TikTok is one of the recent apps in the mobile app market which has become immensely popular among the audience and commerce markets alike. In no time it has become the talk of the town for the influential names of the media industry. This video-sharing and networking app was launched with the name of Musical.ly in 2014. Since then, the app is rapidly attracting a targeted user base, primarily including the Generation Z. Later the Chinese media company ByteDance bought this app in 2017 by paying 1 billion US dollars. The company previously owned a peer app which was then merged with this newly acquired app and named it TikTok. In this article, a deep insight into the future growth predictions of TikTok has been presented.
The app has many interesting features including short vertical video creation, music samples, image filters, and numerous fictive add-ons. Therefore, it rapidly crossed many existing records of popularity. Since its launch, it has been experiencing an unanticipated growth trajectory. As per the TikTok marketing reports of 2019 by AdAge, the app has crossed 800 million monthly active users (MAUs). With this large volume of audience, it is just one step below the social media giant Instagram having around 1 billion MAUs. In 2020, the MAUs of TikTok increased to 8.12 million. This is a 67% increase from the number of users in 2019. With such trends, there are future predictions the MAUs of TikTok will exceed 10 million in 2021. However, after 2022, there are predictions that TikTok’s growth will level off and remain stagnant due to saturation.
TikTok growth predictions (Source: TechCrunch)
Trends that shaped TikTok marketing in 2020
Everyone is curious to know the reasons behind the unexpected popularity of TikTok. So, let’s have a look at some marketing trends which contributed to the app’s growth.
1- An emerging E-commerce platform
According to e-Marketer predictions, TikTok has attracted US market video advertisements worth 34.57 billion US dollars in 2019. This is a 27% increase in growth shares from 2018. The big brands now find it easy to shoot video advertisements by using the enhanced digital features. A large share of the brand customers is part of the mobile community now. This the reason why there is a surge in the popularity of short video ads all over the world. Moreover, it has been found that a great share of the total user time on video-sharing apps is spent on viewing ad videos. According to reports in 2019, approximately 38.5% of the Jiguang network’s users daily time spent on advertisement content. Their popularity has even surpassed that of on-demand videos, gaming, and music streaming.
TikTok’s partnership with Shopify for buying purchasable video ads (Source: Markedium)
In addition, the views on TikTok advertisement videos are often counted in millions, which clearly advocates the high marketing appeal of this social platform. One example is the hashtag challenge advertisement stream by MAC cosmetics. It was a 6 days long ad challenge by the name of #YouOwnIt. As part of it, more than 6 million videos were shooted while the average views reached 2.38 billion.
MAC cosmetics successful ad campaign with TikTok (Source: Omr)
2- Creators support Live Streaming apps
Generation Z which is the primary target audience of social media apps is a highly remunerative market segment. As a result, various popular brands are reassessing their customer engagement approaches. This is the age of communication and connectivity therefore, brands are designing their marketing strategies on these lines. Acknowledging this new trend, TikTok has added all the necessary features to support brand advertisers. These features include hashtag challenges, brand take-overs, and creative video tools for digital marketing.
TikTok ad products (Source: The Drum)
The young generation of this age loves experimenting with modern digitals means of expressing themselves, and TikTok provides them a creative platform. The app does not limit its users to viewing, liking, and commenting but is way more interactive. It allows their creative juices to flow and create their own stuff. Through this, the app has introduced the brand advertisers to a new frontier where they can use audience-created videos for their marketing. Where YouTube publishes advertisements campusing over a few minutes, TikTok allows them to convey their idea in a small 15-60 second video. Such videos are more popular in public as they succeed in capturing their interest in less than a minute.
3. Handling competitors
TikTok is certainly becoming the talk of the town but this does not directly add to the app’s revenue. TikTok videos are widely uploaded on other social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram, so for some viewers, there is no need to download and use the app. According to some surveys in 2019, it has been reported that only 11% of the users open TikTok daily, which drops its audience graph below the social media giants. For preventing this overshadowing, TikTok strongly emphasizes the relevance of the content created. These smart moves by the app developers lead to positive predictions regarding TikTok growth in the future.
The growth of TikTok for at-home activities
With the news of the COVID vaccine coming in, there is a chance of going back to normal but not for everything. The COVID has resulted in the acceleration of the digital shift rather than causing it. Therefore, it is likely people will use digital platforms to generate revenue. At-home activities constitute remote work, education, e-commerce, cooking, fitness and mobile finance apps. TikTok is home to various kinds of content, making it ideal while shifting to at-home activities in these categories.
During the peak of the pandemic, mini-fitness tutorials were the most dominated. Since people were financing financial insecurity a lot of them got encouraged to earn through digital platforms. This consequently promoted a wave of “finfluencers” that shared money-saving and investment tips. Moreover, the #LearnOnTikTok initiative provided an educational platform covering topics like maths, chemistry, and other real-world topics.
TikTok’s LearnOnTikTok hashtag during COVID (Source:Brayve Digital)
Looking at the other categories, I am convinced that this will go far beyond the pandemic. Zoom is seeing a growth rate of 57% while other remote learning apps will grow by 62%. Therefore, I expect that TikTok to thrive off this lasting shift in behavior.
Generation Z’s Space For Serious Issues
TikTok is not only an app for kids and has progressed way beyond the years. TikTok is in a partnership with World Health Organization for combating fake news around COVID-19. The platforming is also encouraging learning activities through its #LearnOnTikTok initiative focusing on educational content. This has led to sharing more serious content on the app. However, TikTok is also a platform for political awareness and education for generation Z. The historic events that took place such as Black Lives Matter protests, US General Elections, TikTok has become an epicenter for political activism.
On this app, content such as mental health and self-care is also popular. Generation Z has been identified as the most diverse generation to date. Therefore, the inclusion of such content by TikTok makes complete sense. In short, TikTok is a platform for discussing “taboo” topics like sexuality, mental health, racism, and health issues of women. It is predicted that TikTok will continue to grow and become the hub for more serious content in 2021.
TikTok in the 2020s: What Lies Ahead?
On the basis of the existing data and facts, there are certain predictions for TikTok that will be probably true in the near future.
- As the global health crisis is still loaming around us, people will stay at their homes. People using TikTok will be bound to keep using the platform and other users who are not using it may give in to their curiosity.
- The usage and engagement rate will increase further as more people are joining the platform. The reason is that people are bound to spend time at home.
- The rule of thumb is, marketers, go where the people are. We are seeing currently that various brands and organizations are collaborating with TikTok. Very soon, there will be more advertisers trying their luck.
- The TikTok app provides a short video-making platform that can fit the video advertising format. Therefore, more brands will make use of such a platform, especially for mobile social environments.
- It is expected that video content creators will pull back from YouTube and go towards TikTok. This is particularly for those people who are having difficulties in building a fan base on YouTube.
- Also, the popularity of TikTok is soon going to encourage other developers to make apps that can compete with TikTok.
As the things are going currently for this relatively new platform of making short videos, the 2020s look bright for TikTok. The popularity and momentum TikTok gained in 2019 are expected to continue to follow the same trend onwards too. It has made the transition of the Musical.ly app users quite smooth without them missing the defunct app. TikTok has also accomplished to conquer other social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as users are sharing TikTok videos here. Also, TikTok has made the creation of fun and innovative videos easier for users. In conclusion, this article focuses on the future growth predictions of TikTok to help you understand what is in store for this app.