Millennials often use social media to get news, but they don’t want to pay

Millennials may be known for their active social media habits, but a new study found that there are more reasons for logging onto Facebook or Twitter than to connect with friends. For the majority of Millennials, social media is also one of the places where they consume news.

A study released yesterday by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, asked 1,046 adults between 18 and 34 how important getting the news is, and which resources they most often use.

“Only 47 percent of the millennials surveyed said consuming news is a major reason they visit Facebook,” the report said. “But 88 percent of the respondents said they get news from Facebook at least occasionally.”

Facebook was the winner of the different sites, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and others as a daily source of news, although most Millennials get their news from a collection of different sites. However, the report noted, Facebook is often used for lighter news topics, like pop culture and fashion. For harder news, Millennials often turn to Google News to find original reports.

As far as demographic differences, older Millennials are more likely to actively look for news online, compared to 18 to 21-year-olds who tend to “bump” into different reports. Men are more likely to use Reddit and YouTube at least once a day, whereas women are more likely to use Pinterest and Instagram for their news.

Collectively, however, Millennials do not want to pay for their news. Of those surveyed, 40 percent said they paid for a subscription, including a news app, an online magazine, or paid email newsletter.

Interestingly, even though many said they didn’t pay for their news online, some are more willing to pay for the non-digital version. For example, 21 percent said they had paid for a print magazine in the last year, and 16 percent for a print newspaper, higher rates than those who had paid for an online magazine or newspaper.

Some claimed news should be free — it’s part of their civic duty to know.

“I don’t think you should pay for news,” 22-year-old Eric in Chicago said in the report. “That’s something everybody should be informed in. Like, you’re going to charge me for information that’s going on around the world?”