Social networking sites are rivalling the leading national newspaper websites as a source of breaking news and information for UK users, according to new research on social media use.

The results of a survey of 1,000 people in the UK carried out by iCD research suggest that a majority of people turn to the BBC news website for breaking news (50.4 per cent).

For national newspapers, 12.8 per cent said they used the Daily Mail's website for up-to-the-minute information, 7.1 per cent said the Sun 5.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent cited the Telegraph. The figures suggest 5.4 per cent of respondents go to the Times' new paywalled website for the latest news.

In contrast 18.5 per cent of respondents selected use social networking sites and 3.3 per cent RSS for breaking news, showing a growing trend towards aggregated and personalised news streams through Twitter and Facebook. A slightly higher percentage of female respondents (105 compared with 80 males) chose social networking sites as a news source.

But despite the advantages of social media and online news to cover breaking news, 276 of those surveyed (27.6 per cent) did not use the internet for news. Of these respondents, 155 were female and 121 male.

Respondents were given 22 options to choose from and could select more than one category. The category 'other' on the pie chart includes Scotsman.com, the Herald, the Daily Record, the Daily Star and CityAM.

Which news sources online do you use for breaking news and up-to-date information?

Graph of iCD Research survey

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