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For Gen Z’ers, TikTok isn’t just any other mobile app. It’s an alternative universe where they could showcase their skills and creativity – which might otherwise seem silly to the outside world. 

It is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms and has the same hype Facebook had a decade ago. Even though it’s deemed to be cringey and a menace to the society by many, it’s adored by at least 700 million monthly active users (MAU).

For TikTok, 2020 was a year of numerous dramatic ups and downs. The MAU was actually higher than the above-stated figure in the second quarter of the year but was reduced because of multiple controversies around the globe.

In this article, we’ll look at the top TikTok statistics, facts, and controversies you need to know. Before that, let’s take a look at what exactly is TikTok, more about its creators, and how it rose to this glorious position.

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 1

TikTok: A Brief Introduction

TikTok is a video-sharing mobile application, available in both iOS and Android mobile operating systems. It is owned by ByteDance, and in China, the same app is called Douyin. 

Unlike other video-sharing platforms like YouTube, TikTok follows the formula of short bits entertainment that allows users to upload videos with durations starting from one second to a maximum of 60 seconds as strings of four 15 seconds videos.

Douyin was released in 2016 in the Chinese market, and a year later, it was launched as TikTok for the major markets outside China. However, TikTok rose to its current status and glory only after acquiring Musical.ly – an app that lets users create and share lip-sync videos – for nearly US$1 billion in 2018.

Following the acquisition, all the accounts on Music.ly were migrated to TikTok – which undoubtedly added to its success. Although TikTok and Douyin have similar app UI design, you can’t access TikTok’s content from Douyin and vice versa.

Some of the notable features of the TikTok app would be,

  • Video editing tools
  • Live streaming
  • VR-type filters
  • QR code scanner
  • Reaction feature
  • Notifications and messages
  • Social share feature
  • Green screen-like features

TikTok has a minimum age requirement of 13 years. In Ireland, since the Digital Age of Consent has been set at 16 years, children under that age must gain permission from their parents or guardian.

By default, all accounts and their content are public on TikTok. You can choose to make your account content private by changing the settings. However, your profile remains public at all times.

The type of content you’re interested in is decided by TikTok based on your following actions,

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Accounts you follow
  • Completion ratio

Also, there are numerous ways you could advertise your brand on TikTok. Some of the means by which you could do it are as follows.

  1. Brand Takeover – Full-screen adverts shown when a user opens the app.
  2. Branded Hashtag Challenge – Ads appear on the Discovery page – encouraging users to participate in the challenge. They can also contain shoppable components from retailers.
  3. Custom Influencer Package – Ads are shown as part of sponsored content made by TikTok influencers.
  4. TopView – These ads last for up to 60-seconds with sounds.
  5. Branded Effects – Advertisements appear as stickers, lenses, and other effects which users can include in their videos.

TikTok Statistics 2021

One hundred thirty billion yuan was generated in China from the online short video market alone, which is dominated by Douyin. Also, short video advertising revenue hit 80 billion yuan in 2019.

Even if you’re an app marketer or a rising TikTok celebrity, knowing some of the essential TikTok statistics will give you more clarity and reasons why the platform is as good as it gets. If you’re a mobile app developer trying to dominate the market with a better app, these statistics will be enlightening. Here are some critical statistics grouped based on their nature.

TikTok Usage Statistics

  1. US TikTok influencers have an average engagement rate (the ratio of engaged users and active users) of 17.99%. Whereas, for the rest of the world, the average engagement rate is 15.86%.
  2. TikTok has a monthly engagement rate of 70%.
  3. In 2020, TikTok passed two billion downloads worldwide.
  4. 83% of users have posted at least one video on the platform.
  5. 34% of users post every day on TikTok.

TikTok User Demographics Statistics

  1. 41% of TikTokers are aged between 16 and 24.
  2. 44% of TikTok’s audience are females and 56% males.
  3. 32.5% of TikTok users in the US belonged to the 10 to 19 years age group. Whereas 29.5% of TikTok users belonged to the 20 to 29 years age group and 7% belonged to the 50+ year age group.

