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Twitter: a major news hub

September 11, 2015 | By Rande Price, Research Director – DCN @Randeloo

New research from the American Press Institute supports Twitter’s role as a real-time news network for social media users. Approximately nine in 10 users (86%) report using Twitter for the news with nearly three-quarters (74%) using it daily for this purpose.

Interestingly, nine in 10 Twitter news users get their news by either scrolling through their timeline or looking through tweets they follow. Close to three-quarters of Twitter news users (73%) follow individual journalists, writers and commentators and 30% report getting their news from trending topics.

News publishers incorporating Twitter into their game plan will find it valuable. API recommends that journalists are active on Twitter and focus on the present with live events and breaking news. Offer new angles to storylines and know that sports and politics work well on Twitter. Use hashtags only when related to breaking news since most hashtags draw small followings and ensure your tweets are mobile friendly. Eight in 10 Twitter users are accessing via their smartphone with almost three-quarters (72%) using its mobile app.

Overall Twitter users tend to be younger (median age 36) than the average social media user (median age 46). Almost half of Twitter users are single (49%) and 22% are likely to be married. More than half of Twitter users (57%) have a college degree or higher.

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