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TikTok Becomes Popular over Instagram Stars and Millennials

Alana Tsui, a New York-based influencer never really thought of joining TikTok before the coronavirus pandemic proliferates.

The 31 -year-old Tsui is an influencer and the artist already has a decent follow count on Instagram. And similar to her other friends, she thought of the popular app TikTok as something for pre-teens and dismissed the thought of using it. 

The Instagram Influencer Pandemic

However, the proliferation of the fatal coronavirus over New York left Tsui with nothing to do but to isolate herself while waiting for the pandemic to end. The Instagram influencer was left without having anything to do, so she decided on trying the TikTok app because it looked fun. Now, she got hooked on the app, finding herself posting four videos per day on the app. 

Tsui is not the only one who got hooked into the app during the lockdown. The last couple of months witnessed a lot of people all over the world have downloaded the short-form video platform as Europe, United States, and many other countries impose lockdowns and strict restrictions in order to minimize the spread of the virus. For these people, TikTok became their source of fun and escape from all the negative news about the pandemic and its result in the economy. Did you know that some famous Instagram users buy followers?

TikTok Becomes Popular over Instagram Stars and Millennials

TikTok Fame Remains The Same As Instagram Fame

TikTok seems to be taking advantage of its fame, having hashtags like #HappyAtHome to further attract the attention of its users. The platform was successful with its endeavor as the said hashtag attracted a lot of users to rope their parents into participating in their TikTok videos. 

During the months of January to March, the short-video from platform garnered 315 million times as reported by the analytics company Sensor Tower. According to the company, the number of download Tiktok had for a single quarter topped any other app. Overall, TikTok has now amassed two billion downloads, an amount which is double compared to the number of downloads it had 15 months ago. 

TikTok Became A Popular App For Influencers

In addition, the platform attracted popular users such as Taylor Richard, a Hong Kong-based influencer and content creator who has more than 300,000 Instagram followers and 1.1 million YouTube subscribers. 

According to Richard, TikTok has already approached her last year, convincing her to join the platform. However, Richard, who is already 31 years old thought that the platform was a bit too young for her age.

The 15-Year-Old TikTok Addict

However, the coronavirus pandemic hit and Richard found herself addicted to making 15-second videos on TikTok. She also liked the idea that people who are the same age as her and those who are older are joining the platform, as well. She added that a lot of the songs on TikTok are from her generation, which makes it relatable. 

Richard joined the platform in early April and now has 15,000 followers. Now, TikTok sends her an email every week, telling her the hashtags that are performing well, and gives her examples of the videos that are currently trending.

TikTok Becomes Popular over Instagram Stars and Millennials

TikTok Downloads Draw Inspiration from Instagram Followers

The record-breaking increase in the number of TikTok downloads is a major win for ByteDance, the platform’s owner which has been exerting effort into capitalizing on the global appeal of TikTok. Notably, the platform is the only social media app created by a Chinese company to garner a significant amount of popularity outside China. 

Moreover, the startup success of TikTok inside China during the coronavirus pandemic is enormous and provides the company some clues on how the app could grow as a major moneymaker in the coming years.

A Record-breaking Quarterly Haul

Sensor Tower reported that the mobile apps created by ByteDance profited $157 million in the months of January to March. Approximately 90 percent of the said amount came from China alone. In addition, almost the entire amount was driven by Douyin, the Chinese version of ByteDance’s popular app. For ByteDance, the reported amount was a record-breaking quarterly haul which represents an increase amounting to 423 percent in comparison to the same period last year, and up to 50 percent in comparison to the previous quarter. 

Moreover, Douyin’s first weeks of February was its biggest week ever, having more than 3 billion hours spent by users in the app. This is 130 percent more than the weekly average last year, said the analytics company AppAnnie. 

Live streaming is very popular in China. In addition, a lot of influencers in the said country often earn money when they receive virtual tips during live streams.

Instagram's Battle Against Chinese Apps

Nanjing Marketing Group’s account manager Wiktoria Marszalek said that there is a habit of giving tips to content creators generally on Chinese apps. Notably, Nanjing Marketing Group is a company that aids foreign firms to grow their sales and brands in China.

Marszalek added as an example when Douyin users will virtually buy donuts or hearts and send it as a gift to influencers or content creators during live streams. All of these become an in-app revenue for ByteDance. 

The ByteDance Revenue

Still, the company makes most of its revenue from advertising. According to R3, a consulting firm, ByteDance made approximately 140 billion yuan or $19.8 billion in their 2019’s advertising revenue. In fact, a principal with R3 Greg Paull said that ByteDance outstripped Baidu and Tencent in many categories to become the leading advertising platform in China. 

Furthermore, the profit that the Chinese company is getting from the users of Douyin and TikTok is more than just a notable change.

TikTok Becomes Popular over Instagram Stars and Millennials


Randy Nelson, a Sensor Tower Analyst said that the revenue of both TikTok and Douyin is now skyrocketing. The said analytics company considers TikTok and Douyin as the same app due to its similarities in terms of branding, user experience, as well as marketing.

Nelson also added that the success of the app when it comes to monetizing users places it to the same league as top entertainment companies. He said that TikTok was even above Netflix and Disney+ when it comes to rankings even when there is no Android in China. The TikTok statistics reported by Sensor Tower are considerably large considering that they only track data from the App Store and Google Play Store and Play Store is banned in China.

Date: June 8, 2020 / Categories: News, / Author: E O


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