TikTok is the social media platform on everybody’s lips right now, or so it would seem.
With cat and dog-based content regularly downloaded or recorded from the mobile app and shared to Twitter and other platforms, often going viral in the process, it’s starting to get attention from everybody — ‘regular’ users, business, bloggers, celebrities, and many more people besides.
Ask anyone you know about TikTok and I’ll bet they’ll tell you they think they might’ve seen something about it on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter.
Where many thought it may be a ‘flash in the pan’ — the latest trend that would be forgotten about in a few months — it’s actually shown to be the opposite, growing from strength to strength, acquiring a whole other app and evolving to meet the requirements of those using it.
What is TikTok?
Now owned by ByteDance, a Chinese-based startup company, TikTok is a video-based platform merged with another video-based platform – Musical.ly – in 2017/18.
The app/platform filled a gap that was left behind by the likes of Vine, offering a short snippet video+music sharing style that’s very popular with the younger generation. Clips of 15 seconds can be shared, with a variety of features within the app to spice things up, including stickers and text, filters, special effects, and lip-syncing options with popular music and soundtracks.
Let’s take a closer look at how popular it is …
1 – TikTok is the second most downloaded mobile application.
According to a study published by Sensor Tower, TikTok was the second most downloaded applications from the App Store and Google Play, beaten only by WhatsApp. With around 220 million downloads in Q4 2019, it beat Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Spotify, Twitter and Amazon, with the majority coming from the Google Play store.
TikTok is definitely a social media platform to start paying attention to if you want to keep up with what everyone else is raving about.
2 – TikTok was Google Play’s most downloaded app for five quarters in a row.
In an earlier Sensor Tower study, though Google Play store had the most TikTok downloads, the social media platform was actually the most downloaded application from the Apple App Store, with over 33 million downloads, quite a distance ahead of second place – YouTube, with fewer than 30 million.
And this isn’t just a one-off; TikTok was the MOST downloaded application from the App Store for five quarters in a row before it finally showed any signs of slowing … and even then the slow-down was only slight.
But what’s behind the popularity of TikTok? It could be down to many things, but one of the obvious features that stands out for most people, is just how refreshingly goofy and fun it is.
Things are less polished on TikTok, very much unlike Instagram, where things are perfectly curated as much as possible. This can make it easier to create content; it is often the super-polished, must-look-perfect content that takes up all of your time.
However … things aren’t quite as clean-cut as you might’ve thought.
3 – The largest age range of TikTok users is between 16-24 year olds.
Global Web Index showed that 41% of all TikTok users are between the age range of 16-24, making it a must-have tool in your social media marketing arsenal if that’s the age range you’re trying to target.
The platform has been designed in such a way that younger people find it enjoyable, paying particular attention to what it’s predecessors and competition doesn’t offer … and then offering it.
It is encouraging the younger generation to find new and interested (and sometimes funny) ways to express themselves on the internet, perhaps without the pressure that might come with an Instagram selfie.
You can get a sense for the majority of users and type of content that is popular by browsing the TikTok app for just a few moments, without needing to sign in or join up. Almost every video I personally saw during my first play on the app – 20-25 minutes of continuous scrolling – was either pet or young person-related.
If you were targeting a much older audience, however, such as 35/40-year-olds, you may find that your potential audience numbers go way down. News of the social site doesn’t appear to have travelled that far up into the age ranges, with Facebook still being the most popular choice for adults ages 40/45+.
4 – And app-engagement rates for TikTok are SUPER low.
App-engagement = the number of users on the platform that open the app on a daily basis.
Clicking and opening up Facebook once, for a couple of minutes, would class as app-engagement, without any need for likes, comments, etc.
YouTube has an app-engagement rate of about 95%. Snapchat weighs in at the same, as does Instagram, and Facebook only just beats them all by one extra percent — 96%.
TikTok, on the other hand, offers an engagement rate of just 29%, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Only 29% of its users are opening the app and browsing or uploading on a daily basis.
5 – TikTok’ing is SUPER addictive!
App Ape Lab. published a report in 2018 that showed TikTok users were on the app more times a day than with any other social network … a LOT more. App-engagement rate might’ve been down compared to other social platforms, but the ones that are using TikTok daily, are using it MULTIPLE times per day.
The average daily Twitter’er might use the app somewhere around 15 times per day, but TikTok’s daily activation count was over double that: 38 – 55 times per day.
Clearly, there is something to be said for those brief, 15-second snippets of video!
6 – More TikTok users are male than female.
The same Ape App Lab. study that measured the addictiveness of TikTok also showed that 55.6% of users were male, 44.4% were female.
7 – TikTok is available in 75 languages across 150 markets.
… according to Business of Apps. The most popular market, of course, is China — where the company is located. In the country, TikTok is called Douyin and it’s reported to have over 400 million active users, with more than half of them accessing the [Douyin] site on a daily basis.
