Tiktok: Perceptions

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Tiktok: Perceptions

For the first couple of years when the app started in 2014 as Musical.ly, virtually all users were young teenagers. That seems to be changing. Tiktok has become popular with older age groups around the world. Countries seem to differ in the age groups and genders that use Tiktok most often. The 25-34 age group seems to be having the most growth worldwide.

After COVID-19, sources differ on whether Tiktok will grow or shrink. One clear finding is that people are identifying more ways to use Tiktok, including as a source of ad revenue, as an educational resource, as a method of connecting with others, and
as a social media platform for more young Americans.

Changes in Tiktok Usage Patterns

  • In a January 2019 study by Business Insider, among Gen Z internet users ages 13 to 21, just 11 percent said they checked TikTok daily. That means TikTok was used less than Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook at that time.
  • Tiktok has global appeal among young people. User statistics from 2019 indicate that "66 percent of worldwide users are under the age of 30. In the U.S., 60 percent of the app’s monthly active users are 16-to 24-year-olds...."
  • Only 33 percent of Tiktok users are over 30, according to 2019 statistics.
  • One possible usage change may be indications of Tiktok's longevity. Tiktok users seem to be staying with the app as they get older. The app launched in 2014 with the name Musical.ly. In 2019, five years later, data showed that "most of Tiktok's US users [were] young, with 25.8 percent aged between 18 and 24. A further 24.5 percent [were] aged 25-34", continuing to use the app after their 25th birthdays.
  • The increase in older users is also true elsewhere. In China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, more Tiktok users are 25-34 years old than are 16-24 years old. In Japan, the two age groups using Tiktok the most are teenagers (15 percent) and users in their 40s (12.1 percent).
  • Tiktok is popular in South Asia. China, India, and Pakistan are the biggest markets in terms of viewing time. The US is growing and is now in fourth place.
  • The platform is seen by many as a place for fun and enjoyment.

Future Growth Projections for Tiktok After COVID-19

  • According to one industry blog, "TikTok has ... become a media sensation. Publications all over the internet are writing about how people are connecting with each other over the platform [during the pandemic]." This form of connection may continue after the pandemic ends.
  • Interest in Tiktok from celebrities is helping to increase the number of regular users. Celebrities are "improving TikTok’s star power and draw. TikTok and LivexLive recently launched a 48-hour digital music festival where a host of up-and-coming musicians performed live on the platform. Actress Judi Dench drew attention when she performed on TikTok with her grandson. And Korean K-pop sensation (G)I-DLE took a TikTok dance challenge head-on with ridiculous ease."
  • Staying home during the pandemic gave people the opportunity to try new things, including Tiktok. "The coronavirus brought a surge of new TikTok users that are outside its usual demographic of teenagers" one executive commented. "This allowed the community to achieve unprecedented levels of reach and engagement in the app’s relatively short history." It's not known whether the new users will continue to watch Tiktok after the crisis.
  • Teachers in American junior high and high schools have used Tiktok to raise student interest in certain topics and allow them to demonstrate their knowledge. For example, Kathryn Byars, a social studies teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Eastvale, CA, "gave her students the option of making TikToks to compare and contrast different historical trade routes, and to share inventions from the Industrial Revolution. She sees it as an alternative to other video platforms." This trend may continue after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
  • Advertising on Tiktok is predicted to increase and become more and more lucrative as 2020 goes on.
  • One source projects a nearly 22 percent growth in Tiktok users in the US.

