The Reuters Institute Digital News Report for 2020 found that across age groups, the use of Instagram for news has doubled since 2018.
In his executive summary, Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate at the institute, said “new digital behaviours” have emerged in the coronavirus crisis which are “likely to have long-term implications”.
“Many have joined Facebook or WhatsApp groups for the first time and have engaged in local groups.
“Young people have consumed more news through services like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok,” he said.
🌎 Digital News Report 2020 out today!
— Reuters Institute (@risj_oxford) June 16, 2020
Newman’s comments come after a survey, conducted in April, found that almost a quarter of 18-24 year olds in the UK used Instagram as a source of news for COVID-19 in the last week.
This was followed by Snapchat with 19% and TikTok at 6%.
Elsewhere, in a survey of six countries – including the UK – the Reuters Institute found that 24% of people used WhatsApp to “find, discuss, or share news” about the coronavirus.
“Around a fifth (18%) joined a support or discussion group with people they didn’t know on either Facebook or WhatsApp specifically to talk about COVID-19 and half (51%) took part in groups with colleagues, friends or family.
“One in ten accessed closed video chats using platforms like Zoom, Houseparty, and Google Hangouts – many for the first time,” Newman added.
The full data can be found at on the Digital News Report website.