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Women are majority of regular news readers on TikTok

Lawmakers are discussing a bill that would restrict Chinese-owned TikTok to operate in the US. Despite this, an increasing share use TikTok in general and for news. 43% say they regularly get news there. The majority of these news readers are women, data from Pew Research Centre shows. 

“While news consumption on other social media sites has declined or remained stagnant in recent years, the share of US TikTok users who get news on the site has doubled since 2020, when 22% got news there.”

TikTok news consumers are especially likely to be:

  • Young. The vast majority who regularly get news on TikTok are under 50: 44% are ages 18 to 29 and 38% are 30 to 49. Just 4% of TikTok news consumers are ages 65 and older.
  • Women. A majority of regular TikTok news consumers are women (58%), while 39% are men. These gender differences are similar to those among news consumers on Instagram and Facebook.

At the same time, some Americans have concerns about the Chinese-owned platform’s approach to data privacy and its potential impact on national security, the data shows.

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that, if passed in the Senate and signed into law, would restrict TikTok’s ability to operate in the United States. To continue its operations, the  Chinese owners of TikTok would have to sell its US operations. Background is worries that user data could be leaked to Chinese authorities.

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A third of adults – including a majority of adults under 30 – use TikTok. 62% of adults under 30 say they use TikTok, compared with 39% of those ages 30 to 49, 24% of those 50 to 64, and 10% of those 65 and older.

“TikTok stood out from other platforms we asked about for the rapid growth of its user base. Just two years earlier, 21% of US adults used the platform.”

63% of teens use say they use the platform. More than half of teens (58%) use it daily, including 17% who say they’re on it “almost constantly.”

“A higher share of teen girls than teen boys say they use TikTok almost constantly (22% vs. 12%).” 

The Pew says that support for a U.S. TikTok ban has declined. Late last year, 38% said that they would support banning TikTok, down from 50% in March 2023. 27% said they would oppose a ban, while 35% were not sure. 

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were far more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to support a TikTok ban (50% vs. 29%), but support had declined across both parties since earlier in the year.

Adults under 30 were less likely to support a ban than their older counterparts: 29% supported a ban, compared with 36% of those ages 30 to 49, 39% of those ages 50 to 64, and 49% of those ages 65 and older. In a separate fall 2023 survey, only 18% of  teens said they supported a ban. 

A relatively small share of users produce most of TikTok’s content. About half of adult TikTok users (52%) have ever posted a video on the platform. In fact, of all the TikTok content posted by American adults, 98% of publicly accessible videos come from the most active 25% of users.

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