Most people might recall TikTok as being the hit pop single by Kesha. And we don’t blame them. But for the teens of the world, it has taken a completely different meaning. Try asking one of Gen Z’ers and they’ll tell you that TikTok is a completely new subculture.
TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world which presents an alternative version of online sharing. It allows users to create short videos with music, filters, and some other features.
Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s cringey, but it’s definitely addictive.
And while for many people TikTok seems to be filling a void left by Vine, there’s much more to it than just that. TikTok provides a platform for users to express themselves in a very creative way.
But what exactly is this mystery app that youngsters can’t seem to get enough of? Let’s take a look.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is an iOS and Android media app that can be used for creating and sharing short videos. It was initially launched as Douyin in September 2016, in China. The following year, in 2017, the app was launched by ByteDance for markets outside of China. TikTok and Douyin both use the same software, but maintain separate networks in order to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. TikTok is available all around the world via the App Store or Google Play stores.
Our favorite cover of “Stand by Me.” 😍 pic.twitter.com/qcVTwiPvI5
— TikTok (@tiktok_us) October 22, 2018
Some of you might be wondering why TikTok might sound oddly similar to Musical.ly in terms of what you do within the apps. And there’s a good reason why. In late 2017, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, purchased Musical.ly. As a result of the merger, TikTok had smooth access to targeting the US teenage market which previously belonged to Musical.ly.
To give you an idea of what TikTok aims for as a company, their mission is “to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos.” In doing so, TikTok competes with giants like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook that have either the backing of Google or Facebook.
What helps TikTok stand out among the competition is that it’s more of an entertainment platform, instead of a lifestyle platform. And what makes it so attractive is that practically anyone can become a content provider because of the simplicity of using the app. That’s why it appeals to so many content creators around the world and why they’re exploring ways to improve their TikTok growth.
Now that we understand what TikTok is, let’s dive into the top 10 TikTok statistics for 2021, and why knowing them can be useful for marketers around the world.
Top 10 TikTok Statistics
1. How Many Users Does TikTok Have?
Launched in September 2016, TikTok has exploded in popularity over the past five years.
Just to give you an idea of how other apps performed in comparison with TikTok’s growth, it took Instagram six years from its launch to gain the same amount of monthly active users that TikTok managed to achieve in under three years. Facebook, widely known as the king of social media, took more than four years.
With that said, this TikTok user statistic of 689 million does not include users in China, home to TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. That’s because the social media site operates under a different name there.
Called Douyin, this Chinese version of TikTok boasts 600 million daily active users. Together, TikTok and Douyin have 1.29 billion active users worldwide.
2. How Many Downloads Does TikTok Have?
In February 2019, TikTok reached its first billion downloads. The app took just under eight months to gain half a billion more. These figures are nothing short of impressive, considering that the app was launched only as recently as 2016.
Today, TikTok’s growth is showing no signs of stopping. The latest TikTok statistics show that as of April 2020, the popular video app has been downloaded more than two billion times worldwide on both the Apple App Store and Google Play (Sensor Tower, 2020). In other words, TikTok was able to double its number of downloads in just over a year—a clear sign of the app’s skyrocketing popularity.
That’s not the only significant downloads landmark that the app has reached this year. In the first quarter of 2020, there were a total of 315 million TikTok downloads worldwide. Not only is this a whopping 58 percent increase from the previous quarter, more impressively, it is also the highest amount of downloads an app has ever received in a given quarter.
The surge in downloads is most likely a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Under lockdown, consumers were spending increasingly more time on their mobile phones and seeking out entertainment and new ways to stay connected, which in turn, drove TikTok downloads.
3. TikTok is the Most Downloaded App on the Apple App Store
If the previous TikTok statistic didn’t amaze you, this one will surely blow you away.
As of Q1 2019, TikTok is the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store, with 33 million downloads in a single quarter (Sensor Tower, 2019). The app strongly beats out YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, which round out the top five.
What’s more, this is TikTok’s fifth consecutive quarter as the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store. This means that not only is TikTok able to keep its current user base strong, but it’s also constantly evolving to attract a new and growing user base.
