Current affairs on TikTok. Virality and entertainment for digital natives

Since its appearance in 2018, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms among digital natives because of its algorithm-based engagement strategies, a policy of public accounts, and a simple, colorful, and intuitive content interface. As happened in the past with other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, various media are currently seeking ways to adapt to TikTok and its particular characteristics to attract a younger audience less accustomed to the consumption of journalistic material. Against this background, the aim of this study is to identify the presence of the media and journalists on TikTok, measure the virality and engagement of the content they generate, describe the communities created around them, and identify the presence of journalistic use of these accounts. For this, 23,174 videos from 143 accounts belonging to media from 25 countries were analyzed. The results indicate that, in general, the presence and impact of the media in this social network are low and that most of their content is oriented towards the creation of user communities based on viral content and entertainment. However, albeit with a lesser presence, one can also identify accounts and messages that adapt their content to the specific characteristics of TikTok. Their virality and engagement figures illustrate that there is indeed a niche for current affairs on this social network.

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