Instagram will most likely become a more favored source of news in place of Twitter

Recently, a 2020 report by the Reuters Institute Digital News (in collaboration with the Oxford Internet Institute) found out that people are turning towards Instagram for news, and this trend has doubled since the past two years, and it is still increasing.

Most of the users who have started using Instagram as a news source belong to 18-24 years of age bracket.

According to the report, only 26% of people said that they rely on social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter) for news about COVID-19. This is a small percentage of people and it shows that the majority of people around the globe do not find social networks as trustworthy news portals.

On the other hand, the national government and other news organizations are more trustworthy in the eyes of more than 59% of respondents.

Amongst all the respondents of this survey, two-thirds of people are below 25 years of age. And out of all the people who use Instagram, 11% use it for news. While 12% of the respondents use Twitter for news updates.

The popularity of Instagram amongst youngsters is because of its stories simply told with well-placed visual content. Short videos and images with proper visualization covering the latest events like the recent police brutality and anti-racism movement, climatic changes, and current updates about the coronavirus pandemic - all of them have seen massive engagement rates and that has made Instagram more popular.

The way Instagram provides and tells stories and gives news updates is what makes it so popular amongst the masses. But the reliability of the news that these platforms provide remains questionable. Despite the over-usage of both platforms, people still find it a little hard to instantly trust the news on it. This distrust on Facebook especially is because of its next-to-non-existent fact-checking policies.
"In our January poll across countries, less than four in ten (38%) said they trust most news most of the time – a fall of four percentage points from 2019. Less than half (46%) said they trust the news they use themselves.", explained Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
The coronavirus pandemic has come as a blessing in disguise for these organizations as people have started to look up to them and news from the government officials.

In the initial days of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a sudden surge in the trust rating in these news organizations, which had reached up to 59%, but with time, this also started falling. After some polling in April and May, it was found to have fallen 11 points below. This polling unofficially suggests that the glorious moment of the national unit has passed, and the dispute between trustworthy and non-trustworthy media has risen again.

In such times when the national and international media and news agencies are seeing a pendulum failing to balance between trust and mistrust issues, Instagram has seen remarkable growth as a news source. It is now just one point behind Twitter, and this report predicts that it may overtake Twitter by 2021.


Most people prefer objective news, and nine countries out of all the surveyed ones suggested that their majority respondents prefer news that does not favor any particular viewpoint.

People in Germany, Japan, Denmark, and the UK prefer strong, independent public broadcasters.

So, the trust factor remains an important issue and it keeps swinging left and right amongst people.





Read next: Is COVID-19 a Bacterial Infection and Not a Virus? World Health Organization Fact Check Slams the False Viral Whatsapp Claim

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