29 TikTok Stats to Know in 2021

If you feel like the TikTok app came out of nowhere, you are not wrong.

Since launching in early 2018, TikTok has been covered by seemingly every major news publication and has seen millions of downloads worldwide.

Despite TikTok’s huge early success, the app still feels like a mystery, especially to marketers. In fact, parent company ByteDance didn’t publish many metrics until recently.

In the first year of TikTok, all we knew was that a strange video app went viral, topped the global app store charts, and gained a huge Gen-Z following.

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But now, shortly after TikTok’s first birthday, we know a lot more about it, as sites like Digiday, AdWeek, and our own marketing blog regularly report on it.

Even if you’re still not entirely sure what TikTok is, you’ve probably seen a video meme on social media that was first created and published on the app. Here is an example of a TikTok post that went viral on Twitter:

When making decisions about your social media strategy, you’re probably more interested in numbers than virality as evidence of an app’s staying power.

As someone drawn into the app blogged about it multiple times, read hundreds of posts, and even made a few embarrassingly mature videos myself, I’m pretty sure this platform will last for some time. Fortunately, you don’t just have to take my word for it when providing data on TikTok.

To help you make informed decisions about your strategy and whether TikTok is right for your brand, I’ve compiled a list of 28 interesting stats and facts that you should know before venturing into the app.

29 TikTok Stats You Should Know In 2021

User base, downloads and growth

TikTok’s first year reportedly hit 500 million monthly active users. Wondering if this was just a fluke or a viral trend that will wear off? Think again According to TikTok and its CEOs, the audience could be bigger and more promising than we think.

  • In September 2021, TikTok celebrated 1 billion monthly active users. (Tick Tock)
  • Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app that ByteDance bought and merged with TikTok, reportedly had 100 million monthly active users when it was bought by TikTok in 2018. (The Verge)
  • Douyin, TikTok’s original standalone app in China, had 300 million users when Musical.ly merged with TikTok. (The edge)
  • In 2020, TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app (850 million downloads), followed by WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. (Apptopia)
  • TikTok is the free top app in the entertainment section of the Apple App Store. (Apple App Store)

Demographics

While Gen-Z has dominated TikTok’s user base in the US, it has been adopted by many Millennials around the world.

And while it feels like TikTok is huge in the US, the app’s largest audience is actually from China, where the platform is called Douyin.

Here is a breakdown of TikTok’s top demographic stats.

  • 35% of TikTok’s global audience are between 19 and 29 years old and 28% are under 18 years old (Business of Apps)
  • As of December 2020, TikTok has 69.5 million monthly active users in the US. (Statista)
  • As of April 2021, 48% of adults in the US between 18 and 29 years old use TikTok, compared with 20% of adults between 30 and 49 and 14% of 50 to 64 year olds. (Pew Research Center)
  • A quarter of Americans between the ages of 12 and 34 have used TikTok, compared with 3% of adults over 35. (MarketingCharts)
  • 51% of TikTok users worldwide are male and 49% female. (Hootsuite)
  • TikTok is now available in more than 200 countries. (Oberlo)
  • Over 22.2 million of TikTok’s monthly active users are in Indonesia. (Statista)

User behavior

TikTok is a fast-paced app. Once you sign up, you’ll see a video at the top of a feed, algorithmically compiled based on your interests. If you like the video you’re watching, you can follow, comment, and like the content right from the video post. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, you can keep swiping up to see stranger videos right away.

From my own experience, I’ve found that TikTok can easily cause you to spend more time than expected watching an endless stream of often comedic videos. Since these videos are typically anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute in length, the app is ideal for people who need quick entertainment on their morning commute or when they’re bored at home.

Given the fast pace and entertainment factor of TikTok, the following stats aren’t that surprising:

  • According to a leaked deck by TikTok, the average user spends 89 minutes a day using the app. (Music business worldwide)
  • As of September 2021, 14.43 million daily active users are using the TikTok Android app and the average user spends 12.3 hours per month with it. (Statista, HootSuite)
  • TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps on the Google Play Store. (Statista)
  • Younger users aged 4-15 spend an average of 80 minutes a day with the app. (Qustodio)
  • According to a leaked TikTok deck, the average user opens the app 19 times a day. (Music business worldwide)
  • As of September 2021, there are 30.8 million DAUs worldwide in the TikTok iOS app. (Statista)
  • TikTok users on Android now spend more time viewing content in the app than on YouTube. (App Annie)

Viral trends and influencers on TikTok

Like YouTube, Vine, Instagram, as well as other past and current video apps, TikTok has opened doors for influencers, comedians, meme makers, and even some brands. While it’s a little early to see how successful its influencers and trends will be in the long run, here are a few interesting tidbits:

  • The most followed creator on TikTok is the dancer Charli D’amelio with 123.5 million followers. Khabane Lame follows closely behind with 115 million. (Wikipedia)
  • One of the first brand hashtag challenges was Guess’s #InMyDenim challenge. According to TikTok, videos tagged with this hashtag received a total of 38.8 million views. (Tick Tock)
  • Rapper Lil Nas X attributes the success of his song “Old Town Road” to TikTok. The song was catapulted to # 1 on the Billboard Top 100 in 2019 after the artist uploaded it to TikTok. (BuzzFeed News)

Here’s a compilation of TikTok’s #CowboyChallenge where people wearing normal clothes cut themselves into cowboy costumes to the song “Old Town Road”.

Business, sales and competition

The launch of TikTok not only put its parent company ByteDance on the map, it also led to competition from apps like Facebook, which launched a very similar app called Lasso shortly after TikTok went viral. While TikTok and ByteDance are less transparent about revenue and other key details, here’s what we know:

  • TikTok now offers five levels of advertising aimed at big brands. One of them, a branded hashtag challenge, reportedly costs $ 150,000 a day. (TikTok Pitch Deck Notes first reported by Digiday)
  • TikTok had an estimated revenue of 1.9 billion in 2020. (Business of Apps)
  • In October 2020, TikTok made $ 115 million from in-app purchases from users. (Sensor tower)
  • TikTok has a 4.9-star rating on the Apple App Store and 4.4 on the Google Play Store. (Apple App Store, Google Play Store)
  • Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok, is valued at $ 75 million, making it the most valuable startup in the world. (CBIsights)

The secrets of TikTok

Although TikTok is a top social platform and is expanding its options for advertisers, it is still fairly new. When a company or startup is new, it’s not uncommon for executives to hide early numbers, even when a brand is successful. In fact, we’ve seen this happen with other big companies like Snapchat and Netflix.

Despite the launch of TikTok For Business in mid-2020, there is still a lot more to learn as the global teams at TikTok and ByteDance continue to remain silent about key metrics. As TikTok continues to attract more advertisers in the years to come, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw more transparent information about the app and its user base.

Where can I find TikTok statistics

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about TikTok, you can check out its brief history and early success in this post, or click here for a guide on how to use the app. In addition, there are several websites that you can discover important TikTok fact apps:

Want to see what other companies are doing on TikTok? Check out this round-up of the brands on TikTok.

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