Why Is TikTok So Popular?

Why Is TikTok So Popular?

With one billion monthly active users, TikTok is in the upper echelon of social media apps.

Not sure why TikTok is so popular?

A Neilsen study attempts to explain why.

Commissioned by TikTok, the study analyzes data from over 8,000 survey respondents who were asked questions regarding their perception of the site’s content.

The objective of the study is to understand what people value about TikTok. Results offer insight into why it’s become a cultural phenomenon.

Let’s dig into the data and try to figure out why a billion people are using TikTok every month.

Users Say TikTok Is Authentic

Users feel like they can be themselves on TikTok, which could be a contributing factor to its popularity.


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The study finds:

  • 64% of users say they can be their true selves on TikTok.
  • 56% of TikTok users say they can post videos they wouldn’t post elsewhere.
  • 53% of users say they trust others to be their real selves on TikTok.

When asked how they perceive the content on TikTok, respondents described it as: authentic, genuine, unfiltered, and trendsetting.

Those sentiments extend to ads on TikTok as well. Advertising on TikTok is viewed as real, unique, and fun.

Users Say TikTok Makes Them Happy

TikTok content brings joy, the study finds, and who doesn’t need more of that in their lives?


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“An average of 31% of TikTok users included “lifting my spirits” as one of the top three reasons for returning to the TikTok platform again and again.”

Compare that to Facebook, which has been making headlines for having negative impacts on mental health.

TikTok Is Unique And Different

Users feel like they can go on TikTok and see content they can’t get anywhere else.

While they may see the same content shared across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter— TikTok stands apart as a place to discover something new.

The study finds:

  • 79% of users find content on TikTok to be unique or different.
  • 68% of TikTok users find advertising content different from any competitive platform.
  • 60% of users internationally (excluding US) say they follow brands on TikTok.
  • 52% of users say they search for products or shop on the platform.
  • 85% of users discover new content that they enjoy through the TikTok platform.

TikTok Is A Community

Among TikTok’s greatest strengths is the sense of community felt by its users.

That’s demonstrated by the viral challenges users take part in.

The ability to sample others’ content and add to it also helps users build stronger connections.

The study finds:

  • 59% of users feel a sense of community when they are on TikTok.
  • 77% of users say TikTok is a place where people can express themselves openly.
  • 84% of TikTok users say they come across content to which they can relate.
  • 70% of users say TikTok is a platform they would recommend to others.
  • 77% of users say they read the comments on the posts and videos on TikTok.

In short— TikTok users feel comfortable on the platform and are even excited to engage with one another.


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A common theme throughout this data is positivity. Users enjoy their time on TikTok, they’re delighted by the unique content they find, and they feel safe expressing themselves with their own content.

That all helps to explain why TikTok is so popular.

Users even feel more positive toward content from businesses and brands on TikTok compared to other platforms.

That indicates businesses are taking a whole different approach to marketing themselves on TikTok.

For more on TikTok marketing, see:


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Source: TikTok

Featured Image: Shutterstock/Ti Vla

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