UK: Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are top news sources for teenagers


UKInstagram, TikTok, and YouTube are great teen news sources

12-15 year olds find less reliable information on social media, but prefer it because of their wider range of opinions on current topics.

For the first time, Instagram (29%) tops the list of information sources among 12-15 year olds.

For the first time, Instagram (29%) tops the list of information sources among 12-15 year olds.


According to a study by the British media regulator published on Thursday, the social networks Instagram and TikTok and the video platform YouTube represent the three main sources of information among young people in the United Kingdom. For the first time, Instagram (29%) is the leading source of information among 12-15 year olds, ahead of TikTok and YouTube at 28%, according to Ofcom.

The BBC One and BBC Two channels, the main sources of information for teenagers five years ago, have dropped to fifth place: 24% of them get information on these channels, compared to 45% previously. Facebook is next with 22% ahead of Sky News (19%).

Decline of traditional sources

Among over-16s, the amount of public interest and information channels is now lower than it was before the pandemic, reflecting the “long-term decline” of traditional television. “Teenagers are less likely to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news on TV, preferring instead to stay up-to-date by browsing their social networks,” said Yih-Choung Teh, director of strategy and research at Ofcom.

TikTok is considered unreliable

“If young people find social networks less reliable, they like it because it offers a variety of opinions on the hot topics of the day,” he continued. Despite being popular among young people, only 30% of them are rated as trusting TikTok for news. Among adults, 71% of respondents consider television the most trusted medium and social networks the least trusted (35% trust them). Compared to 2020 (47%) and 2018 (51%), magazine, online and paper use among adults is declining at 38%.


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