New data: TikTok's meteoric rise (despite privacy concerns)

Measure Protocol
February 10, 2021

Measure's Retro solution collects and processes raw data shared by individuals in a permissioned environment, translating it into valuable behavioral insights. Individuals in our MSR community shared their detailed app usage to show how they were using their device over a three-week period. This behavioral (not self-reported) data showed some significant results, specifically when it came to how people were using social media platforms. 

TikTok came out as the clear winner,  and is now beating Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for time spent per week on the platform. In fact, users of TikTok spent an average of 62% more time on the platform than they did on YouTube. This rise in popularity and usage could explain the launch of similarly formatted media on competitor sites - such as YouTube "shorts" and Instagram "reels."

This data becomes all the more surprising when you contrast it with self-reported insights we found through our QuickAnswers solution last summer. In this August 2020 study, nearly 60% of respondents indicated some level of concern surrounding using TikTok due to privacy issues - a topic which made headlines as the Trump administration threatened to ban the platform from the U.S.

Behavioral data like that collected by Retro has become even more important in understanding what people are actually doing - rather than just what they are saying - in today's complex ecosystem. The TikTok data is clear example that shows people continue to actively spend time on the platform, despite self-reporting via a survey that they are concerned about privacy issues. It takes these kinds of layered insights to understand audiences and make data-based decisions with confidence.