Instagram ‘to overtake Twitter as a news source’


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The application for sharing photos Instagram is ready to surpass Twitter as a news source, suggests a research.

The report of 2020 Reuters Institute Digital News discovered that the use of Instagram for news had doubled since 2018.

The tendency is stronger among young people. He said that nearly a quarter of the young people of the Uk between the ages of 18 and 24 years old used Instagram as a source of news about the coronavirus.

But social media platforms also were among the sources less reliable.

Only 26% of people said they relied on social networks as a source of information about the virus. A similar percentage said they relied on news stories that were shared through chat applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

In contrast, 59% of respondents relied on national governments and news organizations.

Now more than a third of all the people who responded to the survey use Instagram, and two-thirds of those under 25 years of age. And 11% use it for news, putting him only a point behind Twitter.

“Instagram has become very popular among the younger people,” said Nic Newman, the principal author of the report. “They really respond well to the stories that are told simply and well with visual images”.

The visual stories outstanding in the last few months have helped: climate change, the movement Black Lives Matter and the coronaviruses have seen a massive commitment in the platform.

Use of news versus use that is not news in the social networks

Percentage of people who used the social network last week

“It is not that one necessarily replace the other,” said Newman. “They could use Facebook and Instagram, or they could use Twitter and Instagram”.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which now reaches 85% of the people each week. The domain of the company in how they tell the stories “still incredibly important”, he added. The firm also owns WhatsApp.

Temporary increase of the confidence

The pandemic coronavirus also seems to have offered a temporary respite to a downward trend in the number of news organizations in the trust.

Only 38% of people said that they trusted the news most of the time. Less than half, 46%, said they trusted their favorite news source.

In total, we surveyed 40 countries. Only in six of them the majority said it would rely on “the most news most of the time”.

The case was particularly poor in the Uk, where only 28% of the respondents supported the statement. That figure was 12 percentage points lower than the response of the nation in the report of 2019.

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This fall in confidence was only matched by Chile and Hong Kong, which have seen violent street protests, and even have a classification higher than the Uk, with 30% each.

But things changed substantially once it came to the crisis of the coronavirus.

A question a little different in April, about the level of trust in the information on the coronavirus, he saw the news organizations increase to a rating of confidence of 59%, on par with the national governments.

Trust in sources of information Covid-19

Average of six countries, April 2020

The authors of the report speculate with identical levels of trust as a result of news organisations to expand public health advice.

But that sudden rise has already begun to fall.

Trust is a precious commodity for journalists, like all social goods, is easily destroyed, but not created easily. To maintain confidence in the era of social networks it becomes more difficult each day, as conspiracy theories become viral, the accuracy is sacrificed too often in the altar of the virality, and the very idea of truth is highly controversial.

This report shows a curious paradox in relation to the trust. It is true that confidence in what is sometimes disparagingly called journalism conventional is declining; however, the great public of the mass media at the beginning of the pandemic is nothing more than a verdict on the appetite public for the news to be reliable and reliable. In Great Britain, with its regulated transmission, there is still a lot of that.

The deeper question is whether a young audience it will draw.

Reuters shows the remarkable growth of Instagram as a news source, which makes the purchase of Facebook is looking increasingly like one of the best bargains of the story. If, as predicted by the authors, Instagram surpasses Twitter in the next year, that could be the time for journalists to finally realize that this last, although his favorite platform, it seems increasingly less to public opinion.

“What we are seeing are relatively high levels of trust, at the time of the blockades, in the media and national governments. But we have a few polls since then, which shows that the trust in media fell by 11 percentage points between April and may, ” Said Mr. Newman.

Although not officially form part of the report, recent surveys suggest that the “moment of national unity” may have passed.

News fair

In the midst of all this analysis of trust problems, most people, what the report calls the “silent majority”, they prefer what they consider news, “objective.”

The authors of the report had not made this question from 2013, since the use of the opinion and the positions open in the news reports has grown.

In nine countries where they explored this, they all said that they prefer news sources with no “point of view”.

The preference was strongest in Germany, Japan, the Uk and Denmark. These are “all countries with public broadcasters strong and independent”, the report noted.

In contrast, the united States, “where both the political as the media have become increasingly partisan over the years, many more people said that they preferred news that shared their point of view.

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BBC News, which provided data to the study, continued to be the brand most trusted news in the United Kingdom, with 64% confidence.

“Despite the fact that the BBC has been the subject of much criticism, what we find consistently is that the BBC continues to be very reliable for the majority of the people,” said Newman. “[It]along with broadcasters such as ITV, tends to be the most reliable.

“But obviously, we have seen that the erosion, particularly with a minority of particularly vocal to the left and to the right, which in recent years has relied less on the BBC”.

The decline is particularly marked in those on the political left. Since the elections of 2019, the left saw that their trust in the news is reduced to only 15%, according to the report.


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