Young Teens Are Turning To Instagram and TikTok for News, Ofcom Study Finds

21 July 2022
by Annie-Mai Hodge
1 min
Young Teens Are Turning To Instagram and TikTok for News, Ofcom Study Finds

Young teenagers now prefer to use Instagram and TikTok to get the latest news, rather than traditional channels like the BBC and ITV, new research from Ofcom shows.

A shift to social media to catch up with the latest stories is being driven by younger people’s surging usage of these apps and a dwindling desire to tune in to TV and pick up physical newspapers.

Ofcom’s latest news consumption survey found 29% of youngsters use Instagram for news, making it the most popular platform, ahead of TikTok and YouTube.

The trend is most pronounced among young teens, but 62% of 25 to 34-year-olds also say they use social media for news, which edges out those who use television (61%).

Ofcom also found that “any internet” sites, which includes apps and podcasts, account for 87% of a 16 to 24-year-old’s news rotation.

Older users are embracing online publishers too, with 61% of those aged between 55 and 64 using them.

However, traditional news outlets across TV, print and radio are still the main sources of news overall for older age groups.

There is definitely a major shift under way, though, as the number of teenagers using TV news has slumped from 45% in 2017 to 24% today.

The way youngsters consume and react to news appears to be changing too.

Around half of TikTok users say they mainly get news from “people they follow”, rather than official news accounts.

This was evident earlier this year when clips of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s court case were widely viewed and shared by users.

However, some teenagers are still sceptical about the reliability of news content on TikTok, as only 30% say it’s trustworthy.

This jumps to 52% for Twitter and 51% for YouTube.

Ofcom’s Yih-Choung Teh noted: “And while youngsters find news on social media to be less reliable, they rate these services more highly for serving up a range of opinions on the day’s topical stories.”


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