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Kony 2012: Proof That Young Adults Get Their News From Social Media

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March 31st, 2012

Young adults learned about Kony 2012 from social media more than anything else. Image via Herald Sun.

Not too long ago, there was a time when most adults got their news from the morning newspaper and the evening network news. Now, those are just two of the choices. Not only are their hundreds of television news sources and thousands of online news publishers, but new research says that younger adults are getting their news from social media sources.

The latest examples comes from the viral “KONY 2012” video that was all over the net earlier this month. It spread across social media platforms like Facebook, was plastered all over Pinterest and was even the most popular story for a time on Twitter. It's on these social media sites that most young adults, 18-29 years old, are getting their news and information.

According to a survey released by the Pew Research Center, the thirty minute video released by the San Diego-based group Invisible Children calling for action against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony earlier this month shows that young adults have different news agendas and learn about the news from different sources. Younger adults were more likely to hear about the video via social media than older adults who were far more likely to hear about it via more traditional news sources.

The video was so popular with young adults that it was one the most popular videos ever. As of March 13, the video had been viewed more than 76 million times on YouTube and 16 million times on Vimeo. Young adults are more than twice as likely as older adults to watch the video on those two sites. Older adults were more likely to see the video from other news sources such as television news.

The Pew Research Center did special polling and social media content analysis to track how the “KONY 2012” video and information reached American adults.

[via Pew Internet]

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