GREAT SHAPE: The Chinese platform, TikTok had already surpassed YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
Beijing and Washington do not only clash with a “spy” balloon. The competition between the two powers is also played out at the platform level, and China, thanks to TikTok, is winning. After surpassing YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in “time spent” by American adults on each platform, the platform, which belongs to the Chinese group ByteDance, is now on the heels of Netflix, according to a study published Thursday.
The platform certainly first won over the youngest, but adults have also widely adopted it, especially during the pandemic, underlines a report by Insider Intelligence. This year, “TikTok users between the ages of 25 and 54 – ‘millennials’ and ‘Gen Xers’ – will spend more than 45 minutes a day on the app, far more than the time spent by users of the same age group on other social networks”, indicates the firm. In 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts that TikTok users over the age of 18 will spend more than 58 minutes per day on average on the app, just behind Netflix (62 minutes), and far ahead of YouTube (48.7 minutes).
Efforts by California social networks to emulate the short-lived, viral video service had mixed effects, the study found. On YouTube, the “Shorts” did “not shake things up”. Meta’s “Reels” (Facebook, Instagram) are having some success, but the time spent watching them cannibalizes the time spent on the other formats, the main feed and the “Stories”, which show more ads and therefore bring in more money to the group.
The report also mentions the “second screen” phenomenon: “Viewers are often on TikTok while Netflix is playing in the background. Advertisers considering buying advertising on Netflix should be aware that some viewers may be distracted to the point of dropping their streaming program.”
Mistrust in Washington
These statistics show the importance taken by this application in the United States – it claims more than a hundred million users in this country. But his membership in ByteDance worries many elected officials. They fear that Beijing will use it to access confidential data or to manipulate public opinion.
TikTok has been denying it for years, but tensions between the two countries and recently have raised calls to get tough on China. On Wednesday, a bill that could lead to a total ban on the platform in the United States passed a key milestone in the United States Congress. And on Monday, the White House ordered federal agencies to ensure their officials’ devices are off TikTok within 30 days, after its ban was passed into law in late December.