New generation increasingly turning to Instagram for news

Posted on June 23, 2020


According to a new report, which looked at the digital news sector, Instagram is well on its way to becoming a more popular source for news than Twitter – particularly with the younger generation.

The Reuters Institute Digital News report for 2020 found that the number of users turning to the popular photo-sharing platform for news has more than doubled in the last two years. It is reported that users in the 18-24 age category are the driving force behind this shift for Instagram becoming a popular news source with two thirds of those in this bracket stating that they use the platform for this purpose.

Across all age ranges, 11% of respondents in the study stated that they use Instagram as a news source, which is marginally behind Twitter (12%). This may take some by surprise as the platform has not traditionally been considered as a source for obtaining the latest news, especially with Twitter’s forte being real-time news updates. It is anticipated that Instagram’s visual content specialisation is the variable that makes it more appealing as a news source for the younger generation.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, remains the go-to social network for news, with 36% of respondents stating they use this platform for news.

Despite many users increasingly using social media as a news source, the Reuters report found that it is the least trusted source. In the US, just 14% trust the news they come across on social media, in comparison to 22% who find news within search engines.

Overall, the report has found that the younger age groups are considerably more likely to access news through a social media channel than a website or dedicated news app. This is something that businesses posting news content to their social channels should bear in mind, particularly if their products, services and industry are predominantly aimed at the younger generation.

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Alan Littler
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