Pew report shows Facebook delivers the news to 20 percent of Americans

A Pew Research Center report released this week shows that 30% of adult American Facebook users get some of their news from Facebook. That's about 20% of the adult population of the US. But most of those people don't see Facebook as the primary or most important way they get news. Rather, news consumption on the platform tends to be incidental or accidental with other activities.

Only 22% of the survey sample expressed that Facebook was a "useful" way to get news. They mostly go to Facebook in order to communicate with friends and family, look at photos and videos by family and friends, and share things–in that descending order. News consumption and game playing rank last in terms of reasons for visiting the social network.

The report shows that Facebook is seen as merely a "supplemental" way to get the news. Local TV news is by far the most popular way people get the news, along with national TV, newspapers, radio, cable TV, and magazines. Of course, Facebook is the only one among these sources where people click links and like, comment on, and share news stories.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 21 to Sept. 2, 2013. The sample included 5,173 random American adults, 3,268 of whom use Facebook. Of those, 1,429 read news on Facebook.

SOURCE: Pew Research Journalism Project