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TikTok to reach 1.5 billion users in the next year, boosting its allure to marketers

The news: TikTok is expected to reach 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) in the next 12 months, per App Annie.

  • That would make the social app one of the quickest to reach this threshold—in approximately 34 quarters.

Why such a rapid ascent? TikTok has benefited from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram training consumers to spend a portion of their day perusing social media.

  • It also doesn’t appear to be significantly wounded by Meta (formerly Facebook, Inc.) duplicating some TikTok features—unlike Snapchat, which was hobbled after Instagram co-opted its features back in 2016.

No India, no problem: Despite being banned in one of its top markets, India, in June 2020, the app has grown at a significant clip in 2021.

  • With 200 million active users at the time of the ban, TikTok might have already reached 1.5 billion users had the ban not occurred.

What this means: Marketers need to consider several factors when planning their ad spend.

  • Tiktok should command more advertising spending as it grows, diverting dollars from other social players and traditional media.
  • Though we expect TikTok to continue to rise—albeit with more conservative figures than the App Annie data—the app faces challenges. Adult TikTok users will spend 36.71 minutes per day with the app this year, declining to 35.72 in 2022 and 35.04 in 2023, per our forecast.
  • YouTube appears to be investing heavily in Shorts, its TikTok-inspired feature. Snapchat’s Spotlight is another competitor.
  • As TikTok continues to demonstrate that it can command attention, it must also show that it can reliably convert users into buyers.