Global: To what extent do people use social media to catch up on the news?

Samuel TanAPAC Data Journalist / B2B Content Manager
July 29, 2022, 4:17 AM GMT+0

In late July, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is shifting engineering and product support away from its News tab and Bulletin newsletter platform, and towards pushing more video content from social media creators.

But to what extent do people today – around the world – use social media as a source for keeping up with the news?

Latest data from YouGov Global Profiles – the world's largest globally consistent audience dataset – reveals that more than two in three consumers in Indonesia and Vietnam use social media as a source of news: the highest among a global survey of 28 markets.

Consumers in the Philippines (63%) are the next most likely in APAC to catch up on news through their social media feeds, followed by those in Malaysia (56%), Taiwan (56%) and Singapore (55%). In contrast, consumers in Australia are the least likely in the region to use social media as a source of news (33%).

In EMEA, just under two in three consumers in South Africa (64%) use social media as a source of news, ahead of more than half in Egypt (62%), UAE (55%), Poland (54%) and Saudi Arabia (51%). In contrast, around just one quarter of consumers in UK (25%) and France (24%), and less than one-fifth of those in Germany (18%) use social media as a source of news – the lowest in the region.

At more than half, consumers in Brazil (54%) are the most likely in AMERS to catch up on news via social media. The next two highest markets in the region, Mexico (43%) and Canada (36%) are below the global average in the proportion of consumers who use social media to follow the news. Meanwhile, less than a third of consumers in the USA (31%) turn to social media to keep abreast of the news.

When analysed by age, consumers aged 18-33 years made up the majority of those who use social media as a source of news in Vietnam, Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia and China and half of those in Taiwan.

And in most other markets, consumers aged 18-33 years are still the age group that make up the largest proportion of those who use social media as a source of news – except in Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Spain – where consumers aged 34-49 years are the relatively largest group.

Consumers aged 50-65 years who use social media as a source of news are largest in Poland, Brazil, Hong Kong and Spain (all over one-eighth of consumers), followed by Italy, Romania, Thailand and Mexico (all over one-tenth of consumers).

  • To receive monthly insights about the media and content sector register here.
  • To read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the media industry explore here.

Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.