TikTok’s usage rate has flattened amongst Gen Z users still of their teens, however it remains to be ahead of its rivals, in response to data from Forrester’s 2023 Youth Survey. However, nearly a 3rd of teens now use Reels a minimum of once per week and Shorts can be gaining steam.
The findings show a one point drop in the percentage of teens using TikTok a minimum of once per week from 69% in 2022 to 68% in 2023. However, the weekly rate of usage remains to be much higher than the 63% it clocked in at two years ago. TikTok has also found itself ahead of considered one of its important competitors, YouTube, for the first time. YouTube saw its weekly usage amongst teens drop three points year-over-year (YoY) to 66%. This firmly puts TikTok in the lead.
“TikTok’s surge in popularity over the past three years has earned it a top spot as the most used ‘social media’ platform amongst U.S. teens,” said Mike Proulx, vice chairman and research director for Forrester’s CMO practice, in an email to Marketing Dive.
Forrester’s Youth Survey for 2023 had responses from nearly 5,000 U.S. teens between the ages of 12 and 17. It was fielded between July and September. Weekly usage of social media platforms have been tracked by the company for the past three years.
Short form wars
TikTok has turn into a go-to platform for marketers and teenagers alike, despite looming threats of bans from states akin to Montana. In fact, 75% of marketers anticipate increasing their spending on the platform. TikTok’s short-form video format has been key to its success, with the app averaging 150 million monthly energetic users in the U.S. TikTok users average 1.5 hours on the app every day. TikTok is anticipated to realize the majority of linear TV budgets for Gen Z minded marketers in 2024, in response to Proulx.
TikTok’s success has prompted the development of lookalikes. Legacy corporations akin to Meta and Alphabet have dipped their fingers into the short-form pie, with Instagram developing Reels while YouTube developed Shorts. These short-form alternatives have quickly picked up steam. Reels saw an 11 point YoY increase in weekly usage to 30%, per Forrester. YouTube’s Shorts has also experienced the same uptick, jumping six points to fifteen%.
“What’s interesting is that TikTok usage peaked in 2022 and has, effectively, plateaued in 2023, in response to Forrester’s data,” said Proulx. “In the pureplay short-form video space, TikTok is by far still the leader but Reels gained steam.”
However, TikTok just isn’t competing with Reels and Shorts, in response to Forrester. Reels and Shorts have turn into increasingly integrated into the interfaces of their respective apps, meaning TikTok is competing against Instagram and YouTube. This may explain why TikTok is experimenting with longer uploads.
Short video, meet AI
AI is a major player in the growth of Reels, in response to the report. Reels helped to drive a greater than 40% increase in time spent on Instagram, in response to Meta’s Q3 earnings report. Reels is driven by Meta’s AI-based suggestion algorithm, helping to drive results.
Given the fast paced growth of Reels, Instagram could provide an alternate for marketers if TikTok were to be banned in the U.S. Additionally, it points to the need for marketers to avoid putting all their eggs in a single basket.
“It’s a crucial reminder for brands to diversify their short-form video spend and never depend on only one platform,” said Proulx
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