While Twitter may be valued at over $13 billion, it’s only used by 16 percent of American adults, according to a Pew study released Monday.
Only half of those users — or 8 percent of U.S. adults — get their news from the social media platform. By contrast, 30 percent of Americans get news from Facebook.
Nearly half of that 8 percent were aged 18-29 (34 percent of Facebook news users are 18-29), while the vast majority (85 percent) access the service from their mobile devices. Five thousand people took part in the study.
A second section of the study also examined how Twitter was used during 10 major news events between May 2011 and October 2013. It found that the “largest component” of Twitter conversations tended to revolve around passing along details as news broke, rather than sharing opinions about it.
That’s probably a good thing, since the study also found that Twitter sentiment did not necessarily reflect the rest of the country. For example, while Ron Paul’s reception on Twitter was largely positive, Romney won the Republican candidacy.