TikTok outperforms YouTube and Facebook in the time each user spends

In 2020, TikTok became the most downloaded non-game app in the world. Should we worry about privacy risks, national security, and digital sobriety?

Tiktok’s meteoric rise continues unabated. Today, TikTok is solidly among the most valuable media entertainment brands in the world, and leaves no doubt that the app, once considered a passing phenomenon among teens, has in fact become a very profitable business model. Aside from the young internet users who have captured the hype, marketers are also spending more time and money on the app than ever before. Since the beginning of 2022, TikTok has been downloaded more than 175 million times. TikTok has topped 10 million downloads over the past nine quarters now. No more TikTok app has been downloaded since the beginning of 2018.

TikTok may be the simplest social activity to engage in, but below the simple interface is a modern AI that adapts and embraces content at a fast pace. In America, the average TikTok user spends, on a daily basis, 50% more on the app than the average user spends on Instagram.

TikTok overtook YouTube, the winning champion in terms of time spent per user, in the first quarter of 2022 globally (excluding China). The average monthly time for TikTok per user was 23.6 hours per month, compared to 23.2 hours on YouTube. The time spent per user on TikTok increased significantly, by 40% annually and 140% compared to the first quarter of 2020. TikTok also surpassed Facebook by 22%, with an average last time of 19.4 hours per person in the first quarter of 2022 TikTok and Facebook saw the same average time spent per user in 2021 with an average of 19.6 hours per month per user. TikTok ranked fifth globally among social media apps for total time spent on Android phones in the first quarter of 2022.

However, among the top 10 social media apps by user time spent globally, TikTok is the one with the highest time spent by each user. Credibility is a central feature of TikTok, contrasting with the “stage” look of other social media apps. This originality is enhanced by user-generated content, live broadcasts, and powerful video editing tools that boost creativity. TikTok has also become a leading platform for publishing news and pop culture and is often used as a search engine to keep up with current events.

Earlier in the year, TikTok also had the largest quarter in terms of consumer spending on an app or game in app stores, reaching $840 million in the first quarter of 2022 alone, and more than $4.6 billion in consumer spending to date on the app. . .

Meanwhile, Zoom has surpassed 1 billion lifetime downloads on iOS and Google Play worldwide, ahead of its 10th anniversary on the App Store in August. Zoom has seen a spike in demand during the pandemic, with nearly 90% of downloads occurring for life as of April 2020. Downloads peaked in April 2020 as the world struggled with widespread COVID lockdowns, work-from-home policies and social distancing guidelines. However, with workplaces embracing hybrid and remote work, and video calling becoming a common occurrence for families and friends, Zoom remains the most widely used business app globally in the first half of 2022.


The risk is at least privacy and national security at the other end of the risk spectrum. Simply put, the Chinese regime reserves the right to obtain appropriate data from its companies. China understands that social platforms have weight, particularly in electoral systems. He recently ranked content recommendation algorithms as a key technology. TikTok delights consumers and advertisers around the world, but the Chinese regime can’t allow censorship and propaganda to go beyond its power. TikTok is also facing a new wave of political attacks in the United States. Congressional and Federal Communications Commission officials have questioned in recent weeks whether the company is actively protecting US user data from the Chinese government. A BuzzFeed News report from June found that engineers at TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, frequently accessed US user data from China.

The unrestricted consumption of billions of videos also has an impact on the planet, in this aspect there is no connection on the infrastructure of the giant, including the environmental design of the application which will be minimal. The world is facing a problem of climate change, and climate change is facing a problem of connectivity. The hashtag #ForClimate has over 533 million views. A video showing a girl singing, “We’re killing the Earth and it’s really funny, no one believes us because we’re young” has garnered more than 6.4 million likes. Every day, thousands of content creators, mostly generation Z, post videos about climate change and their personal relationship to it.

An article from Wired shows that TikTok is clearly effective in getting many people to participate in environmental content. But what is the value of this commitment? It is sometimes easy to place the activity under the umbrella of “consciousness” without answering the more difficult question: is it actually doing anything?

Do you know ?

Data traffic is responsible for more than half of the global digital energy impact, with 55% of its annual energy consumption. Every byte transmitted or stored requires large-scale, energy-intensive terminals and infrastructures (data centers and networks). Since this traffic is currently increasing at more than 25% annually, it is necessary to characterize the uses associated with it if we are to intelligently manage the energy consumed by digital technology.

Video streams accounted for 80% of global data streams in 2018 and 80% of their annual volume growth. The remaining 20% ​​is made up of websites, data, video games, etc. In terms of uses, excessive digital consumption is primarily caused by video. Driven by the deployment of high-resolution technologies such as “8K”, the need for which must be called into question, video absorbs a large portion of network infrastructure costs… while lower image resolutions will be sufficient to ensure current use. More information in this Shift Project document.

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