Johannesburg: At least 30 percent of the overall US population that uses Facebook is found to the site`s news consumer, which means, their source of news is the social media giant, a PEW survey has revealed.
The study conducted by the Pew Research Centre has found that Facebook is becoming a key source of news for users of the huge social network, even if people discover articles mostly by happenstance.
It was revealed that 64 percent of the US adults use Facebook, and nearly half of those get some news from the service, News24 reports.
However, 78 percent of this group gets news mainly when they are on Facebook for other reasons, such as checking on friends or sharing photos.
Pew Research Centre`s director of journalism research, Amy Mitchell said that people go to Facebook to share personal moments, and they discover the news almost incidentally.
The study, conducted on 5,173 US adults, found that some 38 percent of Facebook news consumers who say they follow the news `all` or `most of the time` describe the social network as an important way they get news.
It was further noticed that those in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket account for about a third of Facebook news consumers .
Authors of the study state that Facebook exposes some people to news who otherwise might not get it by delivering news through shared links from friends, as it was found that Facebook users click on a news link most often because of their interest in the topic or a friend`s recommendation, and just 20 percent did so because of the news organisation.