But TikTok appears to be more popular among iPhone users than Android users – TikTok is ‘only’ the third-most downloaded app on Google Play, behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Even so, Q1 2019 is the app’s best performing quarter yet, with 188 million new users – a year-on-year increase of 70 percent from the 110 million new users it registered in Q1 2018.
As further evidence of the app’s recent growing popularity, TikTok also crossed the one billion mark for app installations on the App Store and Google Play worldwide. This was largely thanks to the 667 million first-time downloads in 2018 – which propelled it to fourth place on the list of most downloaded non-game apps of the year.
4. TikTok Conquers US Youngsters
TikTok might still be a bit of a head-scratcher for the older generations, but it has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with youngsters.
62 percent of TikTok users in the US are aged between 10 and 29 (Statista, 2020). In comparison, just 7.1 percent of them are over the age of 50.
Why is TikTok so popular among the younger generation, while many older social media users have never heard of it? Simply put—it’s by design.
To start off, the lure of TikTok among the younger generation can be explained by the fact that the app’s creators decided to choose users aged under 18 as their target audience from the very beginning.
In a way, you can say that TikTok creators understood the younger generation much better than their competitors. With their target audience specified from the start, they studied their habits and preferences, which helped them create a social media app that gives them exactly what they’re looking for.
TikTok allows its users to express themselves creatively. Sharing amusing videos of themselves singing, dancing, or lip-syncing to their favorite tunes are just some ways youngsters use TikTok.
5. TikTok Downloads on Google Play
As the fastest-growing social media app , it’s interesting to take a look at where most TikTok downloads originate from.
The latest statistics show that TikTok was particularly popular in South America towards the end of Q3 2020. The app was downloaded from the Google Play store 3.08 million times in Brazil in the month of September alone (Statista, 2020).
Mexico is in second place with just a touch fewer downloads at three million, followed by the US with 2.31 million and Russia with 2.24 million.
Pakistan is fifth on the list and accounts for 1.65 million TikTok downloads. But it may soon be falling off the TikTok downloads charts as the country’s TikTok ban takes effect in October 2020. Authorities there say they’re doing so because of what they deem to be “immoral/indecent content” on the platform.
This comes just four months after the app was banned in neighboring India, formerly the country where the majority of TikTok’s users were located. At one point, TikTok downloads in India made up as much as 30 percent of the app’s total global downloads.
6. How Much Time Do Users Spend on TikTok Daily on Average?
When it comes to the daily time spent on TikTok, users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app (BusinessofApps, 2019). So this means that people are using the social networking app daily either for creating and sharing short videos of themselves, or for watching the existing plethora of TikTok videos uploaded to the platform. Either way, they’re doing it for almost an hour everyday.
Let’s take a look at how other social media sites perform in comparison to TikTok. People spend almost the same amount of time on Instagram (53 minutes), and a little less on Snapchat (49.5 minutes). Facebook takes the lead with users spending an average of 58.5 minutes on the social media platform each day. And for marketers, all this can be a big deal to know. That’s because the more time people spend on these apps, the higher is the chance that they will see advertisements.
7. How Many Countries Is TikTok Available In?
As of 2019, TikTok is available in 155 countries (Apptrace, 2019). It’s also available in 75 languages. This covers a large part of the population.
What’s even more interesting to note is how TikTok managed to gather such a huge audience in such a short span of time, all the while growing into new markets. To begin with, most of TikTok’s Western audience belonged to Musical.ly, and for the Eastern audience they run a separate version of the app called Douyin, that they’re much more familiar with. TikTok has done particularly well with growing its Asian followers. The app is downloaded more than 10 million times by the people in Thailand alone. And in India, there are now more than 20 million active users of the app.
As a marketer, this TikTok statistic can be of interest to you when you’re considering your marketing efforts based on your target audience. With TikTok you have the possibility of reaching an audience in 155 different countries. And, statistically speaking, there’s a very high likelihood that your audience is located somewhere in these countries.
8. Nine Out of Ten TikTok Users Use the App Multiple Times Daily
Three-quarters of all apps are downloaded, accessed once, and then entirely forgotten. With the next TikTok statistic, you can be sure that TikTok falls into the remaining one-quarter.
