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TikTok’s corporate focus on Latin America is paying off

It’s no secret that consumers in Latin America are notoriously heavy social network users; 87.1% of the region’s internet users will use a social network at least once a month in 2020, more than those in any world region.

Now, TikTok is benefiting from that love of online socializing where its blend of music, dancing, and video is attracting a growing audience—inevitably challenging Facebook’s dominance in a region where social media usage has historically been synonymous with Facebook products (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.).

According to Comscore's Media Metrix, there were 64.4 million unique visitors to TikTok’s website and app across Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico in July 2020. That's up from 15.8 million in January 2020 and just 5.0 million in July 2019.

TikTok’s rise in Latin America is the result of an increased corporate focus on the region—most notably in Brazil. Comscore’s figures revealed that among the region’s three largest economies, Brazil experienced particularly substantial growth in TikTok usage.

Its unique visitor count grew by more than 2,000% between July 2019 and July 2020, reaching 39.8 million. By comparison, TikTok had 16.3 million unique visitors in Mexico in July 2020, up nearly 570% year over year (YoY), while Argentina was up 1,101.4% YoY to 8.3 million.

“We don’t yet forecast TikTok users in Latin America, but it’s worth pointing out that Comscore’s figures would not be directly comparable to our forecasts, since they represent visitors in a given month, while our forecasts include people who use a social network on a monthly basis throughout the year—a higher bar for usage,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “Nevertheless, Brazil’s strong growth in 2020 makes this country one to watch in the future.”

With that context in mind, the number of visitors to TikTok in Brazil in July—39.8 million by Comscore’s count—is on par with our 2020 monthly user forecast for Twitter (35.4 million). It is also worth noting that this figure is nearly quadruple our estimates for Snapchat (10.1 million), but roughly half of the 82.3 million monthly users we expect for Instagram.

“TikTok’s growth in 2020 has been, in a word, extraordinary,” Aho Williamson said. “Cooped up at home, people have turned to the app to pass the time by creating and watching videos. While the pandemic helped stoke user gains for all the major social platforms, it lit a particularly large fire under TikTok.”