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 2Graph showing the age group distribution of TikTok users in the US. Image Credit: statista.com

  1. The average age of a French TikTok influencer is 21.9 years.
  2. In 2020, 43% of new TikTok users were from India.
  3. Chinese users are responsible for 80% of total time spent on TikTok.
  4. In the UK, 18% of TikTok’s audience are 18 and over.

TikTok Revenue Statistics

  1. In February 2020, ByteDance generated US$50.4 million in revenue from user spending alone.
  2. As of June 2020, Addison Rae is the highest-earning TikTok star with earnings of approximately US$5 million.
  3. TikTok is expected to generate nearly US$500 million in revenue from the US alone in 2020.
  4. TikTok users have collectively spent more than US$456.7 million for buying coins on the app.
  5. In April 2020, TikTok generated more than US$78 million in revenue from in-app purchases.
  6. ByteDance is the world’s most valuable startup, valued at US$75 million.
  7. Lifetime user spending in TikTok has crossed US$175 million across Google Play and App Store.

Top TikTok Facts

  1. TikTok app is available in 155 countries.
  2. TikTok is available in 39 languages.
  3. 90% of TikTok users access the app at least once a day.
  4. More than 75% of TikTok downloads come from the Google Play Store.
  5. Entertainment content – the most viewed category of TikTok – accumulated more than 443.3 billion hashtag views altogether.
  6. TikTok is the second most downloaded iOS app.
  7. In August 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide.
  8. Although TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, 86% of internet users in the US had either never heard of or weren’t interested in using TikTok.
  9. TikTok is the most downloaded entertainment app in the Apple App Store worldwide.
  10. Douyin is the most popular short video app in China.
  11. TikTok has the highest social media engagement rates per post.
  12. It took nearly 200 days for the Chinese mobile app development team to develop the original version of TikTok/Douyin.
  13. TikTok’s website has an Alexa ranking of 412. Alexa ranking is basically a measure of website popularity. The rank shows how a website is performing relative to all other websites and is useful for competitor analysis.

TikTok vs Other Famous Apps

Although TikTok is the most popular short video-sharing app, there are numerous alternatives for it in China as well as around the world. Kuaishou, Byte, and Instagram Reels are some famous TikTok alternatives.

It is common knowledge that both Facebook and Instagram have more than a billion monthly active users. However, the global monthly downloads on both the app stores were higher for TikTok from March to August of 2020. 

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 3From March to August of 2020, TikTok was downloaded more times than Instagram or Facebook. Image Credit: statista.com

TikTok is the sixth-largest social network with Facebook being in second place, and Instagram in 5th place.

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 4The top apps of the world based on monthly active users. Image Credit: hootsuite.com

YouTube, which is the second-most popular website in the world, attracts more than 1.8 billion users every month. YouTube content creators, also known as YouTubers, are mockingly hostile towards TikTok content creators or TikTokers as the latter seems to produce lazy content.

TikTok Users in the World

Let’s take a look at some of the worldwide TikTok statistics and some relating to the seven continents.

  1. TikTok has 64.5 million monthly active Android users worldwide. In May 2020, the figures were at an all-time high of 184 million monthly active Android users, which was severely affected by the banning of the app in India. The number of Android users dropped significantly than iOS users because Android is the dominating mobile OS in India.
  2. TikTok has 62.8 million monthly active iOS users worldwide.
  3. TikTok has 20.33 million daily active Android users worldwide.
  4. TikTok has approximately 14.95 million daily active iOS users worldwide.

Asia

In 2020, the United Arab Emirates was the fastest-growing TikTok market in the world based on downloads in Google Play with an increase of 15.5% download rate in November.