90 percent of all TikTok users access the app on a daily basis. Not only that, they are extremely active on the app. A study observing the behavior of TikTok users in the span of one month shows that 68 percent of TikTok users watch someone else’s video and 55 percent upload their own videos (Globalwebindex, 2019).
There also appears to be a difference in watching and sharing habits, with the former a clear preference among TikTok users.
To dig deeper, there might be some obvious reasons why there’s a preference of watching existing content over publishing your own. Some users might prefer TikTok as a source of entertainment. But, despite the fact that users are more actively watching existing content, there’s still an astonishing number of people who are sharing their own videos. This also demonstrates the creative freedom and simplicity of TikTok as a social platform.
9. Growing Number of US Adults Use TikTok
We’ve got another fascinating TikTok statistic that helps us understand the demographics of TikTok users better. Basically, Americans love TikTok. 26.5 out of the 500 million monthly active users are from the USA . This statistic combines the downloads of TikTok from both Android and iOS.
But even though the app is still overwhelmingly more popular among teens , latest figures actually show a shift away from this trend.
Apart from slight dips in the third quarter of 2018, the number of US adults using TikTok has been pretty much consistently on the rise over the past few years (Marketingcharts, 2019).
At the start of the fourth quarter of 2017, there were 2.6 million US adult TikTok users. Just 12 months later, that increased nearly three-fold to 7.2 million. Since September 2018, TikTok usage among US adults has increased exponentially – doubling and reaching 14.3 million in just six months.
In less than 18 months, the number of US adult TikTok users grew 5.5 times.
One of the main contributing factors of TikTok’s sudden rise in popularity from September 2018 can be attributed to The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. As part of the show’s segment, The Tonight Show host, Fallon encouraged viewers to take part in a series of challenges hosted by the TikTok app. As a result of this partnership, TikTok experienced a huge spike in engagement and downloads.
10. Average Number of Viewed Videos on TikTok
When it comes to the average number of videos watched on TikTok, there were more than 1 million videos viewed every day in a year (Influencermarketinghub, 2018). What’s mind blowing is that within a year of TikTok’s development, it reached this milestone of 1 million views per day.
This TikTok statistic is proof in itself that you need to start paying attention to this social media site. As mentioned earlier the app started initially growing when it acquired its rival Musical.ly in 2017. After the merger of the two apps, there was no looking back. This way not only did TikTok have a smooth entry to the market but it also catered to an existing market’s needs. But it’s important not to forget that TikTok’s sizable user base is not only due to a growth in Western markets, but because of effectively growing in emerging markets like China and India.
Content and community were a big player in encouraging the growth of TikTok in a very short span of time. From then onwards, TikTok continued to grow and reach new audiences.
So it’s safe to say that TikTok is doing much more than just replacing Vine, or other similar social media apps. Now while TikTok might be competing with the big players in the market, the platform serves a different purpose than YouTube, Instagram, or Snapchat. TikTok is a platform mainly aimed at content creators. And the ease with which anyone can become a content creator, is one of the many factors that gives TikTok an advantage over the competition. With these TikTok statistics in mind, you’ll be able to understand the new social media happenings in a better way. These statistics also prove that whether you’re a social media marketer or a social media user, TikTok isn’t a force to be taken lightly. It’s time to pay serious attention to TikTok marketing.
Summary: TikTok Statistics
Here’s a summary of the TikTok statistics you need to know in 2021:
- TikTok has 689 million monthly active users worldwide.
- The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play.
- TikTok ranked as the top most downloaded app in Apple’s iOS App Store for Q1 2019, with more than 33 million downloads.
- 62 percent of TikTok users in the US are between 10 and 29 years old.
- TikTok has been downloaded 611 million times in India, which is around 30 percent of the app’s total global downloads.
- When it comes to the daily time spent on TikTok, users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app.
- TikTok is available in 155 countries, and in 75 languages.
- 90 percent of all TikTok users access the app on a daily basis.
- In less than 18 months, the number of US adult TikTok users grew 5.5 times.
- There was an average number of more than 1 million videos viewed every day in a year.
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