According to a new study, it appears as though a great deal of U.S. adults aren't just using Facebook for communicating with friends.
American Live Wire reported on Oct. 26 that a new Pew Research poll says two-thirds of all U.S. adults are using Facebook, with 47 percent of that population reporting that they have consumed news from the social networking site. That equates to about 30 percent of the overall population of American adults.
There's a bit of a catch with just how the news is consumed, however. Tech Shout notes that 78 percent of the participants in the study said they were exposed to news on Facebook without actually looking for it. Since users can easily share news articles and videos, many adults who saw the news items were on Facebook for other more social reasons.
“I believe Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it,” one respondent said.
Four percent said Facebook was the most important way they get news, but many reported consuming news on other platforms. 42 percent, for instance, watch local TV news, while 23 percent often watch cable news.
The study, entitled "The Role of News on Facebook," also touched on younger adults, who tend to be engaged as much or more with news on Facebook than older adults. 18- to 29-year-olds account for 34 percent of Facebook news consumers.
Overall, researchers say there is evidence to suggest that Facebook exposes some people to news they might not otherwise get if they aren't as inclined to follow the news as heavy news consumers.