More Americans are getting news on TikTok, bucking social media trend

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A small but growing share of U.S. adults say they regularly get news on TikTok. This is in contrast with many other social media sites, where news consumption has either declined or stayed about the same in recent years. In just two years, the share of U.S. adults who say […]

A small but growing share of U.S. adults say they regularly get news on TikTok. This is in contrast with many other social media sites, where news consumption has either declined or stayed about the same in recent years.

In just two years, the share of U.S. adults who say they regularly get news from TikTok has roughly tripled, from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022.

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.

To better examine the ways Americans get news in a digital age, Pew Research Center surveyed 12,147 U.S. adults from July 18 to Aug. 21, 2022. Everyone who completed the survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology. Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

In the past, Pew Research Center has conducted similar research about Americans’ use of social media for news. This survey continues to explore similar topics but in different ways from research done prior to 2020 (see more details here). As a result, some of these measures cannot be directly compared with findings prior to 2020. These changes in question wording reflect the Center’s efforts to improve the way we measure news consumption.

Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This is the latest report in Pew Research Center’s ongoing investigation of the state of news, information and journalism in the digital age, a research program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Adults under 30 are the most likely group to say they regularly get news on TikTok. About a quarter of Americans in this age group (26%) 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.

A chart showing that a growing share of Tiktok's adult users say they regularly get news on the site.

More of TikTok’s U.S. 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.

Note: Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

Katerina Eva Matsa  is an associate director of journalism research at Pew Research Center.

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