Gen Z Rejects The Front Page And Turns To FYP: TikTok Now A Top News Source For 20% Of Young Adults

Shaking up the traditional news landscape, a survey revealed the meteoric rise of TikTok as a news source, with a staggering 20% of young adults now relying on the app to stay informed

What Happened: ByteDance-owned TikTok, the popular short-form video app, has witnessed unprecedented popularity among young adults as a primary news source. 

As much as 20% of individuals aged 18 to 24 now rely on TikTok to stay informed about current events, marking a substantial increase from the previous year, reported Reuters, citing Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s Digital News Report. 

See Also: New Social Media App That Asks Teens To Say Nice Things To Each Other Tops iPhone Downloads — Beating WhatsApp, Facebook

According to the survey, since 2018, there has been a notable decline of 10 points in the global population accessing news through websites or apps, with younger demographics exhibiting a clear preference for obtaining news through social media platforms, search engines, or mobile aggregators.

Trust in the news has experienced a setback, dropping by 2% in the past year. The report noted that the U.S. witnessed a modest 6-point increase in trust, reaching 32%, but still ranked among the lowest in the survey. 

The findings of this report are derived from an extensive online survey conducted across 46 markets, including the U.S., encompassing approximately 94,000 adults.

The report’s findings have raised questions about the future of journalism and the influence of influencers and celebrities in shaping public discourse, as audiences increasingly gravitate towards engaging and bite-sized content on TikTok. 

Why It’s Important: The report came at a time when members of the U.S. Congress are actively pushing for a ban on TikTok, citing security threats to the country. In May 2023, Montana became the first state in the U.S. to implement a complete ban on the sales and use of TikTok.

In October last year, it was reported that five in 10 U.S. adults use social media platforms to get news despite studies denoting them as a hotbed of misinformation

This is despite the consensus that social media played a significant role in influencing the outcomes of the past two U.S. presidential elections, according to Felix Richter from Statista

Richter also labeled Twitter and TikTok as the primary culprits for amplifying misinformation

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