Digital gadgets boost users’ appetite for news

Nearly a third of Americans now get news from smartphone and tablet apps, a new study has revealed.

London: Nearly a third of Americans now get news from smartphone and tablet apps, a new study has revealed.
But people don’t rely on apps as a ‘one stop shop’ - 80 per cent of web users who pick up news from phone apps also visit the news websites via a laptop or desktop.

The survey of 3,000 web users by Pew Research Center, a non-profit research group, also found that search engines were declining as a means for people to find news, and now took second place to apps.

“Eight in ten who get news on smartphones or tablets, for instance, get news on conventional computers as well,” the Daily Mail quoted Pew as stating in its report.

“People are taking advantage, in other words, of having easier access to news throughout the day – in their pocket, on their desks and in their laps,” it said.

And although 54 per cent of Americans - 133 million people - are active users of Facebook, ‘social media’ sites such as Facebook and Twitter were less important than sites or apps in driving traffic to websites.

Just 9 percent of US adults say they follow news recommendations from Facebook or Twitter ‘very often’ on any digital device - compared with 36 percent who say the same about directly going to a news organization’s site or app.

Just 32 percent access news through search; and 29 percent of users who use news organizing sites like Topix or Flipboard.

Pew’s report, which also used data from web-monitoring firm Nielsen and the American Audit Bureau of circulations, said that people were simply consuming more news.

“A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism,” Pew stated.

Pew Director Tom Rosenstiel said, “Our analysis suggests that news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives.”

“But it remains unclear who will benefit economically from this growing appetite for news,” he added.