Research Strategy

Numerous industry sources, marketing reports, blogs, business publications, scholarly abstracts, and other sources were examined in an effort to locate projections about the future growth of the Tiktok platform after COVID-19. However, except for one marketer's prediction, this topic has not emerged as something for experts to write about so far. It may be that it is too soon for advertising and marketing experts to turn their attention to the future prospects of Tiktok and other social media, since the world's economic situation is so uncertain, and political realities are changing in many countries. The pandemic is receiving most of the focus from writers about the future and the economic recovery.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "TikTok is the next frontier in social media not just for influencers, but for marketers and advertisers, as well."
  • "The social media app, launched under the name Musical.ly in 2014, has been gaining a dedicated user base, particularly among Gen Z. Chinese media and tech company ByteDance then acquired the app in November 2017 for a reported $1 billion and merged it with a peer app it already owned, called TikTok."
  • "But what is TikTok? Simply put, it's a video app where users create vertical videos that typically run 15 seconds before looping to restart. They can also connect clips together to create videos up to 60 seconds long. Videos incorporate music samples, filters, quick cuts, stickers and other creative add-ons that allow users to make the most of the short length."
  • "And so far, the platform has seen incredible growth. TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin have 800 million monthly active users (MAUs) according to a TikTok internal marketing document published by Ad Age in October 2019. For context, this places them just behind Instagram's 1 billion global MAUs, (a figure the company last updated in June 2018)."
  • "This growth should only accelerate in 2020, which means the platform is ripe for brands to leverage. TikTok marketing to this point has generated significant returns for advertisers and marketers, due largely to a first-mover advantage. But there's plenty of room in the space."
  • "1. Video Advertisers Will Funnel More Dollars into Social 2. Creators Will Pull Back on YouTube in Favor of Social and Live Streaming Platforms 3. Tik Tok's Popularity Will Be Tested by a Stream of New Competitors"
  • "According to a January 2019 study by Business Insider, among Gen Z internet users ages 13 to 21, only 11% said they checked TikTok daily – putting it well below Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook."
Quotes
  • "According, to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2020 report, Android TikTok users spent in excess of 68 billion hours using the app in 2019. This represents a stunning 210% increase over 2018."
  • "The app seems to have taken off in a big way in South Asia, with India and Pakistan the biggest markets outside of China in terms of viewing time, with the US coming in a distant third (in fairness, Pakistan is a distant second behind India). The time spent on TikTok in the US grew 375% year-on-year. TikTok sage exceeded that of Amazon Prime in the US in 2019."
  • "TikTok itself has reported that US users open the app eight times a day in a bid to woo ad clients, with sessions averaging 4.9 minutes in length. This puts it in excess of Facebook (4.7), Instagram (3.1 minutes), and Snapchat (1.6 minutes)."
  • "The Economic Times reports that average Indian TikTok users spent an average of 38 minutes daily using the app (vs 44 minutes on Instagram, or 35 minutes on Facebook)."
Quotes
  • "With 41% of users being under the age of 24, teens and young adults are finding fun and fame within the app while hitting the apps creator’s target demographic."
  • "“Research shows that prospective students look at Social Media accounts for universities to see like what the culture of the university is like," Richter said. "So, it’s just another opportunity to reach prospective students, and visually show them what the university is like when they get here.”"
Quotes
  • "Brands on Tiktok Chipotle NBA United Nationa IFAD The Washington Post Guess The San Diego Zoo NBC's Stay Tuned. "
Quotes
  • "TikTok is the only top 5 global app not owned by Facebook."
  • "80% of TikTok’s sessions are on Android devices. 29% of monthly users open TikTok every day. TikTok drives ads on competitor platforms. TikTok will focus on safety and security in 2020. Men are slightly more likely to use TikTok than women."
  • " Two-Thirds Of TikTok Users Are Under 30 Years-Old The majority of TikTok’s users are young social media users; 66% of worldwide users are under the age of 30. In the U.S., 60% of the app’s monthly active users are 16-to 24-year-olds and 52% are iPhone users. One of TikTok’s competitors, Snapchat, while struggling with user-growth, boasts similar age demographics, with 78% of its U.S. users falling within the 18-24 years-old category."
  • "To date, a quarter of TikTok’s downloads and more than 40% of new users have come from India. ByteDance has made the app available in 155 markets and in 75 languages as part of its overseas push."
  • "TikTok Is Prioritizing Children’s Safety In 2020 TikTok announced a partnership with FOSI (The Family Online Safety Institute) to educate the app’s community through online safety seminars. TikTok has been taking many measures to buff up safety practices, and data security measures. Earlier in 2019, news revealed TikTok’s owner ByteDance was under National Security Review, specifically investigating the $1 billion acquisition of U.S. app Musical.ly."
