Publishers have seen a significant shift in how people consume news over the last decade. Social media platforms have become one of the most popular ways to access digital information despite starting as networking opportunities. In September 2022, at least half of American adults reported receiving at least some news from social media sources compared to radio, television, and paper publications.
Some platforms are more popular for news publications than others. Let’s take a look at where most consumers find their news.
Popular Social Media News Source Platforms
You can find news publications on all social media platforms, but some are better for publishing than others. Among U.S. adults who regularly get their news from social media sources, about a third of adults reported using Facebook, around 31%.
Here’s how the other platforms performed in both platform use percentages and news consumption percentages:
- YouTube: 82% use; 20% news
- Twitter: 27% use; 14% news
- Instagram: 47% use; 13% news
- TikTok: 30% use; 10% news
- Reddit: 22% use; 8% news
- LinkedIn: 31% use; 4% news
- Snapchat: 27% use; 4% news
- Nextdoor: 19% use; 4% news
- WhatsApp: 25% use; 3% news
- Twitch: 9% use; 1% news
When looking at the numbers, publishers may automatically discount the platforms with smaller percentages, mislabeling them as a waste of time–hold on a second. It helps first to look at the rate of adults who use the app before determining the percentage’s weight.
Some apps have smaller active users, but a higher percentage of these are looking to use the apps for news consumption. For instance, at least 27% of adults use Twitter, and at least half use the app to consume news. On the other hand, 47% of U.S. adults use Instagram, but only 29% regularly consuming news.
If you measure the number of people who regularly get news from social media based on their specific user counts, the percentages change:
- Twitter: 53%
- Facebook: 44%
- Reddit: 37%
- YouTube: 30%
- Instagram: 29%
- TikTok: 30%
- Snapchat: 15%
- LinkedIn: 13%
- Twitch: 13%
- WhatsApp: 10%
Demographics of Social Media Users
Men and women are using social media as new sources but on different apps. Some platforms significantly attract more men/women than others, while platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are closer in percentages:
- Facebook (35% men, 63% women)
- YouTube (55% men, 43% women)
- Instagram (37% men, 60% women)
- TikTok (37% men, 59% women)
- Reddit (67% men, 29% women)
- LinkedIn (52% men, 46% women)
- Snapchat (38% men, 57% women)
- Nextdoor (33% men, 66% women)
Social Media News Trends Change
Similar to everything else on social media, trends change. TikTok has seen an increase in the percentage of users using the platform for news consumption: 22% in 2022, 29% in 2021, and 33% in 2022. While other platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, and Instagram, have experienced a steady decline.
Before determining your social media publishing strategy, do your research. Start by pushing content on platforms that already perform high in news consumption and with a high percentage of users who use the platform specifically for news. In the future, another social media source may prove more successful. The most crucial step is to try more than one and readjust as trends come and go.