TikTok: This is how often the platform is used

A new social media app is conquering the world. Chinese short video platform Tiktok is currently experiencing a large, but also controversial media presence. The GDI has collected usage figures for Switzerland and Germany.

TikTok is a hot topic. The Chinese video platform has been the most downloaded app in the Apple Store in the third quarter of 2019. Recently, however, the app has been the subject of controversy. Tiktok blocked the contribution of a young American woman who hid a call to action--against the persecution of Uighurs in China--in a make-up video.

Similar censorship allegations were made regarding LGBT content, references to Tiananmen Square or Tibet, and local restrictions. For example, it appears that content representing Kurdish separatism, alcohol or non-Islamic religious content is banned in Turkey.

Due to the high media presence of the app, TikTok is increasingly used in brainstorming exercises at social media workshops. Advertisers ask themselves if they should rely on this channel, particularly as TikTok is also seen as a future sales platform.

But how widespread is TikTok in Germany and Switzerland? In a survey conducted in July 2019, the GDI surveyed 1000 people aged 16 to 80 in each of the two countries. The result: TikTok is used to a large extent by young people between the ages of 16 and 20. Here, 13% stated that they use the platform regularly. The figure for 21-25 year olds was just under 3%. According to this, the number of people who use TikTok or have already tried it out is declining sharply. Among the over-30s, their share is less than 10%.

If one compares these figures with the Instagram figures collected at the same time, clear differences emerge. Here, too, the user group of 16 to 20 year olds is the largest at over 85 %. In contrast to TikTok, however, the number of users drops much less drastically. For example, 75% of 21- to 25-year-olds stated that they regularly use Instagram, and even among 26 to 30-year-olds the figure is just over 52%. In comparison, the number of TikTok users of the same age is only 2.5 %. And while TikTok is only used by under 2 % of people over 40 years of age, almost 20 % of the 41- to 45-year-olds surveyed said they use Instagram regularly. The usage rate only falls below 10 % among those over 66 years of age.

The figures for Switzerland and Germany hardly differ, which is why they are not shown separately in the graph below: