TikTok is Becoming the Most Popular News Resource for Younger Users

TikTok has been a popular source of entertainment for Gen Z and some Millennial users for quite some time now. Questions surrounding the ethics of its data collection practices may have hampered some of its growth, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it is continuing to see an increase in all of the metrics that truly matter including monthly active users and the level of engagement that videos posted to the platform tend to receive.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that an increasing proportion of TikTok’s users are also turning to the platform to obtain news content. 15% of users between the ages of 15 and 24 are going to TikTok to get their daily news fix, and 10% of users between the ages of 25 and 34 also said the same. However, one thing that makes this rather concerning is that TikTok users are more likely to eschew mainstream news coverage from journalists than might have been the case otherwise.

Instead, they tend to get the news from influencers. 36% of TikTok users said that they get their news from influencers, which is far higher than the 18% of Twitter users and 14% of Facebook users that said the same. So called ordinary people came in second on TikTok with 23%, far higher than the 16% that said the same on Twitter although it is still comparable to the 25% of users on Facebook that made similar statements with all things having been considered and taken into account.

The high propensity for TikTok users to trust influencers may be dangerous because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up exposing them to misinformation and fake news. Influencers may provide unbalanced opinions on the news instead of just reporting the facts. That can lead to higher levels of bias among their viewers, and if TikTok doesn’t improve the quality of news coverage on its platform it might end up doing a lot of harm.

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