Have you used Tik Tok? It’s a social media app owned by a private company based in China. It has attracted a massive userbase at the same time older social media platforms are finding it more difficult to grow. Can Tik Tok keep it going? Laura Forman reports in The Wall Street Journal:
If the sun is setting on Facebook, then TikTok is dancing in the moonlight. How long can its short-form video hold consumers’ fickle attention?
Just a few years ago, China-based ByteDance’s TikTok was an app for kids, with videos of anthropomorphic pets or freakishly talented children dancing. Now it seems like everyone is using it, no matter their age. Its growth has come at the expense of its competition, such that just about every social-media company is now pouring money into copycat products.
TikTok’s founding genius is that it capitalized on consumers’ short and capricious attention with a seemingly infinite collection of music-backed videos under 60 seconds algorithmically tailored to users’ interests. Those still bored in under a minute can simply swipe until something else catches their eye.
In its latest installment of what it believes is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America, Edison Research found 82% of polled U.S. adults now use social media, unchanged from last year. That means that, unlike most other sectors in tech like food delivery, ride-hailing or dating, social media apps are competing for the same users, not new ones.
It is a game that TikTok is winning. Back in 2019, 70% of 10-year-old girls with smartphones in the U.S. were using TikTok. Today, Edison Research’s survey shows TikTok is the third-most used social media app across users of all ages, topping Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Roughly 36% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 polled is using TikTok as of this year, behind only Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, and up from 11% two years ago. Over that period, the percentage of people using Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest has declined, the survey shows.
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