TikTok Surpasses Other Social Media Platforms in User Growth

TikTok, the short-video sharing app from China, has become the fastest-growing social media platform among American adults, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center. The app has seen a remarkable increase in its user base since 2021, outpacing other popular platforms like YouTube and Facebook.


TikTok’s Rise in Popularity

According to the survey, which was conducted in 2023 and involved 5,733 respondents, 33 percent of U.S. adults said they have used TikTok, up from 21 percent in 2021. This is the largest jump in usage for any social media platform that Pew asked about, indicating TikTok’s rapid rise in popularity.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with music, filters, and effects, has attracted millions of users with its viral challenges, dances, and memes. The app has also become a source of entertainment, information, and creativity for many people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TikTok’s growth is even more impressive considering the app faced several challenges in the U.S. market, including a potential ban by the former Trump administration over national security concerns, and a lawsuit by the state of Indiana accusing the app of deceiving its users about the level of inappropriate content and the security of their personal information.

TikTok’s Demographic Differences

The survey also revealed some interesting demographic differences among TikTok users. The app is most popular among young adults, with 62 percent of those aged 18 to 29 saying they have used TikTok, compared to only 10 percent of those aged 65 and older. In fact, Facebook and YouTube are the only two platforms that majorities of all age groups use.

TikTok is also more popular among women than men, with 40 percent of women saying they have used the app, versus 25 percent of men. Additionally, TikTok is more popular among people of color, with 49 percent of Hispanic adults, 39 percent of Black adults, and 29 percent of Asian adults saying they have used the app, compared to 28 percent of white adults.

TikTok’s Competition with Other Platforms

Despite TikTok’s impressive growth, YouTube remains the most dominant social media platform in the U.S., with 83 percent of adults saying they have used the site. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is also the most widely used platform, with 54 percent of adults saying they use it every day.

Facebook, which is owned by Meta, is the second most popular and widely used platform, with 68 percent of adults saying they have used the site, and 49 percent saying they use it daily. Facebook also owns Instagram, which is the third most popular platform, with 47 percent of adults saying they have used it.

Other platforms that Pew asked about, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and Snapchat, are used by roughly a third or less of the adult population, and have seen more modest or no growth since 2021. Some platforms, such as X, have even seen a decline in usage over the past few years.

Social media platforms have become an integral part of many people’s lives, but they also face various challenges, such as misinformation, data privacy, and harmful content. The survey findings come on the same day that several heads of social media platforms, including TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, testified before the U.S. Senate to discuss social media’s potential harm to children.

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