Launched in 2016, TikTok swiftly claimed its stake in the social media world, transforming the digital landscape with its focus on short-form videos of up to only three minutes in contrast to YouTube’s 12 hour maximum videos.
While commonly associated with fun content and snippets of humorous moments, TikTok is also gaining traction among businesses that exploit its reach for audience education and promotion of their products or services – giving YouTube and other platforms additional competition in the video ad space.
A striking feature of this unprecedented surge in individual and business use is the rapidity with which TikTok accumulated its vast user base. Within five years, the app breached the 1 billion user mark – significantly faster than its more established rivals. Against this backdrop, the TikTok phenomenon provides us with insightful statistics and patterns that offer a glimpse into the future of the best social media platform war.
TikTok Ticks Faster: Billion User Race
Indeed, the speed of TikTok’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable. To put it into context, Facebook took eight years to achieve what TikTok managed in five, while Instagram also took eight years to match TikTok’s user base.
Tiktok now has 1.05 billion monthly active users, with over 1/10 of them from the US.
If the US bans Tiktok, it certainly will continue to serve the remaining users, and let Americans to risk 20 years in prison to visit Tiktok through VPN. pic.twitter.com/JhpSQYSj1V
— DaiWW (@BeijingDai) March 29, 2023
Similarly, YouTube, boasting over 2 billion monthly active users as of today, took eight years to cross the 1 billion thresholds. As these giants grapple with the new kid on the block, Twitter still lags behind with 368 million monthly active users.
Despite its meteoric rise, TikTok’s journey has not been without turbulence. The company faced a potential ban in the United States under the Trump administration due to issues related to security and data privacy. These challenges have not stopped the platform from expanding and developing, however, with many users still treating it as one of the best social media platforms.
One of the defining characteristics of TikTok’s success is its impressive statistics that underscore its potential for creators. To begin, TikTok ranked as the most downloaded app of 2022 by Statista, eclipsing social media veterans like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Its massive download numbers have been significantly bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 180% user growth among those aged 15-25 during the early months of lockdowns.
Content-wise, entertainment tops the bill on TikTok, with the corresponding hashtag reaching 535 billion views. This comes as little surprise, given that the social media platform offers a unique mix of creativity, engagement, and fun.
On the valuation front, TikTok was pegged at a hefty $50 billion by investors in 2020, and experts currently estimate its value at around $66 billion. This, combined with its 3.5 billion worldwide downloads, cements its position as the best social media platform.
TikTok doesn’t care about trends
Instead of chasing trends.
TikTok is focused on creating them.
They are creating all kinds of trends:
• Pop-culture pic.twitter.com/Q8uw7i4ysP
— Sohaib Albadawee (@albadawee) April 27, 2023
Part of TikTok’s allure stems from its influencers. Khaby Lame recently surpassed Charli D’Amelio to become the most followed account on the platform, famous for his satirical takes on life hack videos. This shows the potential for ordinary users to achieve widespread fame on TikTok.
The TikTok Time-Trap
TikTok’s user base is extensive and diverse, with the platform appealing to various age groups, particularly the younger demographic. A recent Ofcom report indicates that in the UK, children spend an average of 85 minutes a day on TikTok, significantly higher than the global average of 52 minutes.
When it comes to marketing, TikTok stands out as well. Businesses have started recognizing the massive potential of TikTok as a marketing tool. Users are generally more receptive to ads on the platform, perhaps due to the seamless integration of promotions with entertainment. Emotional messaging, swift communication, and popular ad formats have emerged as successful strategies for marketers on TikTok.
The platform has high engagement rates, too, and many marketers plan to increase their spending on the platform. This trend shows the shift in business attitudes towards the platform, considering it as one of the best social media platforms.
As TikTok continues to grow and evolve, its position as a potent contender in the social media arena cannot be denied. While it’s clear that the platform has made a remarkable impact on the digital landscape, only time will tell if it has what it takes to flip the YouTube giant and become the best social media platform.
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