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Time well spent: TikTok ushers in a new era of entertainment

More than one billion people around the world now go to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new. But they aren’t just jumping on during the half-time ad break. TikTok has ushered in a new era for entertainment, and users are forgoing other forms of entertainment to spend time on TikTok.

These findings come from TikTok’s 'Time Well Spent' research, conducted with Kantar. It found that among TikTok’s more than one billion monthly active users, people are coming onto the platform with four mindsets which differentiate the app from other platforms: entertainment, participation, uplift and discovery.

Additionally, the top three positive feelings associated with TikTok were happiness, joy and creativity [1]. These positive vibes reiterated what TikTok’s '2021 Audience Research' revealed – consumers feel 14% happier during and after using TikTok vs before opening the app [2].

When asked how they like to spend their time on TikTok, 76% of respondents said watching videos, 33% follow creators and 29% learn about new recipes, DIY projects or current events and trends. With over 195 billion views, #LearnonTikTok is one of the most popular hashtags on the platform and it is this kind of entertaining, informative content that keeps users coming back – with 82% admitting they will continue to use TikTok the same amount or more over the next six months.

“TikTok is all about discovery, and it doesn’t take long to understand what each user likes to watch,” says Isobel Sita-Lumsden, head of B2B marketing Europe at TikTok. “So if you’re a fan of surfing videos and are an amateur knitting enthusiast, before you know it your For You Page will be full of videos of surfers tackling the biggest waves and tutorials on how to knit yourself a cardigan for winter. And because the content on a user’s For You Page is tailored to their likes and interests, they enjoy the time they spend on the app.”

Multi-screening is a thing of the past

The research highlighted how TikTok evokes joy by showing users content that makes them happy. When they are browsing their For You Page, 94% of TikTokers take action, whether it’s liking or commenting on a video (53%), sending a video to friends (47%) or researching/buying a product they’ve seen advertised (25%). This happens because users are engaged; 41% agree that they pay full attention when using TikTok, compared to 32% on social platforms, making multi-screening a thing of the past [1].

With community at the heart of TikTok, users often find themselves enjoying the app with friends or family. While 71% watch videos alone, 67% share videos beyond the platform. When it comes to creating content, TikTok users often call on their friends to get involved too. It is this sense of belonging and community that helps trends thrive on TikTok. #EduTok has achieved over 138 billion views since its inception, #EasyRecipe has amassed over 11 billion views and #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has more than 6 billion views.

Cementing its position in the consumer decision journey

With no second screen to distract them, TikTok users will listen to and take notice of content they’re interested in. And this goes for ads too. 54% of users recall branded content on the platform [2].

TikTok’s position in the consumer decision journey cannot be overlooked. By getting involved in trends, talking about their business and discussing the benefits of their products rather than just asking people to visit their website and buy, brands are finding success. And because 67% of TikTokers share videos, branded content can live beyond TikTok.

“For brands looking to engage with the TikTok community, remember that they’re here seeking joy, happiness and creativity,” says Sita-Lumsden. “Tap into that by getting involved in trends, chatting to users in the comments and being authentic. If you’re doing that, people will stick around to find out more about your brand.”

For more information on how brands can authentically generate TikTok content, click here.

1. TikTok Marketing Science Global Time Well Spent research (EU 5 Results) 2021 conducted by Kantar
2. TikTok Marketing Science Understanding EU TikTok Audience Research 2021 conducted by Clear M&C Saatchi
The video in this article is part of TikTok For You: Real Joy, a wider exploration of authenticity on TikTok.

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