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X Is Losing Ground as a News Source per Report

by California Digital News

Despite claims that X is becoming a more trustworthy source of news and information, social media users are relying on the platform less and less for such, with TikTok now a bigger source of news coverage in many regions.

That’s according to the latest Reuters Institute Digital News Report, which looks at how people are accessing news content around the world, and the role that social platforms are playing in such.

The report incorporates responses from more than 94k respondents, from 47 nations, providing the most comprehensive snapshot of global news consumption habits.

You can download the full report here, but in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key notes.

First off, the report shows that the use of Facebook and X for news content is declining, as TikTok sees a marked rise.

Reuters Institute Global News Report 2024

In the case of Facebook, that’s not a big surprise considering that Meta has been making a conscious effort to distance itself from news coverage, and the divisive nature of political discussion in its apps.

But X has been making a bigger push to become a key news and information source, with Elon Musk looking to establish the platform as the most trusted and truthful source for such. Musk has also regularly touted the app’s standing as the top news app in many countries (X is listed in the “News” category on the App Store, as opposed to “Social Media”), citing this as a key reason why “legacy” media wants his X project to fail.

But this report suggests that’s not the case, and that even TikTok is now besting it as a news source.

TikTok’s rise in this respect could also be why authorities in the U.S., and other regions, are concerned about the growing influence of the app, with its ties to the C.C.P. potentially enabling the platform to seed pro-China coverage with Western audiences.

In terms of overall news sources on social, YouTube and Facebook remain the most used platforms for news:

Reuters Institute Global News Report 2024

Again, X still seemingly has a way to go to establish itself as a key source for news consumers, while many also noted that they find it difficult to determine the trustworthiness of content on X.

Reuters Institute Global News Report 2024

These are some interesting notes on the evolution of online news sources, and the way in which social platforms are being used for such.

And while the overall trends are no big surprise, it is worth noting the shifts in relation to each app, and how that relates to their broader news approach.

You can access the full Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024 here.

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