‘Sharing’ the news on Facebook Amber Hinsley Assistant Professor Samantha Johnson Master’s Student Exploring the differences between news-sharers and non-sharers on the social media site
Research focus • Why do some news consumers choose to share news materials through their social media accounts while others do not? • How are people’s news-sharing decisions tied to their desire to feel connected with others?
Facebook & sharing news • Facebook has 1 billion active users • People are spending more time with news than ever before – Pew “State of the News Media” • Half of social media users who also are online news consumers get daily news items from the people they follow • One-fourth follow news organizations or journalists on social networking sites – Pew “Participatory news consumers”
Motivations for sharing news • Uses & gratifications • Escape/diversion • Relationship maintenance • Personal identity • Surveillance
Research questions • RQ1: What news preference-related differences exist between people who share news links via Facebook and those who do not? • RQ2: What demographic-type differences exist between people who share links stories via Facebook and those who do not? • RQ3: What motivates people to share news links via Facebook?
Online survey • 250 U.S. adults who follow at least one news organization on Facebook • 57% female • 78% had at least some college • Ages 18-74 • Mean: 34.8 years old • 72% Caucasian • Demographics similar to those in Pew studies of social media users
RQ2: Demographic differences • News-sharers: Younger than their non-news sharing counterparts • Non-sharers: More conservative and more likely to be minorities than news-sharers
Take-aways • News-sharers & non-sharers have distinct news preferences • News-sharers & non-sharers are demographically different • News-sharers have to two primary motivations • Maintaining relationships • Helping self & others