Where do teenagers get their information?

Today’s teens have access to more information than any previous generation in history. So what topics interest them, where do they go for information and which sources do they trust?

In our new research report, Teens in 2017, we sought to get to the heart of these very issues.

What type of information are teens interested in?

Teenagers’ interest in different types of information is varied. But the most popular topics are technology developments, UK news and music releases, with technology developments being of particular interest to teenage boys. Teens showed an interest in home affairs, but international news is seen as less important. So, this age group is more concerned with topics closer to home, which directly impact their own lives.

Teens were also asked how important being up-to date with information is to them. Whilst the majority of teenagers (62%) consider themselves to be up-to date with the latest information, being in the know isn’t a priority for them. This suggests that teens feel they’re automatically up-to date and don’t have to make a special effort to do so.

Where do teenagers go for information?

Google is the biggest overall go-to for information. This is closely followed by YouTube, which is the top destination for product reviews, health and fitness inspiration, music, TV and film.

Teens’ style inspiration comes chiefly from Instagram and YouTube, whilst ideas on what to eat and drink come from Facebook. And when teens are looking for financial and careers advice, they head to Google first.

When it comes to news and current affairs, unsurprisingly news websites are the most popular source for teens. But Facebook isn’t far behind, with 32% of teenagers using it to find news. Facebook rated much higher than Twitter for this purpose. Despite positioning itself as the platform for in-the-moment updates on events, only 20% of teenagers use Twitter for staying up to date with the news. Other social networks are even less popular sources of news. Only 11% of teens use Snapchat to find news, suggesting that they want this to remain a space where they interact with friends and have fun.

Which sources of information do teenagers trust?

Not only do teens see Google as their go-to source of information across the board, but they also trust Google above and beyond other sources. Over half of teens say they trust Google to provide accurate and reliable information.

Teens also trust YouTube and Facebook, suggesting they’re willing to believe information that is presented to them from unregulated sources. This doesn’t mean to say that teens don’t trust traditional sources. News websites and TV ranked amongst the top 5 sources that teens trust most to provide accurate and reliable information.