Gen Z is the social video generation, and TikTok is its platform

Just as Facebook became the platform that defined millennials’ social media experience, TikTok is cruising toward a similar status for Gen Z—but it’s taking a different route.

  • TikTok still trails some incumbents’ penetration rates of US teen users. As of fall 2022, 83% of US teens were using TikTok at least monthly, equivalent with Snapchat but behind Instagram (87%), according to a September 2022 Piper Sandler survey.
  • But TikTok crushes the competition in terms of time spent among 16- to 25-year-olds. The amount of time the 16-to-25 age group spends with TikTok weekly is more than triple their time spent with Instagram or Snapchat, according to September 2022 data from Measure Protocol. YouTube is TikTok’s closest competitor, trailing by more than 6 hours. However, YouTube comfortably surpasses TikTok in terms of user penetration of that age group (93% versus 78%, respectively).