CivicScience | For TikTok, the Time is Now

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For TikTok, the Time is Now

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TikTok is one of the most downloaded and fastest growing social media apps in the world. The China-based site, which allows users to post short videos – mostly of themselves singing or acting goofy, and only for between three and 15 seconds – has only been available in the United States since the summer of 2018. Already, 9% of Americans have used the app and another 5% plan on it.

And the reach goes even further with 23% of people saying they have either used it or at least seen videos circulating the internet.

What We Know About Users and Intenders

Predictably, TikTok is – thus far – dominated by younger generations. Over one in five members of Gen Z, who are heavy smartphone users and very in touch with trending content, have already used the app. TikTok users also make purchases from their smartphones (71%) at a much higher rate than those who aren’t interested (58%) or have never heard of TikTok (42%).

Users and intenders of TikTok also make up nearly a third of people who said they have a side hustle or gig like driving for Uber, consulting, or crafting on Etsy. That is double the amount of TikTok-ers who said they don’t have any kind of side job.

It is no surprise that TikTok is dominated by heavy social media users: nearly a quarter of Americans who use social media for 2 or more hours a day have either already used or intend to use TikTok.

Half of Americans 13+ who have used TikTok say their purchases are influenced by their social media friends and contacts. That is a monster number. Which is probably why it didn’t take long for brands to start dabbling in the TikTok world.

Adults and Parents Aren’t Sure About Kids on TikTok

The app has an age limit of 13, but that doesn’t stop kids under that age from putting in fake birthdays to gain access. Despite the fact that TikTok said it will remove the accounts of those under 13 – and in some cases require a government ID for proof of age – American adults, by a 7-to-1 margin, think TikTok is not for kids under 13 years old.

Parents are even more concerned, with 63% nervous about their kids’ using the social media platform, whether they are under or over 13.

In addition, parents who limit or restrict screen time for their children are the most concerned about TikTok; it is only parents who impose no time limits on their children’s use of technology where a decided lack of concern is seen.

Targeted TikTok?

Lastly, Americans 13+ who have used or intend to use TikTok are 550% more likely to occasionally go on hours-long “Target runs.” This seems to be an opportunity for the retailer.

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