TikTok - App Insights

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TikTok - App Insights

The oldest members of Generation Z, and especially those living in Asian countries, India, or the US, are the biggest users of TikTok. They enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and creativity the platform provides to showcase their lifestyles. Users are highly-engaged with the app and other users’ content, make an increasing number of in-app purchases, and enjoy that the app is geared directly toward their habits and preferences.


  • After the late 2018 merger with Musical.ly, TikTok’s US audience grew by 30 M users in three short months. About 15% of all mobile users in Thailand have downloaded TikTok, while India has over 20 M active TikTok users each month. The app is being used by about 12.5% of US adults ages 18 to 24.
  • TikTok is most popular in the Southeast and East Asian markets, though when the app was banned in Indonesia, the market dipped a bit (as it had been the top downloaded app in this country). In these markets, the top five countries-of-use include Cambodia, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Notably, 43% of all new users of the app are from India.
  • In the US, 60% of regular users on the app are between the ages of 16 and 24, while globally 41% of users fall into that age range. In fact, 66% of all users (globally) are under age 30. The large populations of younger people in Asian countries contribute to this large, youthful user base.
  • The youthful user-focus was through purposeful design by the app’s creators (rather than the multiple demographic foci of competitor apps), and this direct focus helped the app leap to popularity over the competitors with the younger demographics. The app appeals to the “habits and preferences” of those under age 18, and “allows the younger crowd to express themselves in a creative way.”
  • One source reports that about 6.1 M men use the app, while more than 8.2 M women use it. Another source provides the breakdown as 56% male and 44% female, so it’s unclear what the actual breakdown is gender-wise. The second report also indicates that there is a higher male-to-female ratio (more men than women) in every age group using the app.


  • In the US for 2019-Q1, TikTok was the most downloaded app from Google Play, and the “second most downloaded app on the App Store.” There are approximately 500 M TikTok active monthly users across the globe, including the largest selection of users China and the US.
  • Nearly 29% of TikTok users use the app every day. Sources differ on the time the average user spends each day on the app between 46 minutes and 52 minutes. This is compared to the social media platform with the highest daily usage Facebook with 58.5 minutes per day. Not bad for a new app!
  • Not quite half (40%) of global users “open the app 21 – 50 times per day,” while an additional 30% of users open the app 51 (or more) times each day. Users in the US “open the app an average of eight times per day.”
  • The average length of each use-session for the app is 4.9 minutes, which is significantly higher than the 3.1 minutes Instagram users average.
  • TikTok users enjoy engaging with videos; 68% of all users have watched a video, with 63% admitting they’ve liked a video they’ve watched. At least 63% of users report following other users to gain continued access to their content, with about 54% stating they leave comments after watching others’ videos.
  • Many users who had enjoyed Vine have transferred over the TikTok for their short video fixes. Users report enjoying freedom and flexibility to “express themselves in a very creative way.” Additionally, those with “a proclivity for binge-watching video content” find the app most appealing.
  • TikTok has more Android-based smartphone users than those using iOS systems. In fact, 80% of all app sessions are held on Android devices.


  • Nearly half of TikTok users have uploaded a Duet video (43%) or a React video (41%), while more than half (55%) have uploaded a TikTok video after logging into the app.
  • TikTok offers users in-app purchases (for $1.39 apiece) that include things like “unique stickers, AR effects, and coins.” Between 2017 and 2018, in-app purchases increased by 275%, which netted the company $3.5 M for that type of revenue.
  • TikTok ads and hashtag challenges are useful to influencers and brands in that they can be set up to send users directly to website pages or pages in the App Store. Notably, the #raindropchallenge has nearly 689 M views, Jimmy Fallon’s #tumbleweedchallenge saw the creation and uplodading of more than 8K videos, and there are over 5 M #inmyfeelings challenge videos posted on the site (as compared to Instagram’s 1.7 M).
  • A study by Tencent Market Insight noted that, of users who stopped using TikTok, 48% reported it was “because of the lack of variety in the content published.”


  • TikTok can be used by speakers of 75 different languages, and is available in 155 global markets. This extensive availability makes it very popular across the globe.
  • TikTok is based on a content-creation experience for its users, rather than just passive content-consumption use of many other similar apps. The app’s mission is to enable everyone “to be a creator” and to share their passions through video. Because of this, they tout themselves as a “lifestyle platform,” rather than an entertainment platform, which directly appeals to their target audience.
  • The absorption of Musical.ly brought 100 M active monthly users to TikTok, which the company indicated was part of its strategic plan for the merger. The users who enjoyed the benefits of the music app are likely to continue enjoying those benefits along with TikTok’s other features. The giant boost (24%) in daily user engagement occurring just after the merger demonstrates the popularity of this feature.


We began by delving into the extensive data and research available on TikTok (and the Chinese variant, Douyin). From this collection, we pulled the quantitative and qualitative data that related directly to demographical information on users, engagement and usage, popularity of app features, how the app is used, and why new users download it. We separated out all Douyin-related information to meet the requirement of avoiding information on the user base from China. We then whittled down the findings to the most-relevant statistics, and provided clarifications where data did not match.