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Half of U.S. adult Twitter users consume news on the platform

A person holds a magnifying glass over a computer screen displaying Twitter logos, in this picture illustration taken in Skopje September 10
A person holds a magnifying glass over a computer screen displaying Twitter logos, in this picture illustration taken in Skopje September 10

By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - About half of all adult Twitter users in the United States said they get news through the social media platform, mainly on mobile devices, according to a new survey.

The report by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was released on Monday. The results are based on a the survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults including Twitter and Facebook users.

Twitter users who consume news on the platform - defined as information about events and issues that involve more than just family or friends - represent only 8 percent of the U.S. adult population.

Almost half of all U.S. adults on Facebook use the social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg to consume news as well, according to a study from the Pew Research Center released two weeks ago. But that group represent nearly one-third of all U.S. adults.

Twitter has about 200 million users worldwide, while Facebook has 1 billion.

The survey also underscores how young people consume news because almost half of Twitter news users are between the ages of 18 and 29.

Breaking news or topics of interest can explode on Twitter with millions of tweets covering events ranging from the Newtown, Connecticut shootings to the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

Twitter just named NBC News digital executive Vivian Schiller as head of news to act as a liaison between Twitter and news organizations.

The network known for short messages of up to 140 characters is preparing to make one of the most closely watched initial public offerings later this week. It raised the price range for its IPO by 25 percent earlier on Monday, valuing the company at up to $13.6 billion.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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