For the uninitiated, TikTok is the social media app owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, and as of September 2020 it had more than 100 million monthly active users in Europe.
To give some context, Facebook’s family of apps including WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, had 3.21 billion monthly active users around the world, as of September 2020.
“It definitely has taken the world by storm,” says Essi Nurminen, head of strategy at agency Born Social. “And part of the reason why is the … key immersive experience that it provides that makes it super easy to spend time with,” she adds.
As with Instagram, users can scroll through posts and pause to watch or like the ones that grab their attention. The difference with TikTok is its algorithm that serves up content based on factors such as videos a user has previously engaged with or something they’ve posted – and not just posts from people they follow. It also adds ‘diverse’ videos to users’ feeds to help them find more unusual types of content.
TikTok’s vice president of sales for Europe, Stuart Flint, says the appeal of the platform is its “rawness”. “It’s not a veneered self, you are kind of who you are,” he tells Catalyst.
As with other social platforms, brands can set up their own accounts and post content from there.
Grabbing the attention of TikTok’s Gen Z users is arguably no easy task, but Nurminen suggests brands build an organic presence via their own account, try out running some ads and work with creators to put together content. And, she says, short, simple posts that tell a story and where something surprising happens work best: “It’s really just like creating that gripping narrative that people would want to follow, rather than just pushing product in their faces,” she says. It’s not just Gen Z that are fans of the platform: Kantar research commissioned by TikTok in September 2020 suggests that 67% of the 67,000 users it surveyed are over 25.
- TikTok is set to reach 11 million users in the UK during 2021
- TikTok is downloaded over 1m times a month in the UK
The average daily time spent on the app is 41 minutes
The largest share of users (26%) in the UK is aged 18-24
The UK generated the third-highest income for app behind China and the US in 2019 at £1.95m
@hollyh is the UK’s largest influencer on the platform with over 16.6m followers
The biggest TikTok influencers in the UK have higher engagement rates on Instagram
TikTok had its biggest month in March 2020 with 115m global downloads, with 745k from the UK