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TikTok hits 1B monthly users, becomes creators’ favorite platform

TikTok topped 1 billion monthly active users, solidifying the video app as a serious contender against the top social networks.


The news: ByteDance-owned TikTok hit the 1 billion monthly user mark in only four years. That’s about four years faster than the pace of Facebook-owned Instagram, which hit 1 billion monthly users in about eight years, the Information reports.

Watch out, Zuck: The pandemic has supercharged TikTok’s growth as homebound users have issued challenges, learned dances, and watched oddly satisfying videos. TikTok’s userbase grew 45 percent since July of 2020 and now it’s the fourth-most popular app in the world behind only Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. That’s certainly put a shiver down ol’ Zuck’s spine.

No sweat: TikTok continues to rapidly grow despite its ban in India, the world’s second-most populous country. India banned TikTok — and 58 other Chinese-made apps — after citing compliance, censorship, and privacy concerns.

Creators clamoring: A recent survey found that creators prefer using TikTok over any other platform, including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. The Influencer Marketing Factory surveyed 600 U.S. creators to find that content creators’ favorite platform is TikTok (30%) followed by Instagram (22%) and YouTube (22%). TikTok is also narrowly where these creators make the most money: TikTok (24%), Instagram (22%), YouTube (20%).

Why it matters: TikTok is the largest, most viable threat to the social media giants, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Founders interested in capitalizing on the hottest distribution channels should be aware that more and more people are taking to TikTok. And for creators, TikTok is steadily becoming one of the more lucrative platforms to monetize fans.

TikTokers: TikTok’s user demographics have changed a lot in the 18 months, but it still skews young. Nearly 48 percent of users are between the ages of 10 and 29, while about 30 percent are between 30 - 49 years old. In its lawsuit against the U.S. government, TikTok shared that it has about 100 million total users in the U.S. and 50 million daily active users.

Feeling the squeeze: In response to TikTok’s rise, YouTube launched Youtube Shorts, a short-form video-sharing feature to compete. In May, YouTube kicked off its Shorts Fund that will dish out $100 million to creators in 2021 and 2022.

Comparing: TikTok's user base has grown by almost 20X in 3 years, but it still lags behind some social network giants. Facebook reported in Q2 of 2021 that it welcomes nearly 1.9 billion daily active users. YouTube says it has about 2 billion monthly active users. Still, TikTok has surpassed Twitter (300 million monthly active users), and Snapchat (500 million).

Fun fact: According to Sahil Patel, Twitter launched in 2006 but has never reached 1 billion monthly active users.

Courting creators: The creator economy — worth more than $50 billion and with more than 50 million creators — is central to TikTok's strategy. The company will pay creators $1 billion in the U.S. over the next three years, and more than double that investment globally. In 2020, TikTok kicked off its Creator Makerplace, offering marketers a chance to partner with popular TikTok personalities. And once you hit 1,000 followers, TikTok’s “Gifts” feature allows you to receive virtual gifts that can be turned into cash.

Marketers want influencers: A new report from eMarketer/Insider Intelligence projects that advertisers will spend $3.7 billion this year on influencer marketing — an increase of 34 percent from 2020. The firm anticipates that advertisers will dish $4.6 billion to influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

What do you think of TikTok’s rise? Have you used it to grow your brand? Share your experience below.

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    I wonder.. are the rules simpler for content creators on Tik Tok? Or is editing easier? Why do creators prefer it over YT?

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      The quality doesn't need to be as polished as on IG, FB, and YouTube. So it becomes easier to create. For products, it is user testimonial and promotion. Then it works well for many consumer or creator products. Just my 2 cent.

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      The survey indicated that it was also these creators' top revenue generator, so I imagine that's a top reason.

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      • Easier to go viral.
      • Easier to grow.
      • More content freedom.
      • Lower barrier to entry.
  2. 1

    A new report from eMarketer/Insider Intelligence projects that advertisers will spend $3.7 billion this year on influencer marketing — an increase of 34 percent from 2020. The firm anticipates that advertisers will dish $4.6 billion to influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

    Something off with these numbers? The numbers for TikTok alone are more than the total market.

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