At a time when influencers are becoming the authoritative figure of information, the younger generation of today is finding such people to be a credible source of news, almost a substitute for bona fide journalists.
The notion comes as no surprise, considering also the finding by the Reuters Institute that sheds light on the power that comes with being an influencer, especially in shaping the mind of young social media users.
In the study, it is revealed that a majority of Snapchat and TikTok users—or 55 percent—are sourcing their news from the so-called “personalities.” Instagram users are not too far off either, with 52 percent claiming the same.
Meanwhile, some 33-42 percent are still using the traditional mainstream media as a credible source of information in knowing the goings-on around them and the world.
Per Yahoo! News, the study took the participation of 94,000 individuals from across 46 countries.
Ang while Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have become the outlet for influencers to spread information, the study also shows that other platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, remain a bastion for customary journalism—leading the discussions on relevant topics by the mainstream sources.
Yet, even Facebook’s reign as the champion for mainstream news, through its popularity as a social media platform, is starting to fade. In 2016, 42 percent of respondents from a similar study claimed that Facebook was their news outlet. But this number has seen a dramatic change recently when it plummeted to just 28 percent.