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  • MaryGrace Lerin

TikTok Expected To Surpass 1.5 Billion Users In 2022

TikTok continues to grow amid increasing pressure from other platforms, as well as regulatory concerns and prohibitions in some places. And, as per the most recent App Annie data, the app's growth isn't going to slow down just yet.

TikTok is expected to surpass 1.5 billion users in the next twelve months, according to App Annie's 2022 Mobile Forecast study, while its cultural influence proceeds to extend all around the globe.

Which would put it far ahead of Instagram, which still has a billion active users, a figure it first declared in 2018 but hasn't updated since. Did Instagram's popularity plateaued, and if so, what does this suggest for the app's overall popularity?

App Annie's projections have also proven to be accurate in the past. App Annie speculated in November that TikTok would reach one billion active users in 2021, which it achieved in September.

TikTok's growth pace is unparalleled, according to App Annie (above), with the app becoming a cultural force quicker than any other platform ever. Sure, some of this is due to existing trends — Facebook and Instagram struggled to reach their first billion members because they had to build new habitual behaviors, which TikTok has benefitted greatly from.

Yet, the app's meteoric rise is noteworthy – and this is without taking into account India, which was formerly TikTok's largest user market, with 200 million monthly active users. It's plausible to believe that if TikTok hadn't been banned in India in June 2020, its Indian user base may now be closer to 500 million, putting TikTok well on its way to reaching the 1.5 billion user market.

It's incredible to think about how TikTok has managed to maintain such a strong presence in an increasingly saturated social media market. Snapchat surfaced to be on track for similar rapid expansion until Instagram copied Stories and slowed it down, and it is the same strategy that Instagram's parent company Meta has used with TikTok, having added Reels to both Facebook and Instagram in an attempt to reclaim audience share from a rising potential competitor.

Also, YouTube has introduced Shorts, Snapchat has added Spotlight, and other apps have experimented with TikTok-like features. Despite being pitted against all of these rival tools, TikTok has proven tenacious. These counter-growth tactics haven't slowed TikTok's expansion; in fact, they've just increased its popularity.

How has TikTok been able to maintain its dominance in the face of established titans, while others have faltered? The key is its algorithm matching, which is still far superior to any other site at presenting an endless stream of content tailored to your exact interests.

The tailored 'For You' stream of videos that you'll likely be interested in is incredibly enticing, as anyone who has used TikTok a few times knows, and it's really adept at swiftly matching with your own preferences.

TikTok has an edge over other platforms in that it includes a full-screen feed, which means that any action you take while a video is playing is indicative of your reaction to that particular clip. If you scroll through quickly, the video's content is plainly not of interest; if you watch it all the way through, that's a powerful signal; pressing on any element also delivers definite response data for its matching.

Instagram lacks the same capability because there are usually many posts on screen, and though Reels can be more carefully tailored in this way, its algorithm is not as adept at recognizing your interests, with Reels frequently being extra sensitive to popular content and then displaying you more of it without taking into consideration broader context.

TikTok's system is considerably better at determining more complex matches in reaction to your actions, which is why it's so addicting to so many people and why it's continued to grow in popularity despite other applications attempting to copy its core features.

Because, in reality, they can't, or haven't yet. While it appears that both Meta and YouTube should be able to figure it out at some point, the fact that neither has made substantial progress suggests that TikTok simply has more capacity and a deeper understanding of its audience than its competitors, pointing to continued success for the app, which is now undoubtedly the cooler place to be for creators in any case.

The next phase is monetization, which will allow top stars to earn as much money on TikTok as they can on other platforms. However, the platform's eCommerce and brand/creator relationship technologies are now rapidly growing, allowing for more potential on this front.

Before 2022, if you haven't explored TikTok as a potential medium for your marketing activities, it's time to reconsider. Not all businesses will succeed on TikTok, and it does necessitate a more committed, organic approach, so you'll need to be aware of platform-specific trends or engage with creators who are. However, for the right brand, with the proper attitude, the prospects might be tremendous.

And they're getting bigger every day, with a growing momentum. By 2023, TikTok might have over 2 billion active users and much more cultural relevance around the world if it continues to grow at this rate.

It's likely that it's not a platform that immediately springs to mind for your promotions, and it's also possible that it's not one that you're keen in. However, in 2022, it may be worthwhile to become acquainted with the latest TikTok trends and gain a deeper grasp of the platform.

App Annie's full 2022 App Predictions report may be downloaded here.

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