A new study has confirmed the irrefutable power of YouTube.
The poll, conducted by survey software company Survey Monkey and child education nonprofit Common Sense, found that today’s teens are turning away from traditional news organizations to find out about current events from online influencers on social media platforms like YouTube. Fifty percent of teens surveyed say they get their news from YouTube, while 54% said they get their news from other hubs like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Furthermore, of the teens who turn to YouTube for news several times each week, 60% said that they are more likely to seek out news content delivered by influencers and digital creators as opposed to traditional news organizations on YouTube. The study also found that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is key to this consumption, with 50% of teen viewers saying they find news on via the platform’s recommendation algorithm. Only 27% subscribe to a specific channel for news, according to the study, while 10% search for news on YouTube and 7% check out news videos recommended by friends.
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In statements, both SurveyMonkey and Common Sense execs noted the potential dangers of teens increasingly looking to non-traditional news sources.
“While it’s notable that teens rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to stay informed, their reliance on news from celebrities and influencers rather than journalists may have pernicious implications,” Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer, said in a statement. “It’s a bit of a paradox: overwhelmingly teens say they are interested in keeping up with the news, but they’re not seeking out either traditional or new media to do so.”
The study was conducted via SurveyMonkey in June among 1,005 participants in the U.S. aged 13 to 17. You can check out additional findings right here.