Filipinos increasingly turning to TikTok for news as Facebook usage declines

  • , by Balikbayan Store
  • 2 min reading time

Filipinos are shifting away from traditional social media platforms like Facebook for news and increasingly relying on TikTok, reflecting a broader global trend. The change in news consumption habits was highlighted in the Reuters Institute Digital News Report (DNR) released on June 17.

The report reveals a significant drop in the use of Facebook for news in the Philippines, with a decline from 72% to 61% over the past year. This 11-point decrease is notably higher than the average 4-point drop observed across all markets. Facebook, which once dominated the Philippine digital landscape, is losing ground as more users turn to video-centric platforms like TikTok.

TikTok's popularity as a news source has grown, with its usage rising from 21% to 23% in the past year, placing the Philippines among the top 10 markets for TikTok as a news source. The trend is even more pronounced among young adults aged 18 to 24, with TikTok usage for news surging from 3% in 2020 to 30% this year.

This shift is part of a larger global decline in the use of traditional social media platforms for news, driven by the rise of video networks and private messaging apps that offer more personalized and engaging news experiences. The report also notes a general unease among internet users about content generated by artificial intelligence (AI), though there is less discomfort with AI assisting journalists in tasks like transcribing interviews or summarizing research.

The DNR 2024, regarded as the most comprehensive global study of news consumption trends, drew data from an online survey conducted with 94,943 adults across 47 media markets, including 2,104 Filipinos.

In addition to the decline in Facebook's usage, other traditional social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook Messenger have also seen drops in their use for news among Filipinos. YouTube's usage decreased from 55% to 45%, while Facebook Messenger dropped from 33% to 26%.

Despite these changes, social media remains the leading platform for watching online news videos in the Philippines, with Facebook being the most used. However, the growing preference for short news videos, particularly among younger audiences, indicates a shift towards more accessible and engaging formats.

The fragmentation in news consumption and the decline of traditional social media's role for news coincide with ongoing "platform resets," where platforms like Meta and X (formerly Twitter) are shifting their focus away from news and publishers towards other content creators.

The report also highlights the evolving roles of online influencers and traditional journalists as news sources, with influencers and celebrities increasingly dominating platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Despite these changes, traditional media brands and journalists still hold prominent positions on platforms like Facebook and X.

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