Who's Using TikTok in the UK?

Posted by Ruth Temianka on Dec 17, 2020 10:00:00 AM
Ruth Temianka

It’s safe to say that TikTok is a business to watch. To begin with, the mobile app, and video-centric social hub has been downloaded more than 2 billion times around the world in the past two years.

Second, after breaking records for the highest volume of global app downloads in Q1 2020, and enjoying more installs in March 2020 alone than Instagram in 2019, the network has garnered significant interest from brands eager to connect with video-watching fans, particularly (or even notoriously) engaged millennials and Gen Z users. In fact, our survey shows millennial men are definitely the ones to watch.

If that weren’t enough reasons to keep an eye on the app, this year’s global pandemic has driven large numbers of new users of all ages to TikTok, the reasons for which we’ll explore in future blog posts.

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Insights for UK Marketers

To shed more light into what all that means for marketers, and to help brands maximize the creative effectiveness of their TikToks, we’ve just released our first ever in-depth report into TikTok usage in the UK.

A market where one in four Brits uses the app at least once a month, but data about their habits has been hard to find, our report is designed to help you feel more informed when it comes to your brand’s engagement strategy.

Based on responses from 1,000 people aged 18-40 in the UK who use the app at least once a week, our study includes valuable data ranging from user location, and behavior, to the types of content that drive the most user engagement, and influence purchase intent. In particular, it reveals some points worth noting when it comes to millennial men.

Who’s Using TikTok in the UK?

First things first. Despite being the newest network on the social scene, launching in several countries, including the UK, in 2017, Britain is now TikTok’s biggest market in Europe, and growing fast. Our survey confirms this trend, which shows TikTok has already captured the attention of a wide cross-section of mobile users around the country, especially those in London.

While men and women of all ages in the UK told us they access the app at least once a day, Gen Z TikTokers are the most active, over eight in ten of whom said they watch videos multiple times a day. That’s especially the case among young women; almost twice as many females aged 18 to 24 use TikTok multiple times a day as those aged 35 to 40.

Half of millennial men in the UK watch videos on TikTok multiple times a day.

Meanwhile our findings show that, while male millennials in the UK tend to be more engaged than their female counterparts, almost half of all millennials surveyed use the app multiple times a day.

Where Are They?

"Every region of the UK is currently seeing high levels of user engagement."

Our report shows people in London, and the North of England, use TikTok the most, 78% of whom check in several times a day. Around one third of those surveyed in London also plan on using TikTok more frequently in the year to come.

Northern Ireland, and the East of England see slightly lower rates of usage, though over two thirds of those surveyed still access the app at least once a day.

Meanwhile users in the East, Scotland, and Wales are the most likely to share or save videos on the network outside of those based in London. This finding suggests users in these regions tend to engage with content more actively than elsewhere, despite the lower session count.

How Will Usage Change in the Year Ahead?

While further user growth is predicted in the UK over the next four years, our survey shows millennial men will lead this trend over the next 12 months.

"One in three millennial men expect to spend more time on TikTok in the year ahead, compared to one in five UK users overall."

In addition, at least one in ten users across the UK expect to watch more TikToks next year too, especially those based in London.


Up next, we’ll explore how Gen Z and millennial users engage with TikTok’s content formats. 

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Topics: social media, creative trends, insights, tiktok