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How publishers are learning to create and distribute news on TikTok

Reuters Institute: “TikTok is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing social networks with its addictive algorithm surfacing an endless stream of short, entertaining videos. Until recently the network had a reputation built almost exclusively on fast-moving, funny or musical memes, but stories such as Black Lives Matter, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine have helped make news a much bigger part of the mix. Changes to the platform, enabling longer videos and the promotion of live streams, have also made TikTok more attractive for news publishers looking to engage younger audiences. Despite this, our Reuters Institute Digital News Report research suggests that news on TikTok is still mostly generated by social media influencers, activists, or ordinary people rather than by journalists. Qualitative studies of younger consumers show that although TikTok is loved for its humour and engaging presentation, many worry about the credibility of the information they see there and the potential for misinformation and disinformation.Understanding the nature of news on any social platform is a huge endeavour given the highly personalised nature of the experience and the limited availability of public data. Partly for these reasons, in this report we focus mainly on the production of content for TikTok by publishers, as well as some independent news creators. We have tracked the extent of publisher activity across more than 40 countries, one of the first attempts to do this, and interviewed some of the most successful news organisations such as the Washington Post, Sky News, and Le Monde about their motivations and key learnings…”

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