You probably know of TikTok, an app that allows users to create and share short videos with music or sounds – particularly popular among the younger generation for entertainment. But it’s now becoming a source of news.
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How US Consumers Get Their News
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 33% of US TikTok users regularly get their news on the app. That’s an increase from 22% just two years prior.
Nearly every other social media site saw declines in the same metric. In particular, Facebook saw a reduction in usage. Only 44% of Facebook users report regularly using the platform for news. That’s down from 54%.
Nonetheless, Facebook remains the primary source when looking at where Americans get news. 31% of US adults say they regularly get their news from the platform.
YouTube follows closely behind Facebook with 25%, while Twitter and Instagram trail at 14% and 13%, respectively. TikTok ranks fifth, with only 10% of US adults using it for news.
Other notable platforms include:
LinkedIn – 4%
Snapchat – 4%
Nextdoor – 4%
WhatsApp – 3%
Twitch – 1%
It would be troubling if TikTok became one of the primary ways people learn about news and current events. That’s because several officials raised concerns about TikTok’s connections to China. They worry that foreign power could influence users’ beliefs through subtle tweaks to its algorithm.
The Pew Research Center also found fewer people use web searches for news than before.
News websites and apps are the favored news source among digital platforms for US adults (23%). However, 13% prefer social media, 12% prefer web search, and only 4% use podcasts as their primary source.
Note that US consumers are decreasing their consumption of news across other sources. For example, the number of people who use TV, radio, and print for news also reduced over the years.
How Canadians Get Their News
The latest Maru Public Opinion survey revealed mainstream media sources remain the preferred choice for news consumption. 86% of Canadians rely on them for daily news, but utilization varies by age group among the 23 news sources measured.
82% of this group consume news daily.
82% consume daily.
93% consume daily.
Change Is Inevitable
How we consume news will keep evolving as technology advances and consumer preferences shift. Some of our top predictions for news consumption are as follows.
- Reliance on digital platforms for news consumption will increase
- More people will want personalized news feeds
- Online news video content and live streaming will dominate
- The use of social media as a news source will increase, prompting more companies to integrate social features to compete
- Podcasting will become popular for news as more podcasters combine video
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