If there was a “Best new app” category at the Grammy’s in 2019, its winner would have been TikTok. Its adoption is accelerating in the US, people are increasingly spending more time on it. What’s not to like, right?
Not everyone wears your rose colored glasses my friend. Okay, I don’t. There’s only so many hours in the day, so if engagement goes up in one app, stands to reason, someone else out there is hurting. At least that was our hypothesis. We went looking for evidence of this in the data, and here’s what we found.
This is most going to be a story told in charts and some self-talk.

Me: “TikTok incidence is rapidly growing within our panel..”
You: “No $h!t Sherlock.”
Me: ”There’s more.

TikTok user incidence within the Embee Panel, showing a steady 2% through 1H19 then rising steadily to 6% now

Me: “Folks spend an average of 5 minutes per session on TikTok.”
You: “OK, that’s not a lot. My poodle spends the same time watching cat videos.”

Chart showing the average duration of TikTok sessions. The chart shows around 200 seconds per session through 1Q19, rising during 2Q19 to around 275 seconds, and steadily increasing to over 300 now.

Me: “Umm.. the average person opens TikTok multiple times a day. And that’s only increasing.”
You: “whoa..looks like the average number of times someone uses TikTok per day is up nearly 50% from 8 to 12 in the past few months.”

Chart showing the number of times TikTok is opened each day by users. In May 2019, it was about 8 times per day, but is closer to 12 now.

Me: “Yup.. put together, the average amount of time spent on TikTok per day is up from around 35 minutes/day in May 2019 to nearly 60 minutes/day now.”
You: “Lots of cat videos?”
Me: “Or twerk..or maybe twerking cats..I don’t know. I’m not on it.”

Chart showing the increase in the total amount of time TikTok users spend per day, rising steadily from 2000s/day in early 2019 to nearly an hour now.

    Why It Matters And Its Impact To FB

You: “An hour per day is a lot! Someone’s got to be hurting.”
Me: “100%”
You: “Think Facebook’s hurting?”
Me: “Let’s take a look. Here’s a chart comparing FB usage of cohorts of TikTok and non-TikTok users.”

Chart showing daily users of Facebook users who never use TikTok, and comparing TikTok users on days when they do or don't use TikTok. Facebook usage is always more on days when users don't use TikTok.

You: “Interesting that FB usage amongst TikTok users is quite a bit higher than non-TikTok users. They are far more engaged. Why is that?”
Me: “Probably has to do with the demographic makeup. But notice, the Facebook engagement of the TikTok cohort drops quite a bit, even lower than that of non-TikTok users on days of TikTok usage.”
You: “Interesting. So you’re saying TikTok usage is directly taking away from Facebook?”
Me: “Sure looks like it..FB usage of a TikTok user drops by around 10 minutes/day on days of TikTok usage.”
You: “FBs got to be sweating bullets..they’re losing eyeballs from its most engaged users!”
Me: “No %@#! Sherlock.”
You: “Hah..Is GOOG hurting?”
Me: “Wouldn’t you want to know? How about I give you the data and you take a look yourself?”