Much has been written about TikTok and its predominance as a social network. Such is its popularity that it not only boasts more than a billion active users, but it has also become a news medium in its own right.
Statistics don’t lie: as reported by Reuters, the percentage of users using TikTok for information increased by 43% in 2023. More and more people are using social media to stay updated on what’s happening in the world.
The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, revealed these results based on a survey of 8,842 Americans. Within this group, 67% accessed news apps or websites to stay informed. However, many also relied on social media as an information source. Facebook emerged as the most popular platform, being the primary choice for 30% of users. Following were YouTube with 26%, Instagram with 16%, and TikTok with 14%.
The battle to capture user attention has become tougher than ever, and this is something traditional media outlets are well aware of. Moreover, this clashes head-on with another reality: the low trust the public has in newscasts. The Reuters Institute report of 2023 reveals that up to 35% of users avoid traditional media. Instead, today’s news consumers seek a source more aligned with their preferences, something that social media platforms can provide.
Participation in social media has also shifted. New trends indicate that users are commenting and sharing less publicly. However, the opposite is happening in private groups. WhatsApp, Telegram, and Discord are among the preferred platforms because they facilitate dialogue among trusted individuals, free from the toxic atmosphere that public discussions can generate.