Young Adults Think Social Media Influencers Are To Be Trusted Most

Teens Think Social Media Influencers Are To Be Trusted Most

( – Interest in traditional news sources appears to be waning, with companies like CNN, NPR, and Vox Media announcing significant layoffs in recent months. Likewise, Northwestern University’s State of Local News 2022 report showed the country had lost more than 25% of its newspapers since 2005, and that percentage is estimated to rise to roughly 33% by 2025. A new report indicated that users of some social media platforms are increasingly turning to celebrities and influencers as trusted sources of news and information.

The Oxford University-based Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism recently released its 2023 Digital News Report, assisted by YouGov, a British market research and polling company. The report examined social media trends regarding how people used online sites to obtain news and information. For instance, the study found that 79% of 18 to 24-year-olds watched online news videos via social media platforms as opposed to only 23% that used news websites.

The study also looked at what sources social media platform users turned to for news. It looked at specific areas, including mainstream news outlets/journalists and personalities (including influencers and celebrities).

TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram stood out from the rest regarding the disparity between users turning to personalities versus mainstream news sources.

  • TikTok: 55% turned to personalities and 33% to mainstream news
  • Snapchat: 55% personalities, 36% mainstream news
  • Instagram: 52% personalities, 42% mainstream news

On the flip side, older platforms showed the opposite trend.

  • Facebook: 38% personalities, 43% mainstream news
  • Twitter: 43% personalities, 55% mainstream news.

YouTube showed a fairly even balance, with 45% using personalities and 43% turning to mainstream news sources.

The report also looked at the types of news topics that resonated with users across the various platforms. For instance, Twitter led the pack for people interested in national politics, with 59% of its users turning to the site for coverage. Facebook came in second with 46%, followed by YouTube (45%), Instagram (38%), and TikTok (46%).

Additionally, the Reuters Institute detailed the proportion of individuals reporting that they used a particular social media platform for news in the last week. Facebook came out on top with 28%, although it was the only platform showing a decrease since 2014. YouTube came in second place with 20%, Instagram (14%), Twitter (11%), and TikTok (6%).

Curiously, Tucker Carlson’s new Twitter show appeared to beat all the odds receiving more than 80 million views in less than 24 hours. It reached 116.9 million in 10 days since it aired on June 6. Putting that in perspective, Forbes reported that from June 5 to 11, MSNBC averaged roughly 1.37 million primetime viewers, Fox (1.31 million), and CNN (0.73).

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