We’ve written about TikTok’s emerging presence in our lives, with users doing far more than just aimless scrolling and fearless dancing. As users continue to utilize the app for such valuable activities as Search and shopping, TikTok takes on an ever-increasing importance to publishers.
And in 2022, more publishers around the world got the message. According to a recent study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, almost half (49%) of top news publishers are publishing content regularly on TikTok, a “large proportion” of whom joined the platform in just the last year.
The 2022 Reuters Institute Digital News Report tracked publishers in 44 international markets. In his executive summary, Senior Research Associate Nic Newman said that organizations “are attracted by the fast-growing audience and younger demographic, but they are also motivated by the desire to provide reliable news, amid fears about widespread misinformation on the platform.”
Publisher adoption in the United States is at 77%, while the study found that a larger majority of Indonesian (90%), Australian (89%), Spanish (86%), French (86%), and UK (81%) publishers “operate active accounts.”
Newman’s summary acknowledges publishers who are avoiding or “engaging cautiously,” worried about the “trivializing” of vital news stories as well as the larger free-speech concerns due to TikTok’s Chinese ownership.
(Those publishers aren’t the only entities critical of TikTok here in the States. Just this week, more state governments have prohibited TikTok use on official devices due to surveillance and security concerns, and U.S. lawmakers announced bipartisan legislation aiming to ban the platform entirely.)
Newman says news publishers want TikTok to treat their hard-hitting, legitimate channels and stories differently, hoping that TikTok will “offer greater prominence, more transparency, better monetization opportunities, and access to more detailed demographic data.” According to MediaPost, the top U.S. news publishers by TikTok account are:
- NowThis (5.5 million)
- ABC News (4.6 million)
- NBC News (3.9 million)
- CBS News (3 million)
- NowThis Politics (3 million)
- Yahoo! News (2.2 million)
- Brut America (1.8 million)
- Washington Post (1.5 million)
- USA Today (1.5 million)
- CNN (1.2 million)
- MSNBC (1.1 million)