Kenya Takes the Lead in Global TikTok Usage​​
Image: Solen Feyissa via Unsplash

Kenya Takes the Lead in Global TikTok Usage​​

According to a report by Reuters Institute, the East African nation spends more time on the video sharing app than any other country.

In a recently released digital news report by Reuters Institute, Kenya has emerged as the global leader in TikTok usage. According to the 2023 survey, the East African nation dominates the platform, with a staggering 54% of users engaging in TikTok for various purposes, while 29% specifically rely on it for news consumption.

Thailand secures the second spot, closely followed by South Africa, where 50% of users engage with TikTok for general content, while 22% use it as a source of news.

The report highlights TikTok's growing significance as a news distribution channel, especially among younger demographics. It indicates a shift away from traditional platforms like Facebook, which has long held the top position but is now experiencing a decline in popularity. The platform's success in disseminating news can be attributed to its unique format, which features short-form videos, making it ideal for sharing news stories concisely and engagingly. Furthermore, the report reveals that users of TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat demonstrate a stronger inclination towards following celebrities and social media influencers for news topics, rather than relying on established media organizations. This phenomenon suggests that audiences selectively avoid emotionally challenging or distressing stories to safeguard their mental well-being.

In terms of growth, TikTok continues to dominate as the fastest-growing social network globally, with 44% of users actively engaged on the platform. Its popularity is particularly prominent among the 18-24 age group. Notably, TikTok's influence is most prominent in parts of Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2023 shows how the media landscape is continuously evolving and the increasing role of social media platforms in news consumption. With East Africa at the forefront of TikTok usage, it is evident that the continent is embracing digital platforms as a medium to engage with the world. It remains to be seen how this shift in news consumption habits will impact traditional media organizations and shape the future of news distribution.