Consuming news from social media is becoming increasingly popular. Social media appeals to users due to its fast dissemination of information, low cost, and easy access. However, social media also enables the widespread of fake news. Due to the detrimental societal effects of fake news, detecting fake news has attracted increasing attention. However, the detection performance only using news contents is generally not satisfactory as fake news is written to mimic true news. Thus, there is a need for an in-depth understanding on the relationship between user profiles on social media and fake news. In this paper, we study the problem of understanding and exploiting user profiles on social media for fake news detection. In an attempt to understand connections between user profiles and fake news, first, we measure users’ sharing behaviors and group representative users who are more likely to share fake and real news; then, we perform a comparative analysis of explicit and implicit profile features between these user groups, which reveals their potential to help differentiate fake news from real news. To exploit user profile features, we demonstrate the usefulness of these user profile features in a fake news classification task. We further validate the effectiveness of these features through feature importance analysis. The findings of this work lay the foundation for deeper exploration of user profile features of social media and enhance the capabilities for fake news detection.