  • "Data from Ape App shows the TikTok’s global users are 55.6% male and 44.4% female. This shows an appreciable difference when compared to rival Instagram’s demographics that show a female-favorable user base with around 65% female daily active users and 35% male daily active male users."
Quotes
  • " Highly Popular in Many Asian Countries TikTok’s support has grown dramatically in most Asian countries. As well as the nations separately mentioned here, it is particularly loved in Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam."
  • "20% of all TikTok revenue comes from the USA. This is actually smaller than previously, with China still being the primary revenue source, 69%. Before the arrival of ads, 42% of revenue came from the United States, but this excludes income from the Chinese Android version of the app."
  • "TikTok's user base still very closely matches that of Musical.ly. Most of its US users are young, with 25.8% aged between 18 and 24. A further 24.5% are aged 25-34, suggesting that many TikTok users have stayed with the app, despite reaching their 25th birthday."
  • "When you look at the demographics of TikTok's Japanese users, you see a more balanced approach. Both genders use TikTok approximately equally in Japan. Also, the two highest age groups to use TikTok in Japan are teenagers (15%) and users in their 40s (12.1%)."
  • "The most significant increase in TikTok users over 2019 was in India. Unlike in most other countries, the typical Indian TikTok user is a male in his 20s. Indeed 90.5% of Indian TikTok users in December 2019 were male. "
  • " In countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, membership among 25-34 year-olds is higher than among 16-24s."
Quotes
  • "Based on data from SimilarWeb, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and You-Tube are the most popular apps in India. During the lockdown, downloads of almost all these apps have remained stable or dipped, except for TikTok, which saw a big rise. “The sweaty energy that TikTok exudes is a good representative of what is happening in the society at large,” says Desai. He says the depth and breadth of content in TikTok around Covid-19 is far richer than that in other platforms. "
Quotes
  • "“TikTok is not only a completely fresh and unique opportunity for people but also for small and large brands. The impact brands have on culture will eventually lead to an impact on business. By connecting with the community on a creative level, you’re able to tap into new audiences who may not be active on other platforms.”"
  • "“With engagement becoming more costly on Facebook, brands should look to emerging social channels for more affordable growth opportunities. This is why it’s necessary to diversify your media mix and pivot to inventory where there is faster growth potential, such as TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and others.”"
  • "TikTok, in some version or another, is currently available in 150 markets across the world and in 75 unique languages. Its most popular posters have millions of followers and billions of views per month. Currently, the top-ranked channels are Charli D’amelio, with 41.4 million followers, and Loren Gray, with 41.3 million. Both have launched successful YouTube channels as a result of their TikTok fame."
  • "TikTok has become popular with all age groups. Though teens were the original cohort to catch on, according to the Washington Post, TikTok app videos are now taking off with medical professionals, police officers and even members of the military."
  • "The app’s demographics are heavily skewed towards Gen Z, which makes it an ideal channel for brands using TikTok advertising to target those markets. The user base is specific, but it’s firmly defined and highly engaged. This makes it easier for brands to stand out and even convert if they release the right kind of content."
  • "The type of engagement we have seen is higher than many other channels and users are clicking through to discover more and buy! TikTok has innovated around advertising products like their Hashtag Challenge that bridges brand and revenue goals.”"
  • "Much of the content is off-beat and light-hearted. The low production values are part of its charm and provide a low barrier to entry compared to the glitzy, over-produced content now found on Instagram and YouTube. This allows brands to take risks and experiment with their content."
  • "There are currently six ad formats available on TikTok: Biddable Ads Brand Takeover Hashtag Challenge Branded Lenses Top Views Custom Influencer All ads require that you go through a TikTok advertising representative."
Quotes
  • "April 21, 2020 The coronavirus and its spread has changed the way people interact with each other. Keeping social and physical distance, although only temporary, is now the norm. People stay at home in isolation, unable or unwilling to leave their homes and engage as a community. "
  • "Fortunately, people have found other ways to come together and connect. Some turn to digital conferencing apps like Zoom. Others escape to media like Netflix and YouTube. But an increasing number are jumping onto a quirky yet compelling app called TikTok, and loving every second of it. "