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 5The change in the growth rate of countries based on the number of installs through Google Play. Image Credit: statista.com

2. In 2020, Israel was the fastest-growing TikTok market in the world based on downloads in the Apple App Store with an increase of 31.7% download rate in November.

Africa

  1. There are nearly 6 million TikTok users in South Africa.
  2. Less than 20% of brands in South Africa utilise TikTok.
  3. In September 2020, the number of TikTokers in South Africa grew by 2.9%.

Europe

  1. There are more than 100 million active TikTok users in Europe alone.
  2. In May 2020, TikTok was downloaded for more than 84 thousand times from the Apple App Store in Denmark.
  3. In the same month, the app was downloaded 42 thousand times from the Google Play Store.
  4. 40.2% of Polish TikTok users spent more than an hour per day on the app.
  5. In May 2020, TikTok was downloaded for more than 60.5 thousand times from the Google Play Store in Norway.
  6. In the same month, the app was downloaded 84 thousand times from the Apple App Store.
  7. In Italy, there are more than three million monthly active Android users and one million iOS monthly active users for TikTok.
  8. 75% of TikTok users in Spain are women.
  9. In May 2020, TikTok was downloaded for more than 151 thousand times from the Google Play Store in Sweden.
  10. In the same month, the app was downloaded 117 thousand times from the Apple App Store.
  11. An average Brit uses TikTok for 66 minutes a day and opens it 13 times a day.
  12. In May 2020, TikTok was downloaded for more than 67 thousand times from the Google Play Store in Finland.
  13. In the same month, the app was downloaded 33 thousand times from the Apple App Store.
  14. 9.8 million Italians use TikTok every month.

North and South America

  1. TikTok has nearly 50 million daily active US users.
  2. TikTok has almost 100 million monthly active US users.
  3. iOS users in the US generated 3.8 million downloads of TikTok app in September 2020.
  4. Android users in Brazil generated 3.08 million downloads of TikTok app in September 2020.
  5. In just 18 months, the number of US TikTok adult users grew 5.5 times.

Australia

  1. More than 2.5 million Australians use TikTok.
  2. In 2020, 850,000 Australians created new TikTok accounts.
  3. TikTok is Australia’s 16th most visited social media platform.
  4. Australian TikTok users spend, on average, 26 minutes per session on the app. Interestingly, Australian users spend only 17 minutes per session on the Facebook app.
  5. In Australia, men access TikTok 13 times and women 30 times on average every week.
  6. TikTok was the fifth most downloaded app of 2019 in Australia.
  7. TikTok influencers in Australia has an audience share of 22.76%.

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 6Graph showing the average use of TikTok per week based on age and gender.

Top TikTok Countries

India had the highest number of TikTok users (amounting to nearly 466.8 million downloads in 2019) until the app was banned on the 29th of June, 2020 – leaving TikTok nearly crippled. We’ll discuss the events that led to the ban in a while. 

Excluding India, here are the top 10 countries based on the number of TikTok users.

  1. China
  2. USA
  3. Turkey
  4. Russia
  5. Pakistan
  6. Mexico
  7. Brazil
  8. Saudi Arabia
  9. France
  10. Germany

Also, here’s a graph showing where TikTok has been downloaded the most in 2020.

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 7Places where TikTok was downloaded the most in 2020. Image Credit: statista.com

TikTok Users by Country

TikTok in the US

  1. In 2021, the annual TikTok user growth rate in the United States is expected to be 15.2%.
  2. 12.71% of the top TikTok influencers are from the United States.
  3. On average, the US TikTok users open the app eight times a day.
  4. Children aged between 4 to 15 years, spend around 86 minutes watching TikTok daily.
  5. 23% of US online adult users had come across videos posted on TikTok.
  6. US TikTok users spend an average of 498.09 minutes on the TikTok app per month – making TikTok the second most used app. The most used app is Facebook, with users spending an average of 769.16 minutes per month.
  7. 31.6% of users in the United States were heavily engaged with TikTok and accessed the app for more than 20 days in a month.
  8. 58.8% of the active TikTok accounts belonged to female users.
  9. In the United States, 18.2% of the active TikTok accounts belonged to female teens.
  10. Female users belonging to the 20 to 29 age group were the largest TikTok user group accounting for 18.3% of the Android user base.
  11. The US users account for 20% of the total amount spent on the app.

