Among young people, TikTok and its “info-influencers” like Hugo Décrypte have already replaced traditional media and the print media. And the weight gained by social networks is only growing.
According to the study of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, very followed in the world of the media, the switch is well and truly over: the general public clearly uses social networks to get information (30%), to the detriment of direct access to a site or a media app (22%, compared to 32% in 2018).
For 43% of 18-24 year olds, largely accustomed to platforms, it is even the first source of information. The trend is global, with the study based on an online survey of some 94,000 people in 46 countries.
One in five young people get their news via TikTok
But the very hierarchy of social networks is changing. Thus, 20% of young people use now TikTok – yet singled out by several governments who accuse it of being a tool of influence or even espionage – to get information (+5 points over one year). And the proportion rises to around 30% in some countries like Thailand.
Even if Facebook continues to reign supreme for the entire population, young and old, the group, on the other hand, is losing its luster. Mark Zuckerberg’s platform, which reduced the place of “news” on the site, has largely declined: it fell from 42% to 28% between 2016 and 2023. YouTube has made a great breakthrough (20% in 2023, against 16% in 2014), illustrating, here again, the interest in video.
Journalists lose influence
Another troubling lesson from the study: the public’s attachment to celebrities and influencers for information, on most social networks, with the exception of Twitter. The trend is particularly true on TikTok, where respondents say 55% follow personalities, compared to only 33% of professional media or journalists. Even on Facebook, where the media retain their leadership (43%), the gap is ultimately quite small with personalities (38%), recalling that now Hugo Travers, Charles Villa or other Gaspard G are indeed the new stars some information.
Findings to be linked with a less appetite for information, in the broad sense, and less confidence in the media in general. Moreover, there are real “allergic”. More than a third (36%) say they avoid the news on certain days, a figure close to its record of last year (38%), by ignoring the news, by “scrolling” or by unsubscribing from notifications for example . In some countries like Greece or Bulgaria, it is even 57%.
In such a context, it is not surprising that the willingness to pay for information remains relatively low: 17% of respondents paid for a subscription or paid for information online last year in the all the countries studied. With only 11% for France, France is at the back of the pack. The figure is broadly stable for the second consecutive year, which raises the question of whether a peak has been reached. In a context of inflation, 47% of Americans, for example, have stopped their subscription or renegotiated its price.