“One way Twitter sets itself apart from Facebook is its use as a news platform. Our research has found that passing along information about breaking news is a core function of Twitter. Nearly one-in-ten U.S. adults (8%) get news through Twitter, and roughly half of Twitter’s own users get news on the platform. Twitter users as a group seem especially tuned into news, media, culture and civic life. Further, Twitter is also a greater source for news than Facebook when it comes to mobile devices. The majority of Twitter news consumers (85%) get news (of any kind) at least sometimes on mobile devices, which exceeds Facebook news consumers by 20 percentage points (64% of Facebook news consumers use mobile devices for news). Twitter has also evolved into a unique ecosystem when it comes to the way people form groups for a variety of purposes. A special analysis of tens of thousands of Twitter conversations by the Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation found distinct patterns to the conversational and social structures that take place on Twitter, all with different purposes. These include “polarized crowds” that form around political topics; crowds that gather around areas of learning; clusters that form around brands and celebrities; “community” groups that arise around conversations about aspects of global news; breaking news; and support networks (such as those set up by businesses for their customers).”
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