Social Media Is Becoming Americans’ Main News Source

Americans under 34 now rely on social media as their top news source, and 60% of those aged 18 to 24 spend more than six hours a week on social platforms, according to a new media trends report by YouGov.

The recently released US Media Morph: 2024 Trend Report finds TV news is quickly losing its dominance to social, including among Americans aged 55 or older who remain the largest demographic group to watch live TV.

It provides a picture of evolving media consumption trends in the U.S., and consumer response to advertising within social apps.

The report finds that:

  • 50% more American consumers are turning to social media channels for news, compared to 2019 data.
  • Only a quarter of U.S. adults in 2023 say TV is their primary news source, down from 31% in 2019.
  • Nearly 20% say social is their main news source.
  • Almost half of Americans (46%) now spend more than six hours a week on social platforms.
  • Facebook is still the most popular social networking platform – used by 68% of Americans – and Facebook Messenger, the most used messaging platform.
  • Video-first platforms like YouTube and TikTok see significant growth in their usage rate among U.S. consumers; now 51% for the former, and 26% for the latter.
  • WhatsApp tops messaging platforms in terms of the highest growth in usage since 2021.
  • Streaming & on-demand TV is the fastest growing ad medium for consumer attention, increasing by 4% from 2019 to reach 12% last year.
  • Consumers are more willing to pay for access to digital magazine content; 26% of American consumers in 2023 versus 19% in 2019 – a 7% increase.
  • More than half of Americans (53%) believe “ads are a waste of time,” up from 48% in 2019.
  • The percentage of those who say ads “help me choose what I buy” is down slightly, from 49% in 2019 to 46% last year.

“When it comes to media consumption, the new favorite channels are streaming video and social,” said Ryan Gmerek, YouGov America’s VP. “Americans who are 55 or older are increasingly turning to streaming and social for entertainment and news too.”

You can read the full report by YouGov here.

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