If you were to look at the Indian TikTok market, you’d see that there were more than twenty million regular users, and in 2019 alone, Statista showed that the application has been downloaded over 190 million times, far exceeding any other country’s downloads.
In Thailand, it was reported that the mobile app had been downloaded in excess of ten million times — more than one in every seven people had downloaded it.
8 – Most people “passive browse” on TikTok.
And what I mean by that is, they browse TikTok for entertainment rather than using it as a platform to share their own content.
A Global Web Index report showed that 68% of TikTok users are watching other creators’ content, with 63% of them ‘liking’ it. Only 55% of TikTok users are actually sharing their own content.
What does that mean for you? Well, if you are targeting the younger market that TikTok caters for primarily (16-24 year olds), you’re targeting for an audience that WANTS to watch and be entertained by something. You are creating content for an audience that WANTS it. And, being more light-hearted than the like- and engagement-orientated platforms, such as Instagram, you can have a lot more fun with it.
TikTok would be like the funny, all-gone-wrong, behind-the-scenes, bloopers side of the content you eventually finish and polish off for Instagram.
9 – The TikTok mobile app has been downloaded 1.5 billion times in total.
In case you were wondering about the future of TikTok, it seems unlikely that the social platform is going to disappear from the radar at any point soon.
It was announced in November of last year (2019) by Sensor Tower that it had managed to earn itself 1.5 billion downloads in total, across both Google Play and the App Store, taking less than nine months to accumulate 500 million downloads alone.
If the fast rise of TikTok and other image or video-based social platforms has taught us anything, it’s that browsers, customers, and followers want visual content — and more of it.
They want content that has music thrown in, maybe stickers and text, something that can be interacted and engaged with. That’s exactly what you get when you sign up to TikTok, and that’s just from the free features; there are also in-app purchases to liven up your content even further.
10 – In just 5 years, daily social media usage has increased from 1 hour and 37 minutes to 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Internet users are now spending more and more time browsing, according to We Are Social, and they’re looking for new and interesting ways to spend their online time. That’s why keeping up with the latest social media trends, though a sometimes exhausting and overwhelming process, is a good idea if you want a marketing strategy that kicks butt.
Thankfully, you can find plenty of TikTok content ideas to work with just by having a play around with the mobile app.
The ‘Discover’ tab offers you popular and trending content for inspiration, even showing you how many times that hashtag has been used to give you an idea of what you’re up against, and you can use hashtags on TikTok just as you would with any other social platform, categorising content to ensure that the people who want to see it, do see it.
11 – In-app purchases increased by 275% in just one year.
Between October 2017 and October 2018, the gifts, emojis, and extra in-app purchases hiked up 275% to bring in over $3.5 million per month at the end of that period, according to a study on TikTok’s revenue by Sensor Tower.
This figure does not include users in China, using the Chinese version of Android, which is the number one usage country for the app and is likely to have even higher figures than this.
Although the social platform is a free-to-use app, with no features offering paid advertisement placements, TikTok influencers, promotion, and advertising (in a sense) are slowly on the rise; and it’s safe to assume that sponsored posts will become just as prominent on there as they are on, for example, Instagram.
The Kardashians are said to have shared sponsored post videos on the platform, along with many other celebs.
12 – TikTok influencers are getting just as many views on relatively new TikTok accounts as they are from well-established YouTube channels.
The rise of TikTok has almost been unprecedented and it hasn’t taken long for individuals to reach large volumes of followers. One particular influencer from Thailand accumulated 1.9 million on the app in less than a year, whereas the YouTube channel, with over 5 million followers, took a lot longer for them to build the same amount.
The same study looking at the growth of TikTok around the world, on KrAsia, also put forward a few examples of where TikTok users had received almost as many views on a new TikTok account’s video as they had on well-established channels on other platforms — and some of them have even gone on to get picked up by talent agencies to make use of the audience.
TikTok packs a very serious punch for a relatively new app that’s only really being taken seriously by teenagers and young adults.
Infographic: 12 TikTok statistics & facts
We’ve wrapped all of these TikTok statistics up into an infographic that you can publish on your blog.
Note: If you’d like to republish this infographic, save the infographic to your computer, upload to your blog and include a credit link back to this post.
Wrapping it up
In short, TikTok is a great marketing platform for you to use if you are actively seeking out a younger generation of fans.
It has grown so much and in such a short space of time, we can only anticipate where development will go, but there’s no doubt that advertising and other profit-boosting strategies will be implemented at some point. That’s how the majority of social media platforms pan out, first attracting a decent following and then becoming a marketing tool for businesses, etc.
In fact, many businesses and brands are already utilising the TikTok platform in one form or another, creating challenges and hashtags for people to use to increase awareness.
You don’t need to sign up to browse the kind of content that you can create, and you’ll soon see that there are plenty of things and features to play around and get creative with.
Not bad for an app that was reported to have taken just 200 days to create in the first place!
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