Marketing 2 min read

Report: More People are now Using Instagram as a News Source

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ArthurStock /

Six years ago, about 11 percent of internet users worldwide used Twitter as a news source. At the time, only 3 percent of users relied on Instagram for the same purpose.

Today, the story is different.

According to Reuters Digital News Report, 11 percent of internet users across the globe now rely on Instagram for news. Meanwhile, Twitter is barely hanging on to that top spot, with its 12 percent.

So, what changed? It turns out that more young people are now using Instagram as a news source.

The report revealed that 12 percent of adults in the United States used Instagram for coronavirus-related news in April. More than double that amount — about 26 percent — between ages 18 and 24 used the photo-sharing app for the same purpose.

One reason Instagram is popular among the younger generation is its story-telling format. Although the text remains the most common mode of digital news consumption, younger people prefer a visual format of news than the older generation.

What does the data mean for advertising?

How Advertisers Must Adapt to Instagram as a News Source

According to eMarketer, brand safety could become an issue for advertisers if Instagram becomes a primary news destination.

The photo-sharing app has always been lifestyle-oriented, without the political baggage associated with Facebook and Twitter. As a result, brands could safely advertise on the platform without fear of audience backlash.

But that’s changing as more news content pop-up on the platform.

For example, many Instagram influencers were criticized for continuing marketing campaigns amid nationwide protests. Likewise, posting sponsored content may seem tone-deaf, considering the state of the nation.

Instagram could attract more heat as users engage with sensitive or controversial news content on the app. If that happens, the social media platform may have to introduce a measure to ensure brand safety, says eMarketer

“...the same way Twitter had to purge accounts and make changes to its metrics in order to reduce ads’ appearances next to hateful content.”

Read More: Sites may Need Permission to Embed Instagram Photos

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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