labelled, is iPad access via the mobile web rather than The Guardian’s (paid-for) app. This shows a very different access pattern to all other methods, with just a small peak in the morning and a far larger one in the evening. One explanation for this is that evening consumers are following links to articles, rather than browsing all content.

It’s also worth noting that access via The Guardian’s Facebook app roughly follows the PC pattern, suggesting evidence of the “bored at work network” theory proposed by Huffington Post and BuzzFeed co-founder Jonah Peretti.

So what to make of these different consumption patterns throughout the day?

Always on: The internet fundamentally changed publication priorities, making continuous publishing throughout the day not only feasible, but increasingly necessary. Mobile has simply extended the hours during which consumers will access content – no longer just working hours but all waking hours.

Right time, right place, right content?: Because access is taking place on different devices at different times of day, the sort of content delivered needs to vary. The FT’s Betts tells me: “On mobile devices, weekend content, and life and arts coverage is extremely popular. Whereas when you look at the desktop, so much is focused around working patterns and how (readers) work.”

Different working patterns: Those different content demands mean a different approach to how journalists work. It might not mean writing different editorial at different times, but it does mean someone needs to be making editorial decisions about which content to deliver when, based on those usage patterns.

Betts says: “We are starting to see a number of changes to the way editorial teams they publish. Obviously having someone working nine-to-five on mobile publishing doesn’t work.”

Mobile devices have extended the time frame during which publishers need to pay attention to the content they are putting in front of consumers, but it has also massively increased the complexity of news consumption throughout the day. That makes delivering the right content in the right way at the right time far more challenging.

Photo credit: L’Atelier

Via The Media Briefing

Tablet owners still won’t pay to read the news


(Credit: Pew Research)

More than half of all tablet users consume the news on a daily basis, but most are still unwilling to pay for it.

A study commissioned by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Economist Group found that around 77 percent of tablet owners use their devices each day, spending an average of around 90 minutes in total.

Reading the daily news turned out to be the third-most popular use of tablets; 53 percent of those polled said they read the news daily. The only more popular activities were browsing the Web (which 67 percent do daily) and using e-mail (54 percent). Tapping into social networking sites trailed at 39 percent.

Looking more closely at the online news junkies, around 33 percent of them said they spend more time getting news then they did before they bought their tablets. The same percentage said they’re finding new sources for news on their tablets, ones they never accessed on their TVs or even PCs. And 42 percent of them said they regularly read in-depth news articles and analyses via their tablets.

How do people access the news on their tablets?

Even though around two-thirds of tablet news users have a dedicated news app on their device, 40 percent said they still grab the news through their Web browsers. Another 31 percent use both apps and the browser, while only 21 percent use apps as their main source.

Though catching the news is clearly popular, most of those polled still won’t pay for it.

Only 14 percent of those who grab the news through their tablets said they’ve paid for such content. Another 23 percent said they’ve subscribed to a print newspaper or magazine that includes digital access.

Adding up those percentages indicates that more a third of tablet news consumers may be paying either directly or indirectly for digital access. Though that’s a higher number than Pew found in previous studies, it still means the majority of users are sticking with only the news that’s free.

Conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates during the summer and early fall, the study combined the results of several separate polls. The first poll surveyed the general public, while the next two interviewed a Pew Research Center panel of more than 1,000 tablet owners. A phone survey reached 1,159 tablet users and 894 tablet news users, and a web-based survey asked news users about their news habits over the prior seven day

Apple Adds Microsoft’s Bing To iPhone Search (Source: eweekeurope.co.uk)

Microsoft’s Bing has been added to the iPhone, Apple announced during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on 7 June, joining Google and Yahoo.

“Microsoft has done a real nice job on this,” Jobs reportedly told the audience during his keynote address, according to live blogs of the event. However, Google will remain the default search engine.

Earlier this year, rumors circulated that Microsoft and Apple were in discussions over making Bing the iPhone’s default search engine. “Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy,” an unnamed source “familiar with the matter” told BusinessWeek on 20 Jan. “Microsoft is now a pawn in that battle.”

When previously contacted for confirmation of those talks, a Microsoft spokesperson said that the company “does not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Microsoft Pawn in Mobile battle

Porting Bing onto the iPhone would likely allow Microsoft to gain some additional market share in the mobile search-engine space, which is currently dominated by Google. According to analytics firm StatCounter, Google occupied some 97.83 percent of the global mobile search-engine market by June 7, with Yahoo claiming 1.19 percent and Bing following in third with 0.38 percent. In the U.S., those numbers were virtually identical: Google held 97 percent, followed by Yahoo with 1.9 percent and Bing with 0.75 percent.

Other firms have presented a somewhat cheerier outlook, with Nielsen estimating at the beginning of the year that around 86 percent of U.S. mobile searchers used Google, followed by 11 percent for Bing.

Even before Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple’s board of directors in August 2009, though, both Apple and Google seemed pitted to do battle in the smartphone arena. Research firm Gartner has predicted that Google Android will become the second-most-popular mobile OS in the world by 2010, surpassing the iPhone, and the operating system has already seen its market-share rise on a tide of devices from HTC and other manufacturers. That sort of competitive prospect could very well have Jobs, along with his executive team, searching for any way to blunt Google’s momentum.

Expanding Bing Brand

For its part, Microsoft has recognised the importance of expanding its Bing brand onto the popular iPhone platform. As far back as August 2009, the company delivered a Bing iPhone and Mac software development kit (SDK) for download on its CodePlex community development site. That SDK provided the ability to easily query Bing from within a Cocoa or Cocoa Touch application, perform synchronous and asynchronous queries, and search Bing for Web, Image, Video, News and Phonebook results.

During a talk at AllThingsDigital’s D8 conference on 1 June, Jobs dismissed ideas of launching Apple into the search-engine arena. “We have no plans to go into the search business,” he told an audience. “We don’t care about it—other people do it well.” His intention, it seems, is to let Microsoft and Google battle for mobile dominance; although Apple’s recent purchase of semantic search company Siri, suggests that another game may be afoot, despite those denials.

http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/apple-adds-microsofts-bing-to-iphone-search-7546