Gen Z Turns to TikTok More Than Other Social Platforms for News

March 14, 2023

Google search is generally the first port of call for American adults across generations when they want to start researching a major news event, but the consensus among age cohorts begins and ends with that platform, according to survey results from Morning Consult.

Beyond Google search, Morning Consult also asked adults if they use a variety of social media platforms, as well as news publisher websites, to start researching major news events.

One in 10 (10% of) US adults reported that they use a news publisher’s website for such research, followed by YouTube (9%) and Facebook (9%).

However it’s a very different story for Gen Zers. This young generation turns to TikTok next, with 1 in 7 (14%) saying they use the platform to research major news events. This makes them more likely to turn to TikTok than YouTube (13%), with no other social platform breaking the double-digit mark.

The results bring to mind an earlier study from Pew Research, in which 1 in 10 adults professed to getting news from TikTok, with the majority of those adults being ages 18-29.

Meanwhile, Gen Zers and Millennials are more likely than average to use Twitter and Instagram for news research. Somewhat surprisingly, Millennials are the most apt to turn to Facebook for this purpose.

Just 6% of Gen Z adults surveyed said they use news publishers’ websites to start researching a major news event, the lowest portion of any generation.

However, news publishers shouldn’t necessarily despair about the younger generations. That’s because 36% of Gen Z adults and Millennials (combined) said they pay for at least 1 online news subscription. That’s more than double the share (16%) of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers (combined) who said the same.

The results indicate that 15% of the younger generations pay for 1-2 online news subscriptions, while 21% share pay for 3 or more. The only other demographic cohort tested that matched that level of subscription activity was the $100K+ income group, among whom 17% pay for 1-2 subscriptions and an additional 22% pay for 3 or more.

For more results, check out the survey here.

About the Data: The results are based on a February survey of 2,199 US adults (18+).


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