I use Instagram to show off my new kitten, tell some jokes and follow along with what my friends are doing. I’m a 27-year-old Millennial, and I don’t lean on this social media platform to know the world’s latest news. Apparently, others do.
Becoming the top social platform
Younger generations, such as Gen Z and Millennials, are turning to Instagram for news. The Facebook-owned company has become the most popular social media platform for Gen Z and the second most popular for Millennials. It was inevitable that news would leak into the platform. Influencers want to comment on the happenings of the world and empower their followers to think freely.
Informing vs. influencing
There is a constant struggle between people trying to inform and influence, and there is a striking difference between the two. Information is based on facts and thoroughly researched. Influence is used to grow a social profile and express thoughts and feelings. The two are often misconstrued.
Turning to Instagram for news
A 2020 survey revealed that 41% of Gen Z used Instagram to gain access to news content, despite this never being the original intent for the platform. But as long as the Instagram influencers understand their responsibilities, news on Instagram shouldn’t be a problem. Influence and information are very different. And if there is no fact-checking – only a blind following of these new internet stars – younger generations are doomed to become misinformed.
I don’t blame anyone for trying to find an alternate source of news. Only 40% of people trust the mass media to “fully, accurately and fairly” report the news. Where are we supposed to go? There is a thirst for trusted news sources and unbiased information. If that many people are in one place, they are going to find the answers for themselves.