Facebook Beats Out YouTube as Video News Source for Millennials and Gen Z, Study Says

Facebook is used the most for news coverage, while YouTube is used for career development and entertainment purposes, according to new study

Last Updated: January 16, 2019 @ 10:44 AM

When it comes to daily video news consumption, Facebook has become a top choice among millennials and Gen Z, according to a Wibbitz study released Tuesday morning.  Thirty percent of Gen Zers and 56 percent of Millennials said Facebook was their top choice for watching news coverage, while only 27 percent and 22 percent, respectively, said YouTube.

The data is good news for the social media giant, which has been increasing its investment in news content over the past seven months. In June, the company funded news-focused programming from multiple networks including ABC News, CNN, Fox News, Univision and ATTN. The initiative was part of an effort to stop the spread of fake news on the platform, which became a subject of conversation during the 2016 election when thousands of Russian-backed ads appeared on the platform.

While Facebook takes the crown for video-based news content, YouTube is the most frequented destination for millennials and Gen Z  to watch videos for career development and entertainment purposes. Thirty-eight percent of Gen Zers said they regularly visited YouTube to watch content related to career development, compared to 23 percent who use Facebook. Similarly, 55 percent said they use YouTube for entertainment-related videos, while just 13 percent use Facebook.

Millennials share a similar trend with 37 percent using YouTube to watch career-related videos compared to 23 percent who use Facebook, while 49 percent chose YouTube for entertainment-related videos compared to 27 percent that use Facebook for similar searches, according to the report which examined the various habits, preferences and trends in social video consumption

On Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and LinkedIn, both groups follow people they know (friends or family) more than any other type of account. On Twitter, celebrities and influencers are followed the most. Brands made up the lowest percentage of accounts followed on every platform (10%), but had the highest chance of getting followed on Instagram.

Overall, at 3.4 hours per day, Gen Z spends more time watching videos than millennials do (2.5 hours per day), across all devices including smartphones, tablets, computers and TVs. Seventy-one percent of that viewership occurs after 5 p.m. for both millennial and Gen Z audiences.

To collect the data, Wibbitz surveyed 1,000 U.S. citizens ages 18-37 during November 2018. Check out the full report here.