Young adults are increasingly using TikTok for news, with social media influencers gaining more attention than journalists.
TikTok Emerges as Popular News Platform Among Young Adults
According to an annual survey by the Reuters Institute, TikTok is one of the fastest growing social networks, with 44% of 18–24-year-olds using it for any purpose and 20% using it for news The survey was conducted in 46 countries, including the UK, with about 2,000 people in each market. TikTok for News!
Facebook Becoming Less Popular as A News Source
The report found that Facebook’s popularity as a source of news has declined over time. Only 28% of users received notifications through the app this year compared with 42% in 2016.
Social Media Influencers and Celebrities More Trusted Than Journalists
Research revealed that users pay more attention to celebrities and social media influencers than journalists when it comes to news topics on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Some platforms showed higher levels of trust among “ordinary people” rather than mainstream media companies or journalists.
Declining Interest In Global News Across Different Countries
There is declining interest in global news generally across many countries globally due to high levels of selective avoidance by audiences who may find them emotionally draining or too depressing. The report also found that some people actively avoid stories such as war crises or cost-of-living issues.
Selective Avoidance By Audiences Increasingly High Because Of Depressing Stories
As a form of cutting back on “depressing news,” audiences were increasingly avoiding stories such as Ukraine’s war crisis or the cost-of-living crisis. Research showed that there are high levels of selective avoidance among viewers regarding these topics.
News Avoiders: Why They Do It?
Among those who avoided watching any kind of negative content, most said they scrolled past it (53%) while others change channels when anything related comes up (32%). Others say they simply feel anxious about certain topics because they bring down their mood.
The report suggests that TikTok is rapidly emerging as a popular news platform among young adults, with social media influencers and celebrities being more trusted than traditional journalism. Facebook has become less popular as a news source, while Twitter’s usage remains relatively stable. Declining interest in global news was observed due to high levels of selective avoidance by audiences who find such stories emotionally draining or too depressing.
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