How TikTok has become a source of information for young people
TikTok is a popular app, released in 2016 and finding increased popularity over the past few years. The app typically attracts a Gen Z audience, most commonly used by those between 18 and 24. However, most people using the internet will have had some interaction with TikTok.
TikTok is more than just a platform for entertaining dance routines and lip-syncing videos. It has become a dynamic space where young people can not only express their creativity but also access and share valuable information. TikTok has become a news outlet and a source of information, marking a significant shift in how young people engage with content and use social media platforms.
The shift from social media platform to news outlet
In an era dominated by rapidly evolving digital landscapes, TikTok has emerged as more than just a social media platform; it has seamlessly transformed into a popular source of information. The app’s engaging format, characterised by short-form videos and innovative content creation, has facilitated a paradigm shift in the way information is disseminated and consumed. Users, once drawn primarily to entertaining dances and catchy challenges, are now turning to TikTok for real-time news updates, citizen journalism, and diverse perspectives on current events. The platform’s algorithmic set-up ensures that trending topics, ranging from global affairs to local news, can be accessed by users who are interested in this. This metamorphosis underscores TikTok’s growing influence as a dynamic hub for information exchange, redefining the boundaries between social interaction and news consumption in the digital age.
Although the idea of using social media as a news source raises the risk of misinformation and ‘fake news’, it can be said that many people are turning to social media for more reliable information, given that many ‘neutral’ presenting official news outlets, have repeatedly depicted global and local events in a biased way. This ranges from the language which is chosen and the information the platform selects to share. When news outlets share biased views of global and local events, people are forced to find information elsewhere and social media platforms have become a great source of news information, with the opportunity to hear directly from those effected by war or catastrophe.
Why are more people turning to TikTok as a news source?
There are many other reasons why people are turning to TikTok as a news source. Below is a list of some of the benefits of using social media, and TikTok specifically, as a source of information.
1. Access to bite-sized snippets of information:
TikTok’s unique format of short videos, limited to just 60 seconds, has given rise to a new form of education – bite-sized learning. Users are now turning to TikTok for quick, digestible information on a wide range of topics, from science and history to personal development and life hacks. Creators are crafting content that condenses complex concepts into easily understandable snippets, making learning more accessible and engaging for the younger demographic.
2. DIY tutorials and life hacks:
TikTok has become a go-to platform for DIY enthusiasts and life hackers. From cooking recipes to home improvement projects, users share step-by-step tutorials in a visually appealing and entertaining manner. The platform’s interactive nature allows viewers to ask questions and engage with creators directly, fostering a sense of community around shared interests.
3. Health and wellness advice:
With a growing focus on health and wellness, TikTok has become a hub for fitness routines, mental health tips, and nutritional advice. Professionals in these fields utilise the platform to reach a broader audience, offering quick exercises, mindfulness techniques, and dietary insights. TikTok’s algorithm helps users discover content tailored to their interests, promoting a healthier lifestyle in a personalized and accessible way.
4. Social and cultural awareness:
TikTok has proven to be a powerful tool for raising awareness about social and cultural issues. Hashtag challenges and trends are often used to spread messages related to activism, sustainability, and inclusivity. The platform’s global reach allows users to gain insights into diverse perspectives, fostering a sense of empathy and understanding among the younger generation.
5. Entrepreneurship and career guidance:
Young entrepreneurs are leveraging TikTok to share their journeys, providing valuable insights into various industries and career paths. From freelancing tips to advice on starting a business, the platform has become a source of inspiration for those navigating the complexities of the professional world. TikTok’s interactive features also enable aspiring professionals to connect with mentors and seek guidance on their career paths.
What is the future of TikTok as a source of information?
TikTok’s evolution from a platform purely for entertainment to a multifaceted source of information reflects the changing dynamics of social media and content consumption. The platform’s unique format and user-friendly interface have empowered young people to not only showcase their creativity but also access a wealth of knowledge across diverse subjects. As TikTok continues to shape the online landscape, it’s clear that its impact on information dissemination and learning will play a significant role in the digital era. In conclusion, TikTok’s trajectory as a burgeoning source of information underscores its transformative influence on digital communication, paving the way for a dynamic future where creativity, entertainment, and knowledge converge seamlessly for a global audience.
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