33% of US TikTok users say they get their news regularly on the app, up from 22% in 2020 • TechCrunch

Earlier this summer, a Google executive admitted it TikTok has been feeding off its core search business, especially among younger users. But that’s not all TikTok is used for now, New Pew Research Center study Indicates. According to the findings of a report examining Americans’ use of social media for news consumption, 33% of TikTok users now say they receive their news regularly on the social video app, up from just 22% in 2020.

Meanwhile, nearly every social media site saw a decline across the same metric — including, in particular, Facebook, where only 44% of its users reported receiving their news regularly, down from 54% just two years ago.

Image credits: Pew Research

This data indicates that TikTok has grown from being a mere entertainment platform for lip-sync, dances and comedy to one that many of its users turn to to learn about what is happening in their world.

That could raise concerns, given TikTok’s connections to China – a topic that has recently been pressed for clarity. At a Senate hearing focused on national security. The session was followed by the release of A BuzzFeed News report Which discovered how ByteDance employees in China were regularly accessing private data of TikTok users in the US.

If TikTok becomes one of the primary ways young people in the United States learn about news and current events, the app could potentially provide a channel for a foreign power to influence these users’ beliefs through subtle tweaks to its algorithm.

However, for now, TikTok is not a major source of consuming news via social media – that honor still exists at Facebook.

The Pew Center found that 31% of US adults regularly report receiving their news from Facebook, which is higher than 25% who get their news from YouTube, 14% who get it from Twitter, or 13% who get it from Instagram.

TikTok took fifth place in this ranking, with only 10% of adults in the US saying they regularly get their news on the video app. (Of course, as TikTok’s large under-18 user base grows, those metrics can change quickly.)

The study also found that LinkedIn (4%), Snapchat (4%), Nextdoor (4%), WhatsApp (3%), and Twitch (1%) were much smaller sources of news among Americans.

Image credits: Pew Research

In addition, Pew somewhat backed Google’s assertion that it was losing momentum in favor of TikTok and other social media apps, It was also noted that The percentage of American adults who got their news via web search dropped from 23% in 2020 to 18% in 2022.

But it did not necessarily indicate that TikTok or any other social platform is making gains, as the proportion of adults using social media of any kind to consume news fell from 23% to 17% between 2020 and 2022, as did other forms of news consumption such as social media sites. Web and news apps.

Image credits: Pew Research

It’s not clear if any one platform is benefiting from these declines, as Pew did reveal a shift from digital news sources to other sources, such as television, print or radio — all of which have seen news consumption drop as well.

Image credits: Pew Research

However, digital devices still outperform television, Pew said, with the latter seeing its use as a source of news consumption drop from 40% in 2020 to 31% in 2022.

Additionally, when asked about preferences, more Americans (53%) said they would rather get their news digital rather than have it delivered via television (33%), radio (7%) or print (5%) – an answer that remained Fixed since 2020.

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