Douyin in China

  1. Douyin had more than 600 million daily active users (DAU) in 2020.
  2. During the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival of 2020 – the most important and celebrated festival in China – Douyin users spent an average of 122.3 minutes on the app. This figure is almost double the length of time spent in 2019.
  3. In 2019, 7.1 million posts related to weddings were posted on Douyin.
  4. 57% of Douyin users in China were mobile internet users.
  5. A single post from a top-tier Douyin influencer could fetch approximately 1.2 million impressions in China alone.
  6. In China, 28.6% of short video app users had a bachelor’s or higher degree.
  7. In China, 42.7% of short video app users had an online spending power between 200 and 1000 yuan.
  8. In 2020, 14.89 million educational content videos were shared in Douyin.

TikTok in India

  1. 30.3% of TikTok’s lifetime downloads came from India.
  2. There were more than 120 million monthly active India users for TikTok before the ban.
  3. The TikTok ban in India cost ByteDance US$8 million in a week.

TikTok in the United Kingdom

  1. 8.7% of smartphone users in the UK use TikTok.
  2. One in four Brits uses TikTok every month.
  3. TikTok is more popular with the female demographic of the UK than the male demographic.
  4. 26% of the UK TikTok users belong to the 18 to 24 age group.
  5. TikTok has more than 6 million monthly active users in the United Kingdom.
  6. 38.56% of TikTok influencers in the UK had between one and 50 posts on average.
  7. The Top TikTok influencer in the UK, @hollyh, with 16.7 million followers, has an engagement rate of 26.8%.
  8. By 2021, the number of TikTok users in the UK is expected to hit 11 million.

Peculiarities of TikTokers

Top 2021 TikTok Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind 8The distinctive attitudes of TikTok users. Image Credit: blog.globalwebindex.com

  1. 52% of TikTok users can be categorised as status seekers.
  2. TikTokers are brand conscious.
  3. TikTok users are more likely to buy premium versions of products.
  4. TikTok users feel meeting new people, and new connections is a critical reason behind using the internet – 1.35 times more than the global average.
  5. TikTok users are 1.4 times more likely to buy a product in order to feel part of their community.
  6. They’re 1.34 times more likely to be affected by influencer marketing.

Top Most Followed Accounts on TikTok

The most followed user on TikTok is Charli D’Amelio with more than 100 million followers. Here’s a list of the 20 most followed TikTok accounts. Do note that this list also contains the top TikTok users in India, as even though the app is banned in the country, the accounts are still accessible from other parts of the world.

Rank Owner Name Username Followers 

(in millions)

1 Charli D’Amelio @charlidamelio 102.2
2 Addison Rae @addisonre 70.9
3 Zach King @zachking 53.2
4 Loren Gray @lorengray 49.9
5 Spencer Polanco Knight @spencerx 49.6
6 TikTok @tiktok 49.0
7 Bella Poarch @bellapoarch 45.7
8 Dixie D’Amelio @dixiedamelio 45.7
9 Will Smith @willsmith 44.2
10 Riyaz Aly @riyaz.14 43.6
11 Michael Le @justmaiko 42.6
12 Jason Derulo @jasonderulo 41.0
13 Baby Ariel @babyariel 35.1
14 Brent Rivera @brentrivera 35.1
15 Faisal Shaikh @mr_faisu_07 32.1
16 Kimberly Loaiza @kimberly.loaiza 31.5
17 Gilmher Croes @gilmhercroes 31.3
18 James Charles @jamescharles 31.2
19 JoJo Siwa @itsjojosiwa 30.7
20 The Rock @therock 29.9

