TikTok Becomes Leading News Source For The Teenagers In The UK

credit: theguardian

UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Digital technology is revolutionizing the way people consume news, and leading this charge is TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing app. Recent findings from the UK regulator Ofcom reveal that TikTok has become the primary source of news for teenagers in the UK.

In a report titled “News Consumption in the UK 2022/23,” Ofcom highlights a remarkable shift in news consumption habits among teenagers. Surprisingly, 28% of British teenagers aged 12 to 15 now rely on TikTok for their news, surpassing the popularity of both YouTube and Instagram, which each hold a 25% share. So, what makes TikTok so captivating?

TikTok’s appeal lies in its user-friendly video format, relatable content creators, and its ability to personalize content based on individual preferences through the use of algorithms. While the BBC still holds the top spot as the most utilized news source, with a 39% share, TikTok’s rapid ascent serves as a wake-up call for traditional news outlets.

Tik Tok Catering To Diverse Interests Of Teenagers In The UK


According to a report by Ofcom, TikTok, despite its impressive following, only enjoys a trust rating of 32% among its teenage audience. In stark contrast, a whopping 82% of teenagers trust BBC One/Two. This stark contrast highlights the discerning nature of teenagers when it comes to news sources, emphasizing the crucial need for reliable information on platforms that are popular among younger audiences.

The range of news interests among teenagers is incredibly diverse. Their top interests include sports and sports personalities, music news, celebrities, UK happenings, and environmental news. In this regard, TikTok’s tailored feed has the potential to cater to these varied interests more effectively than traditional news outlets.

TikTok Captivating Young Audience In The UK 

By providing content that aligns with the specific interests of teenagers, TikTok has the opportunity to engage and captivate its young audience. This platform has the potential to become a reliable source of news and information, particularly for topics that resonate with teenagers. However, in order to gain the trust of this discerning demographic, TikTok must prioritize the delivery of accurate and trustworthy content.

In a world where misinformation and fake news run rampant, it is crucial for platforms like TikTok to recognize the responsibility they have in providing reliable information to their users. By doing so, they can not only enhance their trust rating among teenagers but also contribute to the cultivation of a more informed and educated younger generation.

Success Of Tik Tok Crosses All Boundaries 

The success of TikTok as a news source has made significant strides, transitioning from a mere content-sharing platform to becoming one of the top competitors in the search engine industry. Initially, news publishers were hesitant to explore TikTok as a platform. However, in the past year, their perspective has shifted.

Publishers have come to recognize the importance of connecting with TikTok’s predominantly young audience and combating misinformation on the platform. According to Ofcom’s report, there has been a noticeable shift in news consumption habits among individuals aged 16-24, particularly late teens and young adults. 

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TikTok Beating Trditional Media Sources 

This demographic largely disregards traditional media sources and instead relies heavily on social media platforms for news, with Instagram leading the way at 44%. TikTok is quickly gaining ground, being utilized by 29% of young adults and surpassing the popularity of BBC Radio 1 and Channel 5. Young adults do not prefer to read newspapers because they are more interested in checking out social media platforms. 

Despite the increasing influence of social media, broadcast TV news remains the primary source of news for UK adults, with a usage rate of 70%. When factoring in on-demand content, this figure rises to 75%. The influence of social media has grown so much and this has resulted in the failure of traditional media. Tik Tok is playing a pivotal role in engaging the young audience. 

BBC One continues to be the most widely used news source, boasting a usage rate of 49%, although it has experienced a gradual decline over the years. As media consumption behaviors continue to evolve, will traditional media adapt and cater to younger generations, or will they continue to focus solely on older demographics?

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.