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Nearly 9 in 10 people on Twitter use it to get news

Nearly 9 in 10 people on Twitter use it to get news
© Getty Images

Almost 90 percent of Twitter users turn to the platform to learn about the news, according to a new study.

Eighty-six percent of users overall say they use the platform for news, according to the study, which was funded by Twitter but developed independently by the American Press Institute and released Tuesday.

Seventy-four percent of those users consume news daily on the platform.

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A Pew Research Center earlier this year found that use of Twitter and Facebook to consume news is on the rise, with current users seeing more news on the platforms.

But data from the API study suggest that, even as Twitter looks to create more “curated” pages for following news events, users generally stick to their timelines while following current events. Eighty percent of users who get news on Twitter said that they do so by scrolling through their timelines. Sixty-seven percent said they browsed tweets of people they followed for news.

Only 34 percent said they followed the news by checking Twitter’s trending topics. Fifteen percent said that they followed the news using the “Discover” tab — a feature that was recently eliminated but existed when the survey was administered.

Twitter is looking to do more curation during news events, in part to grow the service beyond its relatively small base of active users. The company is preparing to launch a service where human editors select tweets during live events and bundle them together on a page for users.

The hope is that such efforts will expand the appeal of the service to more of the general public. Currently, the service has 316 million monthly active users, compared to Facebook’s 1.49 billion monthly active users.

The survey had a sample of 3,713 Twitter users and 1,000 general social media users. It was conducted online between Nov. 23 and Dec. 15, 2014.