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How Americans Get News on TikTok, X, Facebook, Instagram

Pew – “X remains more of a news destination than other sites, but the vast majority of users on all four are seeing news-related content. Social media platforms are an important part of the American news diet: Half of U.S. adults say they get news at least sometimes from social media in general. But specific platforms differ widely in structure, content and culture. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the ways in which Americans encounter news on four major platforms – TikTok, X, Facebook and Instagram – vary widely.Key findings from this study include:

  • Majorities of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok users say keeping up with news is not a reason they use the sites. X (formerly Twitter) is the exception to this pattern: Most X users say that keeping up with news is either a major or minor reason they use the platform, and about half say they regularly get news there.
  • Still, people are seeing news on all four platforms, especially through opinion- or humor-based content. Majorities of users on all four sites say they see people expressing opinions about current events and funny posts that reference current events. On the whole, more people see these types of posts than news articles or breaking news, although many also see that type of content (particularly on X and Facebook).
  • News on each platform comes from a variety of sources. Those who regularly get news on Facebook and Instagram are more likely than those on TikTok and X to get news from friends, family and acquaintances. More news consumers get news from influencers or other people they don’t know personally on TikTok than on other platforms. And news outlets or journalists are a more common source of news on X than on any other site.
  • Most news consumers on each of the platforms studied say they at least sometimes see news on the platform that seems inaccurate. This includes roughly a quarter or more on each site who say they extremely or fairly often see inaccurate news…”

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