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.
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.
Now that we understand what TikTok is, let’s dive into the top 10 TikTok statistics for 2019, and why knowing them can be useful for marketers around the world.
Top 10 TikTok Statistics
1. How Many Users Does TikTok Have?
TikTok was launched in September 2016, and in the three years since its launch, it’s safe to say that it has exploded in popularity. TikTok has 800 million active users worldwide (Datareportal, 2020). That makes TikTok 9th in terms of social network sites, ahead of better known sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
It’s interesting to point out that 150 million active daily users are in China, which mostly use the Chinese version of the app, called Douyin. TikTok has especially been enthusiastically welcomed by many Asian countries such as Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Just to give you an idea of how other apps perform in comparison, 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. And for Facebook to hit the same monthly active users mark, it took nearly over four years.
2. How Many Downloads Does TikTok Have?
TikTok is by far one of the world’s most downloaded apps in recent years, having surpassed both the one billion and 1.5 billion downloads mark on the App Store and Google Play in a single year in 2019.
The app reached its first billion only as recently as February 2019 and took just under eight months to gain half a billion more – figures that are nothing short of impressive.
The latest TikTok statistics show that the app was downloaded 614 million times from January to November in 2019 (Sensor Tower, 2019). This marks a six percent year-over-year increase from the previous year and clearly on track to exceed 2018’s total number of downloads.
If growth figures hold, this means the app is likely to be the third most popular non-gaming app of 2019, just behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with 707.4 million and 636.2 million installs respectively. It will also rank ahead of social media giant Facebook itself and Instagram.
Interestingly, of the five above-mentioned apps, TikTok is the only one that isn’t owned by the Facebook group.And if you need further proof of TikTok’s popularity, here’s another. Despite its relatively recent launch in late 2016, TikTok has made its way into the list of the ten most-downloaded apps of the past decade, ranking in seventh place ahead of even YouTube and Twitter, which have been around for much, much longer.
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 App Conquers the Teens of the World
TikTok has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with the youngsters of the world. It might be a bit of a head scratcher for the older generations, but TikTok is no news to the teens of the world. 41 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 (Globalwebindex, 2019).
The social media app is all the hype among youngsters, but many adult social media users have never heard of it and you might be wondering why. Simply put — it’s by design. To start off, the popularity of TikTok with the younger generation could be explained by the fact that the app creators decided to choose under 18 as their target audience from the very beginning. In a way, you can say that TikTok creators have understood the younger generation in a better way than competitor apps. With their target audience specified from the start, they’ve understood the habits and preferences of this age group which has led them to create a social media app that gives their audience exactly what they’re looking for. TikTok allows users to create and share funny videos while singing, dancing, or lip-syncing to their favorite tunes. It allows the younger crowd to express themselves in a creative way, whether that’s by dancing, singing, or doing some form of comedy. If you think of it this way, it’s no surprise why it has generated so much hype among the teens of the world.
5. TikTok Usage by Country
Much of TikTok’s 2019 downloads boost came from Asia, and more specifically, India.
In 2019 alone (as of November 2019), India was responsible for 277.6 million downloads, which make up almost half (45 percent) of the number of downloads in the entire year (Sensor Tower, 2019). This is also 60 percent of the total number of downloads in India. In other words, six out of every ten downloads of the TikTok app in India took place in 2019.
India is followed by China and the United States with 45.5 million (7.4 percent) and 37.6 million (six percent) downloads respectively.
These 2019 downloads figures are also rather representative of the app’s all-time downloads. Of the total number of downloads of the TikTok app so far, 466.8 million (or 31 percent) come from India. That’s more than double the 173.2 million downloads from China. Together, these two countries make up more than 40 percent of the total number of TikTok app downloads.
In comparison, downloads in the US number at 123.8 million, which make up 8.2 percent of the total.
TikTok is fully aware of its growing popularity in the South Asian country and is adapting its platform to cater to the local and diverse population. As it stands, it supports 15 Indian languages and is marketing itself through its recent education program launch in the country.
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.
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