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[REPORT] The Surprising Way Most TikTok Users View News On The Platform

A new study from the Pew Research Center offers insights into how Americans experience news on the popular video-sharing app TikTok. The findings reveal that regardless of whether TikTok users actively seek out news content, the vast majority encounter news-adjacent posts and information on the platform.

Among TikTok users surveyed, 84% reported seeing funny posts referencing current events, while 80% reported encountering people expressing opinions about current events. Over half also indicate seeing news articles (57%) or information about breaking news as it unfolds (55%) on the platform.

[REPORT] The Surprising Way Most TikTok Users View News On The Platform

“Our survey looks at U.S. TikTok users’ experiences with getting news,” the Pew researchers state. “Regardless of whether they turn to TikTok for news, most users see news-related content.”

This dynamic underscores TikTok’s growing presence as an unintentional news source, particularly among younger audiences. The study finds that 44% of TikTok news consumers are ages 18 to 29, contributing to the 14% of all U.S. adults who regularly get news on the video app.

When seeking out news on TikTok, users encounter a diverse array of sources. Around two-thirds get news from influencers or celebrities (68%) and news outlets or journalists (67%). Over half (55%) get news from advocacy or nonprofit organizations.

[REPORT] The Surprising Way Most TikTok Users View News On The Platform

However, the most common source cited is accounts from “other people they don’t know personally” (84%), highlighting TikTok’s decentralized nature compared to other social media news environments.

The survey explored views on the accuracy, with 23% of TikTok news consumers saying they “extremely or fairly often” see inaccurate news on the platform. Around half (49%) report sometimes encountering suspected misinformation.

[REPORT] The Surprising Way Most TikTok Users View News On The Platform

As lawmakers raise concerns over TikTok’s Chinese ownership and the potential for content influence, most TikTok news consumers believe the app impacts what they see at least somewhat. 18% say TikTok influences their news feed “a lot,” with 44% saying “some” influence occurs.

There are political divisions in how unique TikTok’s news content is perceived. 35% overall say the app provides news they wouldn’t get elsewhere, but Democrats (33%) are more likely than Republicans (18%) to view TikTok’s news as widely available on other platforms. Read the full report here.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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