The usage of social media has enormously grown in the past years, especially in 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic influencing at home restrictions for most of us.
Research reveals that just this year, the number of social media users increased to 3.96 billion globally. This is a surge and more than 10% from last year. Since half of the world’s population use social media now, it’s easy to say that social media also affected the way we see the world.
People who are wanting to know about the happenings and conditions of places where they can’t reach go to social media for easy access to information. From year to year, there have always been constant changes in the use of social media and how it relates to news. With the increased use in 2020, let’s see the impacts of social media on the news.
Increase in distribution
The year 2020 has found a way to put everyone on their feet when it comes to distributing information. People want reliable and accurate journalism, but with the restrictions in place, social media showed up to function as a better distributor. Social media gives more people access to a wider range of sources.
Across the globe, those aged between 18 and 25 have even weaker connections to those apps and websites. They often get their news by scrolling through platforms like Instagram or Twitter.
Pressure on local news companies
Most countries still have their local newspapers and websites as their top source of news about a region or town. The hit of the lockdown caused reductions in the reach of printed newspapers and magazines. It became a challenge to distribute physical copies.
However, research shows that Facebook and other social media platforms now hold an average of 31% of news and information on happenings around the world.
The Role of Social Media as a News Source
An interesting fact is how people believing or challenging the news is always related to the source. Most people find specific news sources trustworthy while they have doubts on some others.
Social media plays a significant role in giving people the privilege to share their points of view concerning particular News. Research shows that regardless of the common misinformation that may be on the internet, a large percentage of people prefer to get news from social media where they can also make their agreements, disagreements, suggestions, and express their thought through comments.
News in 2020 has experienced sudden changes across all age groups. There is an uplift in TV and social media, especially with the under-35s.
People are now compelled to trust the information they get from their social media, video sites, messaging applications, and their search engine results. Only a few of the older groups happen to continue to depend more on newspapers for their information than social media.