For Millennials, Facebook is political

facebook phone

Millennials are less interested in following politics, but they have a harder time avoiding it on social media than older generations.

Nearly a quarter of Millennials who use Facebook said that at least half of the posts they see on the site pertain to government and politics, according to a study released Monday by Pew Research Center.

That is higher than the portion of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers who found that politics and government had a huge presence on the site.

The study's findings illustrate the rising importance of Facebook as a news source.

Pew's study found that 61% of Internet-using Millennials get their political news from Facebook over the course of a given week, while 51% of Gen Xers relied on Facebook for their politcal news, and only 37% of Boomers said Facebook was the source of their political news.

The stories on their sites that Millennials trusted most were those from CNN, which owns this news site. The Pew survey found that 60% of Millennials trusted CNN, easily the highest of any other news site.

Millennials see more politics on their walls despite being decidedly less interested in politics than the older groups. Only 26% ranked politics and government among the three topics in which they are most interested, compared with 34% of Gen Xers and 45% of Baby Boomers.

Pew's study explored the media consumption habits of the three generations. Millennials refer to those aged 18-33, while Baby Boomers consist of those aged 50-68. Gen Xers are sandwiched between those two groups.

The study's findings came from an online survey conducted between March 19 and April 29.

Over the last decade, Facebook has emerged as a dominant player in news publishing. Media outlets depend on it as a driver of web traffic. Pew's study underscored Facebook's dominance over its rivals, too. According to the research, Twitter served as a source for political news far less frequently than Facebook.

Facebook figures to take on an even larger role in the news business.

Last month, nine news organizations began to publish their stories directly on Facebook.

Some journalists are wary of the partnership, while others have greeted it with a sense of resignation to Facebook's undeniable power and scope. For news publishers, the appeal is obvious: Facebook boasts 1.25 billion mobile users, and the news is increasingly consumed on cell phones.


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