Charli D’Amelio is considered a social media “personality.” At the ripe young age of 16, she has 37 million Instagram followers and more than 100 million TikTok followers. Her phone is a stage: whether it’s to see her latest Dunkin’ order or to watch her pop-lock-and-drop for a JLo music video, people are tuning in. And there are many other sensational personalities like her on TikTok (and Instagram and YouTube for that matter).

Yet, among Americans 13 and older on TikTok, 70% say they watch zero influencer content on TikTok. The number is not quite so high for Instagram, but still, 51% say they don’t watch any influencer content.

Digging into the data, we see that Charli’s age group surely views more influencer content than other generations, but still 57% of guys and gals between the ages of 13 and 24 say they don’t watch any. Charli has over 100 million TikTok followers, and considering Gen Z has most TikTok users when compared to other age groups, it makes one wonder if they really know what they are watching.

On the other hand, Instagram users in general report seeing influencer content at a nearly 50% rate (as seen in first chart), which feels slightly more realistic. The generational breakdown tells the same story as it does for TikTok — Gen Z is tracking influencers the most.

So, if users follow more influencers on Instagram than they do on TikTok, the market needs an explanation for the following: TikTok users are 30% more likely than Instagram users to say that what they view on the platform influences what they buy.

What’s interesting is that most influencers have accounts with both Instagram and TikTok, but it’s clear that TikTok, specifically, has a stronger influence over younger audiences. But that isn’t new information, is it? To add to the analysis, CivicScience looked at influence on both platforms by primary users’ age groups. 

Gen Z is more influenced by TikTok than Instagram, but they are also more influenced by both TikTok and Instagram when compared to the generation above them (which is the dominant age group on Instagram).

Gen Z is a more social-media-influenced age group overall. Similar to how older generations have been influenced by movie stars or athletes, this youngest generation looks to social media personalities when deciding what they like and dislike. 

Circling back on these personalities, CivicScience found a number of the popular influencers on TikTok right now have more unfavorable ratings than favorable ones. Charli D’Amelio is 15% favorable and 25% unfavorable. Spencer X and Addison Rae also have similar favorability scores for being so widely known.

And to illustrate just how concentrated awareness is in younger age groups:

Given the steady increase in TikTok followers over the last year (and the stark ups and downs of Instagram users) TikTok is the platform to watch.

Coming soon, CivicScience will share it’s report on trust in influencer content and purchases through social media.