TikTok has been named the fastest growing social media platform of all time, making the shortlist one of the most downloaded apps globally over the past three years.
How popular is TikTok?
The short-form video app has seen rapid growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as many users found time to explore the platform and engage with their online audiences in new ways. In the first quarter of 2020, TikTok’s meteoric rise to 315 million installs set the record for most downloads in a single quarter for a social app.
TikTok has one billion active users worldwide. This ranks TikTok as the 7th social network (excluding the Chinese version Douyin with 600 million users), ahead of LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.
To put this in perspective, it took Instagram six years from its launch to gain the same number of monthly active users that TikTok was able to reach in less than three years. And it took Facebook nearly four years to reach the same mark of monthly active users.
Marketers are drawn to TikTok as it reflects a major social media trend for creative skills and collaboration among young audiences. Its fast pace keeps users engaged for relatively long periods of time, with users spending an average of 52 minutes a day on the app.
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90 percent of all TikTok users access the app every day. In addition, they are extremely active on the app. A study observing the behavior of TikTok users over a month shows that 68 percent of TikTok users watch another person’s video and 55 percent upload their own videos (Globalwebindex, 2019).
Who owns TikTok?
TikTok started in 2014 as an app called Musical.ly, a platform where users created and shared short lip-sync videos. In 2016, Chinese tech company Bytedance brought a version of Musical.ly known as Douyin to the Chinese market before launching overseas as TikTok in 2017. Understanding the platform’s potential, particularly to connect with a young audience who are digital natives, Bytedance bought and integrated Musical.ly and it became the version of TikTok we know today. Bytedance continues to operate Douyin separately in the Chinese market.
Who Uses TikTok?
TikTok is most popular among teenagers around the world who are generally early adopters of new social media platforms. They figured out early on how to use and customize the platform to suit their tastes and needs, and many have garnered thousands of followers over the past few years.
Millennials and baby boomers who join the platform can poke fun at themselves, their clumsiness in using the app, or the content they produce. Many claim they were encouraged or inspired to use the app by teenage family members.
For example, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey has garnered over 28.9 million fans on TikTok (as of November 2021) after being taught how to use the platform for dance competitions with his Gen-Z aged daughter Tilly.