Top Most Followed Accounts on Douyin

Rank Owner Name Username Followers 

(in millions)

1 Chen He @191433445 68.96
2 Dilraba Dilmurat @274110380 55.6
3 Show Lo 40.39
4 Angelababy @228.228 39.46
5 G.E.M 39.26
6 Tu Lei 37.5
7 Guan Xiaotong 33.48
8 He Jiong @he.jiong 31.41
9 M Brother @185625797 29.79
10 Feng Timo @Fengtimo1219 28.91

Types of Content on TikTok

  1. Dance videos
  2. Song imitations
  3. Social media challenges
  4. Dialogue reenactments
  5. Animal videos
  6. Art-making videos
  7. Calming videos
  8. Science experiments
  9. Tutorials
  10. Workout videos
  11. Cooking videos
  12. Motivation advice
  13. Wedding videos
  14. Videos with filters

TikTok Controversies

In 2019, TikTok was briefly banned in India due to concerns about in-app content that promoted predatory behaviour, cyberbullying, and pornography. Due to the ban, the app missed out approximately 15 million first-time users in India from both the dominant app stores.

The ban was lifted, and in October, the app launched an education program in India – probably to solidify their relationship with the government and to get into the good books. Unfortunately, a year later, on June 29th 2020, the app was banned again – indefinitely – in India, along with numerous other apps with Chinese origin. 

Although many claim the move was to protect the user data of Indians, it’s evident that the increasing tensions between India and China significantly fastened the decision. A few months later, PUBG mobile – which had an enormous user base in India – was also banned.

Following the TikTok ban, the installs of India’s Top TikTok alternative grew by nearly 155%.

TikTok also faced numerous criticisms from the US government and was also deemed to be a national security threat – although, the case is still being investigated. TikTok was also a popular app among firefighters, nurses, and members of the US Army, but was banned by the US Navy over security concerns and fears.

In 2018, Tencent – the company that owns WeChat – disabled linking to short video sites on WeChat, including Douyin – which was a significant setback for ByteDance as 56% of new users downloaded the app after seeing the TikTok watermark when videos are shared on other platforms.

Numerous Chinese newspapers are known to have gone against the app and called for banning or tightening restrictions at the least, as many Douyin users were injured after taking part in numerous challenges.

TikTok was also scrutinised in the UK regarding the handling of personal information of its young users.

In July 2019, TikTok was briefly banned in Indonesia by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology as the app contained negative videos causing bad influence on the youth. The ban was soon overturned when TikTok agreed to censor negative content.

Recently, in August 2020, US President Donald Trump demanded US companies to stop doing business with TikTok. He also threatened to ban TikTok, unless an American company acquires it.

TikTok Marketing and Advertising Statistics

  1. In-app advertising costs range from US$50 to US$150,000 in TikTok.
  2. TikTok was the largest advertiser on Snapchat and ran an app install ad campaign worth US$1 billion.
  3. In the UK, TikTok ads start at US$8 per cost per thousand impressions (CPM).
  4. Advertisers need to spend a minimum of US$25,000 to run campaigns on the platform.
  5. Brand takeovers will cost anywhere between US$20,000 and US$200,000.
  6. Only 4% of US social media marketers use TikTok.

It’s a Wrap

Although many associate the term “TikTok” with the Gen Z’ers, it is evident from the statistics that people of all ages fairly enjoy the app. Apart from the viral nature of the app, a lot of the widespread success of the app can be attributed to the clever use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the mobile app development process.

For influencers, TikTok is an excellent platform to reach their audience in the tap of a button. For content creators, it’s a great medium to showcase their talents and gain universal recognition – which was something nearly impossible in the past. For brands and app marketers, TikTok is an ideal platform to reach the majority of their target audience without spending a fortune.

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