What Do UK TikTok Users Do With Content?

Posted by Ruth Temianka on Dec 18, 2020 8:00:00 AM
Ruth Temianka

With TikTok on course to grow its UK user base by 75.2% this year, fueled in part by an audience reeling from multiple pandemic lockdowns, there’s never been a better time for local marketers to explore what this means for their brands. To help you do that, we’ve been sharing findings from VidMob’s recent report into TikTok usage in the UK.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how Gen Z and millennial users, in particular, interact with different content formats on the app, and elsewhere.

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But where to start? While our last post highlighted how users in the UK regularly use the app to watch trending videos, our survey shows they also tend to interact with, and share native content in different ways. Especially if you happen to be male, and a millennial.

Sharing and Saving TikToks

Let’s start with saving, and sharing native video, or “TikToks”. A way for users to revisit their favorite content, and for others to see it too, this behavior is especially helpful for brands given a quarter of UK respondents are likely to purchase through the app after seeing videos, which, our survey shows, currently influence buyer intent more than ads (more on that in the last post of this series).

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So who engages with video content the most on TikTok? While users of all ages say they enjoy watching videos, younger users in the UK tend to interact with them more.

Half of Gen Z females, for example, say they frequently share or save TikTok videos, the most of any age group. That’s twice as many young women as those aged 35 to 40. In the meantime, eight in ten Gen Z males frequently share or save videos, compared to two thirds of male millennials.

One Device, Multiple Networks

Interestingly for marketers, our survey found that what happens on TikTok, doesn’t always stay on TikTok, and that’s OK.

“One in five UK TikTokers post videos to other social networks on a regular basis.”

Why? A significant number of users not only post TikTok content to other social networks, but also spend time there too, especially (older) millennials. This tendency to engage with multiple apps over the course of a day, and content on those apps, increases the potential for cross-network campaign uplift as well as brand awareness. As it turns out, especially if your target audience is male.

“One in three men aged 35 to 40 in the UK sometimes or regularly repost TikTok videos to other social networks.”

According to our survey, men in the UK are the most likely to share their favorite video content elsewhere. This trend holds true for male millennials overall, but especially those aged 35 to 40, who do so twice as often as their female counterparts in this age range.

Facebook and Instagram Remain Popular

Where does the content go? Our survey shows Facebook, and Instagram, are UK TikTokers’ favorite destinations of choice for reposting content, bringing the TikTok experience to a broader audience, and increasing brand views in the process.

In line with this finding, three quarters of millennial men visit Facebook, and Instagram, at least once a day, while 78% of Gen Z stop by daily too. For women, this trend is reversed, with millennials spending slightly more time on Facebook and Instagram combined than their Gen Z counterparts, who overwhelmingly use Instagram.

“92% of Gen Z females in the UK use Instagram at least once a day, compared to 84% for TikTok. One in five tend to repost TikTok videos to other apps too.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Facebook is particularly popular among older millennials in the UK, with over eight in ten men and women aged 35 to 40 using the network on a daily basis, making it a favorite destination for respondents in this age range.

In addition to these networks, over half of UK TikTok respondents told us they also stop by WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat on a daily basis too.

Ultimately, TikTok users’ preferences for visiting a range of social apps over the course of their day shows the importance of taking a broader creative view, and that opportunities to drive brand awareness can go beyond a single network, or device, especially among certain demographics in the UK.

That also means creative insights from other networks matter on TikTok too since, once video content gets shared, they can help ensure it makes an impact regardless of where it lands.

Other Ways to Engage

Outside of sharing videos, what else do TikTokers do on the app?

Our findings show behavior changes with age, and by gender. For example, while half of users in the UK have never joined a Livestream, older millennials are more likely to have done so than Gen Z, or millennials aged under 35. Additionally, men are typically more likely to watch a Livestream than women, with those aged 35 and over the most engaged, one in ten of whom say they take part in multiple Livestreams a day.

Men aged 35 to 40, meanwhile, are also more engaged in hashtag challenges. One in twenty have already participated in at least 10 challenges, even though these are less popular with all users than video-related content.

TikTok Can Help Brands Reach More Fans

As our survey shows, watching, and sharing video is what drives the most user engagement on TikTok, but, thanks to reposts, that content tends to migrate over into other social networks. For brands in the UK, that’s an opportunity to potentially reach a wider cross-section of users than those on TikTok alone, and to incentivize those on the app to consider making a purchase.


As we’ll explore in our next post, what users are watching also reveals a lot about the role TikTok plays in their lives, and how to make branded content relevant as a result. 

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Topics: social media, creative trends, insights, tiktok