An Ultimate Guide For Growth Of TikTok

The way that people get their news in recent years has been drastically altered by the rise of social media. Before the last twenty years, the majority of people still waited until they watched the evening news or read the morning paper to find out what was happening in the world. People now have instantaneous access to news reports. Many social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram deserve credit for this. Yet one online community has emerged as the de facto standard for the newest adults to get their news. So, that’s TikTok for you!
The platform’s humorous tone and emphasis on short-form videos may make its news content seem unlikely to some. TikTok, however, is ideal for today’s digital natives, who are accustomed to digesting information in short bursts. According to Ofcom’s report on the state of the UK news industry in 2022, TikTok is quickly becoming the country’s preferred news platform. Only about one in ten British adults (7%!) uses it to keep up with the news. 

This expansion is being propelled by the platform’s youngest users. Most TikTokers who say they check the app for news are younger than 24.

Why is TikTok Becoming Such a Popular Platform for Breaking News?

As the go-to platform for quirky humour and ironic content, TikTok has earned a reputation as the centre of positive, uplifting media. Why, then, have young people come to rely on it so heavily as a news resource?

There has been a great deal of political and social change in the last two years. Thrown in for good measure is a devastating global pandemic. People used social media to keep in touch with one another while holed up at home after the world as we knew it suddenly changed. TikTok was a natural fit for the most social media-savvy generation, Generation Z.

Startling Events in the News

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, may have been the single most important factor in the rise of TikTok as a news source. They were able to view first-hand footage of the conflict that had been uploaded and shared there. This helped establish TikTok as a platform for delivering information in its most authentic form. It helped shed light on events obscured by geopolitical tensions, competing narratives, and media bias.

Social media users have been treated to first-hand accounts of the conflict via TikTok. Video sent directly to their preferred social media platform, skipping the intermediary news organisations. The algorithm behind the video-sharing app TikTok has contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity as a news outlet. It’s programmed to provide users with material they’re most likely to enjoy interacting with.

Expansion Beyond the West

The UK and the West are not the only places where this trend has been observed. This rise of TikTok as a news source can be seen all over the world, as shown by Reuter’s 2022 Digital News Reports. More people in Latin America, Asia, and Africa are turning to TikTok as a source of information. This expansion has occurred at the same time as public faith in the media as a whole has declined. Only about four in ten people say they generally trust news outlets. This doesn’t prove that TikTok is more reliable than other forms of media in the eyes of its users. But it does demonstrate that audiences are actively seeking out non-traditional news sources.

A Break With Conventional News Sources Within the Youth

The percentage of adults aged 18 to 24 who get their news primarily from news websites fell from 50% in 2015 to 34% in 2022. Meanwhile, during this time period, social media rapidly became a top choice for many.

Influence of TikTok on the Media Industry

Politicians all over the world have taken note of the impact that TikTok is having. In his capacity as president of the United States, Donald Trump tried on multiple occasions to have the app banned, citing security concerns. Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s team decided to brief 30 popular creators on TikTok and YouTube directly on the conflict in Ukraine. The White House’s Director of Digital Strategy said in March that “an astonishing amount of people are learning about the invasion of Ukraine through digital creators who have begun covering it” via Twitter.

News Organizations Now Rely on Influencers

Users of the social media platform TikTok aren’t just getting their news from reputable outlets like newspapers and magazines. Ofcom found that the majority of TikTok users rely on their friends and trusted influencers as a source for news and information. Because of this, some people have started to doubt the veracity of the content they find on TikTok. However, there is no reason why TikTok cannot be used as an additional source of information on current affairs so long as users are aware that they should critically engage with the content they are consuming.

Media Organizations That Have Always Covered News Are Changing

However, this shifts the balance of power in the news industry towards citizen journalists and the general public. As a result, the dissemination of news has shifted. The trend towards shorter, easier-to-consume content isn’t unique to TikTok. Content that can be easily digested in a few bites has a better chance of going viral.

What It Comes Down To

It has not always been the case that traditional news outlets can meet the needs of today’s youth in times of crisis. TikTok has proved that it deserves to be taken seriously as a serious contender. The content on the platform ranges from the relatable to the raw news. Young adults naturally gravitate towards TikTok as a source of news and information.

Still, it’s not just a place where kids can get their news. It’s also a chance for them to be recognised internationally. Users can participate in the dialogue in a way that was previously impossible with broadcast news.