TikTok dominates the time people spend on their phones

Measure Protocol
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We recently used on-demand behavioral data collection technology, Retro, to dig into how people are spending time on social media on their phones. Retro provides access to previously inaccessible in-app data directly from consumers in a privacy-first, trusted environment. The latest fascinating insights show that people are spending more than twice as much time on TikTok than other social platforms, with Gen Z (not surprisingly) leading the pack for usage hours.

On average, all respondents are spending 9.3 hours per week on TikTok, with other platforms trailing far behind. Facebook is the runner up at 4.99 hours per week, with YouTube close behind in third place at 4.75 hours and Instagram at only 3.58 hours. TikTok is clearly taking over people’s spare time, filling micro gaps in the day with 15-second-or-shorter memes, dance videos, magic tricks, funny videos and much more. 

Our data shows that TikTok, which is a relative newcomer to the space (founded in 2016), is trouncing established apps, with years of insights, analytics and followers behind them. Its power should not be underestimated, as it infiltrates the days of key audiences, especially powerful younger groups. With more than 1 billion active users, it trails behind other social platforms that may have more users overall. However, our Retro data shows that it is TikTok where people are actually spending their time. 

Overall, TikTok is a strong contender in the marketplace and brands need to understand how people are using it, and its overall impact, or risk being left behind. The large amount of time individuals are spending on the app is creating huge reservoirs of user insight, which are worth exploring in order to “join the party” and be on the front foot as a brand, rather than see your audience be serenaded by a competitor. 

This level of understanding starts with exploring what people are watching and how they are engaging with various types of content, genres, trends, influencers, hashtags and more. Seeing what they “like”, where they comment and how they are specifically spending time on their mobile devices, you can start to build a more holistic picture of your customers, and also your potential customers

The enigma of TikTok is tricky, but understanding your whole user base so you can accurately target and connect with them is critical. With the type of data that Retro provides, you no longer be taken by surprise. You can get faster, more reliable data - data that looks at accurate behaviors that have already happened - to help you identify real trends, predict future behaviors, and make better decisions.