We think that it is now safe to say that most of us saw this coming – the inevitable platform arm-wrestling over viewer dedication.    

It is apt to wonder if people have allegiances to social media platforms like they do operating systems. At least while measuring how Android users use TikTok in the US and UK, a recent report from App Annie found that TikTok users now spend more time watching content than YouTube users. 

Although the more significant 2 billion monthly viewership of YouTube dwarfs the 700 million monthly viewership of TikTok, the rise of TikTok’s platform in such a short amount of time is something to notice since it provides insights into user trends that can benefit business and influencers.  


The Details

In the App Annie report, it was found that US TikTok users have steadily been increasing since 2020 and finally passed YouTube this year. It was also found that UK users watched almost 26 hours of content per month, compared to less than 16 hours on YouTube. 

The study didn’t look at users in China, where TikTok has its largest audience, and they only looked at Android users, but there are still worthy takeaways. Even though the study offers a narrow focus, one can still determine certain trends with this “core sample” that allows brands to adapt to the TikTok landscape and other social platforms to follow suit. 

Another critical factor is that TikTok videos are limited to three minutes or less compared to YouTube’s more flexible video times, which implies that 26 hours of watch time is a phenomenal feat.

App Annie concluded that the reason why TikTok experienced such a rise is because of “Short-video, authentic content, and live streaming.” As short as a video must be, influencers have to pack compelling content into a short amount of space. Also, because TikTok is catered to smartphone users, the app gets more accessible attention than other platforms used on laptops and desktops. 


Always Moving Forward

They say imitation is the best form of flattery, so the fact that YouTube is taking its cues from TikTok’s rapid rise as competition with YouTube Shorts is telling. This is a trend we see across platforms with a variety of features – as new platforms pop up and gain notice, the more established platforms are taking notice and swooping in to offer similar features. It makes for an interesting race to follow.   

As influencers and brands start to take notice of TikTok’s continuous rise (and other social platforms need to stay competitive), they will find more strategic ways to use TikTok to their advantage. We offer our insights into the best ways to use TikTok for increased visibility, and this seems to be an excellent time to incorporate TikTok into the marketing stack. 


In Closing

The App Annie report may provide a narrow focus, but it is still essential to recognize the trends as they surface. Early insight is the best way to adapt to growing trends across platforms, and we are always keeping an eye on what those trends suggest for brands and influencers. TikTok’s fast rise and other platforms’ scramble to keep up is a telling bite of information that deserves further research.

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