In recent weeks we’ve seen discussion surrounding TikTok grow in seriousness. It’s been called a key rival to Snapchat since its release in September 2017, but it’s not until recently that analysts really started seeing TikTok contending for Snapchat’s ad revenue.
TikTok Is Currently the Most Downloaded App
But for marketers, who are really chasing the right audiences, it’s vital to consider where the app is growing. 44% of the app’s total downloads actually happened in India. If we compare it to the previous year, according to Sensor Tower, the TikTok’s overall user base has grown by 6%.
So Where Does TikTok Really Fall When We Compare It to Other Platforms?
So is it still an app for teenagers? Well, from the numbers, we see that’s not exactly the case which may just be the reason why TikTok is now getting real recognition from marketers.
TikTok Is Still Finding Its Unique Place in the Market
The app is also set on connecting brands to TikTok content creators through the recently launched TikTok Creator Marketplace. This should further incentivize businesses who aren’t always sure what to do with new social media apps to turn to influencers, who’ve already learned the ropes.
The app recently banned all political advertising. In a statement, Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s VP of Global Business Solutions, who actually left Facebook for TikTok, said that the “...nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience.” This could separate TikTok from other platforms further - a direction that Twitter has now taken too.
TikTok’s mission is to be a “positive, refreshing environment”, its mission statement reads:
“TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.”
But is it different enough from Snap Inc’s mission statement that, if we put aside Snap’s focus on camera technology, has a similar promise?
“Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”
So Are TikTok and Snapchat Simply Too Similar?
Debra Aho Williamson, the principal analyst at eMarketer, shared her view with CNBC that Snapchat should feel increasing competition as both apps compete for user’s time and attention.
She added that “Both apps feature vertical, short, user-generated videos. Although teens use the apps in different ways, the allure of watching and creating TikTok videos is currently very strong in this demographic group.”
Although Snapchat and TikTok may have their feature differences their user bases are very similar. Where users decide to spend their time dictates where marketers start investing budget.
During Snap’s Q3 earnings call, the platform reported that its users opened the app 30 times a day. While we don’t know how often TikTok users open theirs, Business of Apps reported the app’s Chinese counterpart Douyin users open the app four to five times a day using it for half an hour each time.
If we look at the numbers, TikTok has a lot of catching up to do, but we also see signals from TikTok users and marketers alike that they’re now ready to pay serious attention to the platform.
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