Youth trust TikTok and Instagram influencers most for news 2023

According to a report, the next generation relies on TikTok and Instagram personalities for news and fact-checking rather than traditional media and journalists.

55% of TikTok users and 52% of Instagram users get their news from “personalities” on the respective platforms, according to a study conducted for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Britain’s Oxford University.

Nic Newman, senior research associate at the Reuters Institute, wrote in the report, “Perhaps the most striking findings in this year’s report relate to the changing nature of social media, which is partly characterized by declining engagement with traditional networks such as Facebook and the rise of TikTok and a range of other video-led networks.”

55% of TikTok and 52% of Instagram users obtain their news from ‘personalities’.

Young people are more influenced than ever by “influencers” on the platform for trends, advice, and now even news, according to Newman.

“Our data demonstrate, more clearly than ever before, that this shift is strongly influenced by the habits of the youngest generations, who have grown up with social media and often pay more attention to influencers or celebrities than journalists, even when it comes to news,” he wrote.

This trend was not reflected on older platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, where users chose to follow mainstream news outlets over personalities for their news by a margin of 43-38 and 55-42, respectively.

TikTok also stood out among the list of social media platforms, which also included YouTube and Snapchat, because more users (44%) are relying on “ordinary people” for news. No other platform exceeded 37 percent.

The 2023 Reuters Institute Digital News Report found that an increasing number of young people prefer social media to directly accessing news websites or applications.

In 2018, nearly one-third of young people (32%) accessed news online via mainstream media websites or applications. In 2023, this figure has decreased to 22%, or slightly more than one in five.

In contrast, the proportion of young people using social media to obtain news increased from 23% in 2018 to 30% in 2019.

In contrast, the majority of adults over the age of 35 (52%) accessed online news by heading directly to a news website or app. 24% of those aged 18 to 24 did the same.

Young people have become increasingly critical of the news media, which is largely controlled by politicians and others, according to the report.

In an introduction, the director of the Reuters Institute, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, stated that these developments represent “a much more fundamental change” for broadcast news and digital platforms.

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