If you are above the age of forty and aren’t particularly “hip” then you may not have heard of Tik Tok, very few others have much of an excuse. The social media success story has been gaining massive traction globally and especially here in the UK where it is a favourite among teens, but evidence suggests it is starting to permeate into other demographics as well.
Tik Tok is already enjoying a flourish here in the UK but market experts seem to believe that the trend will continue. eMarketer predicts that by the next year that the platform will have more than 10 million users here in the UK. Proof if it were needed that it is more than just today’s youth enjoying the service.
Without users, social media sites wilt and die (sorry Tom at MySpace) and Tik Tok, famous for its video-sharing and simple to use video editing interface has some impressive figures. Its popularity has gone through the roof in the UK in the past year. The app, owned by Chinese company Bytedance has more doubled its users here in the UK since 2017, it is now up to a staggering 4.9 million users.
If it continues to follow that trend then by 2021 it will have more than doubled again rising to a ridiculous 10.1 million users. By the end of this year, it is thought it will hit the 8 million mark if eMarketer is to be believed.
However, not all is totally rosy for the app. It is predicted that after 2021 that it’s rate of expansion will slow down. From there on it is thought that the annual rise will reduce to around about a million users per year. This is due to most teens in the country already having the app and the market becoming more competitive as existing platforms such as Facebook are trying to get in on the act having launched its own version called Lasso. There is also another contender on the horizon called Byte.
Debra Aho Williamson eMarketer’s principal analyst had this to say, "TikTok had a breakout year in 2019 and it is incredibly popular among teens at this point. Some are spending multiple hours per day on the app, which is a testament to the incredible stickiness of its scrolling video format. But it has yet to develop a strong following among older generations." She added: "This year, we expect new entrants like Firework and legacy players like Instagram and Facebook to take on TikTok. Instagram is a particularly large threat; it recently added new tools to its Boomerang looping-effect feature that mimic similar features on TikTok."
This just goes to show the allure of the app. It isn’t just a case of people downloading it. It gets some serious use as well and that is part of what makes it such an exciting proposition for advertisers. In this year alone more than 20% of the UK’s social media users will use TikTok at least once a month. What that means is that 1 in 5 of social media users will use it. Unlike a lot of its more established competitors, TikTok’s penetrations tats are on the rise.
Whether TikTok will live up to the expectations of eMarketer or not remains to be seen. But for those of you “hip” enough, you don’t need a marketing company to tell you that TikTok is everywhere at the moment, all you need is the internet and a pair of eyes. And if you do have it, take a look through some of the videos and tell me if the app is just for teens. I think you will find the answer is a resounding no.