Social media platforms have outstripped television channels as the prominent sources of news for teenage Britons, new research revealed.
According to telecommunications and broadcasting regulator Ofcom’s findings, Instagram has become the most popular news source among teenagers. Some 29 per cent of youngsters used the platform for news in 2022, followed closely by TikTok and YouTube with 28 per cent each.
BBC One and BBC Two channels, which together were once the most popular news sources for teens, are now relegated to fifth place.
The research found that just 24 per cent of teens used TV channels for news during the current year, compared to 45 per cent five years ago.
Among the news channels, BBC One continues to be the most used news source among all adults.
In the worrying trend for broadcasters, news viewing on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News channel, ITV and Sky News has gone below the pre-pandemic level, the Ofcom report said.
However, TV channels score over social media in terms of trust. Some 71 per cent of adult Britons trust TV as the source of news while 35 per cent of the respondents feel social media is the least reliable.
About half of teenage users of YouTube and Twitter think trustworthy news stories are provided on the new age platforms.
Within social media, TikTok has seen the largest growth as a news source since 2020. The number of adults in the UK dependent on it for news shot up from 0.8 million in 2020 to 3.9 million in 2022, driven primarily by younger age groups. Its market share rose from 1 per cent to the current seven per cent during the period.
According to the findings, half of its news users are aged 16 to 24.