Whether you like it or not – whether you use social platforms for this purpose or don’t – the fact of the matter is that a lot of people are now getting at least some of their daily news and current affairs content from social media apps.
Which can be problematic, for various reasons. For one, social platform algorithms seek to maximize engagement, which often sees more divisive, more argumentative content get more reach, because it sparks more debate.
Algorithms are also attuned to your likes and interests, based on past engagement, which can lead to filter bubbles where you’re seeing fewer alternative viewpoints, while it can also mean that your political views are being shaped, one way or another, by your connections, and what they share in their feeds.
There’s no real way around this, but what’s equally interesting to consider is the impact that this may be having around the world, and how people in different regions now rely on social platforms for news content.
Which is what this new study from YouGov digs into. Based on its Global Profiles pool, which includes over 43,000 from people around the world, YouGov has put together a new overview of which nations rely on social platforms for news content the most.
As you can see in the below chart, 2 in 3 consumers in Indonesia and Vietnam now use social media as a source of news, which means that social platforms have a huge amount of influence over information flow in these regions.
South Africa and the Philippines are next on the list, while the US is down at 23rd, which provides some interesting perspective on how global trends are being influenced by social media discussion.
That’s why Meta’s efforts to combat misinformation in regions like Myanmar are crucial, and why Twitter’s resistance of Government suppression requests are important.
Some interesting notes to consider – check out YouGov’s full chart overview below.