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Checking the news on TikTok

TikTok’s importance as news source has trebled in the US

In just two years, the share of US adults who say they regularly get news from TikTok has roughly tripled, from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022. This is in contrast with many other social media sites, where news consumption has either declined or stayed about the same in recent years, Pew Research Center reports. 

“The video-sharing platform has reported high earnings the past year and has become especially popular among teens – two-thirds of whom report using it in some way – as well as young adults.”

“Adults under 30 are the most likely group to say they regularly get news on TikTok. 26% of Americans in this age group say they regularly get news there, higher than in 2021 and 2020. This compares with 10% of those ages 30 to 49, 4% of those 50 to 64 and just 1% of those 65 and older.”

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“More of TikTok’s US adult users are getting news there as well. Currently, a third of TikTok users say they regularly get news on the site, up from 22% who said the same in 2020. Still, TikTok users remain far less likely than users of Twitter or Facebook to get news on the site.”

An earlier report from Pew Research has shown social media’s popularity as a place where people often get news is falling but half of US adults get news at least sometimes from social media. 17% say they often get news that way, down from 23% in 2020 and 19% in 2021. 

For those who regularly get news on social media, Facebook outpaces all other social media sites. 31% say they regularly get news from Facebook. Women make up a greater portion of regular news consumers on Facebook.

A quarter regularly get news from YouTube, while smaller shares get news from Twitter (14%), Instagram (13%), TikTok (10%), Reddit (8%), LinkedIn (4%), Snapchat (4%), Nextdoor (4%), WhatsApp (3%) or Twitch (1%).

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On several of the social media sites, adults under 30 make up the largest share of those who regularly get news on the site, the report shows. For example, half or more of regular news consumers on Snapchat (67%), TikTok (52%) and Reddit (50%) are ages 18 to 29. Additionally, women make up a greater portion of regular news consumers on Facebook, while the opposite is true for sites like Twitter and Reddit.

When asked which of these platforms they prefer to get news on, about half of Americans say they prefer a digital device (53%), more than say they prefer TV (33%). Even fewer Americans prefer radio (7%) or print (5%). These percentages have stayed mostly consistent since 2020.

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