There’s no question TikTok is enjoying a lot of buzz right now. But there are a lot of uncertainties about how many people use the short-video app, what advertisers can do with it, and what the opportunities and risks are.
How many people use TikTok and its Chinese version, Douyin?
TikTok and Douyin had 625 million smartphone monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide in August 2019, according to App Annie. A leaked pitch deck from TikTok puts the global user base even higher, however, at 800 million as of June 2019. The majority are in China, where Douyin had 500 million MAUs as of January.
Where is TikTok most popular?
India is the largest market, with 120 million MAUs in June 2019. The app is much smaller in the US, with 30 million MAUs in Q2 2019. It isn’t widely used in Europe or Latin America yet.
How are marketers using TikTok?
Businesses targeting the youth audience or that operate in the entertainment or consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories are the most active. Partnering with creators is a common activity. Some marketers have their own accounts, but the app’s unique tone and aesthetic make it challenging to develop appropriate content.
What ad formats are available on TikTok?
They include sponsored hashtag challenges, homepage takeovers and in-feed video ads. TikTok also has a third-party mobile ad network in some markets. Early advertisers have seen strong engagement from users, likely due to first-mover advantage.
What are the challenges and concerns for TikTok?
There are many, and they are wide-ranging. Because it is a Chinese-owned app, TikTok is facing questions about censorship and data privacy. Brand safety is another concern. And the app may struggle to keep users in the coming year if Instagram or Facebook start to offer similar features.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report discusses the growth of TikTok around the world and what marketers should know about the Chinese-owned short-video app.
KEY STAT: In a September 2019 survey of US teens by YouGov, 2% said TikTok was the social platform they used most often.
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