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In the age of social media, it's typical to first learn about a major event via social feeds. The reason why is clear—the proliferation of social and mobile facilitate the sharing of timely news.
According to Q3 2014 data from ShareThis, social media users are much more likely to share content via mobile devices after a major current event occurs. The data comes from the analysis of content shares regarding major events such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Ferguson Riots, the Apple Launch Event and Shark Week.
On regular news days, desktops account for the same amount of content-sharing as smartphones—43%. Tablets aren't nearly as prominent for circulating content, driving just 11% of total sharing.
This all changes significantly once a major event occurs. Once a topic starts trending, mobile devices make up 72% of the total content-sharing. This is a strong indicator that mobile devices are extremely fitting for sharing timely news. Smartphones drive more than half of current event content-sharing, while the major news stimulates significantly more shares from tablets as well.
With Facebook still leading in social network adoption, it is overwhelmingly the dominant channel for discussion about current events. Facebook sees 71% of the content shares related to major events, followed by Twitter and Reddit.
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