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Is TikTok going to overtake Facebook?

TikTok recently overtook Facebook to become the world’s second most downloaded app (Sensor Tower), increasing from 7th the previous month.

Despite Facebook’s attempts to copy some of TikTok’s features, making updates to both stories and watch sections of the platform alongside releasing Lasso – a standalone similar app, TikTok crossed the 1 billion downloads milestone early last year, according to data from third-party analytics site SensorTower. It was also the second most-downloaded app of 2019 globally. Meanwhile, mobile app downloads of Facebook were down a combined 13% year on year.

Downloads, however, is only one indicator of the success of a platform. Apps like Facebook have much higher monthly active users than the likes of TikTok sitting at around 7 million for the UK. TikTok claims users spend an average of 53 minutes a day in the app, opening this around 7 times a day (Stats for the UK) and therefore are very engaged with the content.

Why and should Facebook be worried? As with most social media, its revenue is heavily dependent on advertising and although the likes of Facebook and Google currently dominate the digital advertising market, TikTok’s rapidly expanding audience base means it could well become a disruptive force in the digital advertising market. For instance, Facebook generated 99% of its revenue from ad sales in Q3 2019. Therefore, if TikTok picks up its advertising game this could have a large ramification on the social giant’s income.

All Response Media viewpoint
The targeting within the TikTok platform is still in its infancy but as the app itself develops we should see this improve in the last year they have already bought out the use of CRM audiences as an additional option. With more users starting to use the app and more businesses looking to target Gen Z/Millennials, this is a great opportunity to reach new engaged users. For the moment this shouldn’t take away from the effectiveness of other social media, which are in a much more advance stage of audience targeting, however, with new platforms such as TikTok rapidly gaining ground and looking like they’re here to stay, they should be a consideration when planning client strategies and allocating client budgets.

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