The unstoppable rise of social media as a source for news

It’s where the kids are these days.
It’s where the kids are these days.
Image: Reuters/Robert Galbraith
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Yesterday, Facebook tweaked the algorithm behind its news feed, striking fear into the hearts of many web publishers and causing widespread panic in the media industry.

OK maybe not quite, but the tweak certainly didn’t go unnoticed. And the reaction it got reflects the new reality: social media in general, and Facebook in particular, are now hugely important sources of traffic for news outlets.

The reason is simple: that’s where people, particularly young people, get most of their news. Results from a survey of more than 2,000 Americans by Deloitte released this morning only reinforce the point.

As you can see in the GIF above,  TV is still the most popular news platform across all age brackets (I left out the mature category, those aged 68 and above, for the sake of simplicity).

But in the younger age groups, not by much. For millennials aged 14 to 25,  TV and social media are neck and neck (28% and 26%, respectively), the survey found. If these trends hold up, TV may soon surrender its historic position as the dominant cultural medium in the United States.