Our title, “Ticktock for TikTok,” relates to the long-term prospects for the fast-growing social media site. It is a play on words. Since “ticktock” means the ticking sound of a clock.

Reminder: Yesterday, we examined the 2010-2020 evolution of six other leading social media platforms.


TikTok Background

Given its fast-growing audience, would you believe that TikTok only started in September 2016? And it sure took off globally. Wow. Many of us older folks [however you define “older”] have heard about Tik Tok. But we know little — if anything — about the platform. If that includes you, keep reading.

TikTok’s Company Mission

As Katie Sehl notes for Hootsuite:

“TikTok calls itself the ‘destination for short-form mobile videos.’ In some ways, it’s a bite-size version of YouTube, with videos ranging between five and 60 seconds in length. Creators have access to an assortment of filters and effects, as well as a massive music library.”

In addition, Maryam Mohsin reports this for Oberlo:

“TikTok is an iOS and Android media app for creating and sharing short videos. It initially launched as Douyin in September 2016, in China. The following year, the app launched by ByteDance for markets outside of China. TikTok and Douyin both use the same software, but maintain separate networks to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. TikTok is available all around the world via the App Store or Google Play stores.”


TikTok’s Global Prowess

According to Katie Sehl:

“Tracks on TikTok have high meme potential, and it’s turned the app into something of a hitmaker. Lil Nas X’s country tap jam Old Town Road is the best example of this. While lassoing some near 67 million plays on TikTok, the single trotted to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for a record-setting 17 weeks.”

“Like any other social network, TikTok has a gamut of influencers and meme machines who cash in on views, likes, comments, shares—and virtual coin. There are more than 35 TikTok stars who count their followers in the tens of millions—most of whom are not mainstream celebrities.”

For recent data on TikTok, look at the following infographic from Oberlo.

Ticktock for TikTok

And look at the age breakdown of the U.S. audience in the eMarketer chart.

Ticktock for TikTok

What’s Ahead: Ticktock for TikTok

There are mixed forecasts for TikTok. Will it keep growing in the future? Or will it prove to more of a flash in the pan as teenagers and young adults move to still newer platforms.

To gain insights on this, we turn to an eMarketer podcast and projections. First, the podcast. Then, the chart.

Podcast speakers: eMarketer vice-president of forecasting Monica Peart. Senior analyst Jasmine Enberg. And junior analyst Blake Droesch. [Note: The podcast is about 23 minutes]

Look at the following chart for U.S. growth predictions from eMarketer.


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