  • "Tiktok is a social media app that allows users to create, promote, and react to short-form music video content. TikTok users have been using the app to create videos of themselves dancing, acting and exercising to audio clips and sharing it with their friends. The concept has proved immensely popular. According to official company announcements, TikTok has over 500 million monthly users, and has been downloaded from the Google Play store over 1 billion times. "
  • "TikTok is not only a completely fresh and unique opportunity for people but also for small and large brands. The impact brands have on culture will eventually lead to an impact on business. By connecting with the community on a creative level, you’re able to tap into new audiences who may not be active on other platforms.”"
  • "TikTok has since become a media sensation. Publications all over the internet are writing about how people are connecting with each other over the platform. Take the family who created the first-ever Quarantine Olympics, for example. Or the Vancouver teen who became a TikTok idol–in Italy. Educators are figuring out how to leverage TikTok, too; some want to keep kids learning, and others just want to connect."
  • "Celebrities are getting into the act as well, further improving TikTok’s star power and draw. TikTok and LivexLive recently launched a 48-hour digital music festival where a host of up-and-coming musicians performed live on the platform. Actress Judi Dench drew attention when she performed on TikTok with her grandson. And Korean K-pop sensation (G)I-DLE took a TikTok dance challenge head-on with ridiculous ease. "
  • "In order to ensure families can enjoy the app in safety, TikTok updated it with much-needed family safety controls like tighter restrictions on Direct Messaging for minors and better content filters. But TikTok isn’t just helping through its app. The company has made several very large donations to various organizations like the Royal College of Nursing Foundation to help combat the COVID-19 virus. "
  • "The coronavirus brought a surge of new TikTok users that are outside its usual demographic of teenagers. This allowed the community to achieve unprecedented levels of reach and engagement in the app’s relatively short history. Whether or not they’ll stick around once quarantine is over is completely up to TikTok."
  • "“Just a month ago, 70% of the platform usage came from Gen Z (ages 18-24) and now we’re seeing Millennials, Gen X and even Baby Boomer generations engaging on the platform to keep in touch with loved ones,” Guerrieri says."
Quotes
  • "After serving as an impromptu background dancer in her video, Kozlowsky, a teacher at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md., did some research on the platform. Now, he’s started using it in his social studies class. He gave his students the option of making TikTok videos to demonstrate their understanding of the Missouri compromise of 1820, a key event in the lead-up to the American Civil War."
  • "Kozlowsky is an early adopter to bringing the latest social media craze into the classroom. TikTok is a short-form video application, similar to the now-defunct Vine video platform. "
  • "1. TikTok can be an engaging way to liven up a lesson. It’s a possible alternative to other video platforms, one California educator said."
  • "Earlier this school year, Kathryn Byars, a social studies teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Eastvale, Calif., gave her students the option of making TikToks to compare and contrast different historical trade routes, and to share inventions from the Industrial Revolution. She sees it as an alternative to other video platforms."
  • "[Another educator] used the platform to try to make that daunting [research] process seem more manageable for students, creating, for instance, a TikTok that explains how to do academic citations. "
  • " Edwin Perez, a Spanish teacher at Baltimore City College, said he first gave students the option of using TikTok to show what they learned during a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and to point out examples of French and Spanish language use in signage around the city. He’s now planning to use the platform to allow his students to create short, scripted videos in Spanish. "
Quotes
  • "In the beginning, most TikTok users were from China. However, that is rapidly changing as TikTok is becoming more and more popular worldwide. In 2019, users have spent 68 billion hours on TikTok. We can expect that to increase significantly, considering TikTok emerged as the most downloaded app in Q1 2020. Because of that, marketers are paying more attention to TikTok so we can also expect that TikTok advertising will bloom in the following months."
Quotes
  • "After nearly doubling its US user base last year, growth for TikTok will slow in the coming years as competition heats up and concerns grow among marketers."
  • "TikTok’s US user base will grow 21.9% this year to 45.4 million people. By 2021, it will surpass 50 million (52.2 million). This follows 97.5% growth in 2019, as the dynamic, short-form video platform drew in a huge number of users, especially children and teens. Growth will slow to single digits in 2022 as the app becomes heavily saturated among core younger users"
  • "“This year, we expect new entrants like Firework and legacy players like Instagram and Facebook to take on TikTok,” Williamson said. “Instagram is a particularly large threat; it recently added new tools to its Boomerang looping-effect feature that mimic similar features on TikTok.”"