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TikTok demographics for authors

In 2019, TikTok, “the leading destination for short-form mobile video,” was the fastest growing social network.

With user-created videos that typically involve singing or dancing, the social network even gets credit for turning Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” into a hit.

It’s all the rage now, to the point where even the “Today Show” anchors have jumped on board. Nothing says “we’re mainstream” quicker than baby boomer Al Roker showing up on the app in a dance video.

Before the old folks scare the youngsters off the platform (Facebook, anyone?), let’s dig into the numbers behind TikTok to see if you should be using it for your book. Here are the TikTok demographics for authors.

Who is using TikTok?

  • Worldwide, half of its users are younger than 34.
  • 60 percent of its monthly U.S. users are 16- to 24-year-olds.
  • In the U.S., 26 percent of users are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • Also in the U.S., 80 percent of users are 16 to 34.
  • 60 percent of the U.S. users are female.
  • Just over half – 56 percent – of all users are male.
  • There are 60 million active monthly users in the U.S.
  • There are an estimated 800 million monthly active users worldwide and 1.5 billion total (versus active) users.

Where are TikTok’s users located?

  • The app is available in 154 countries.
  • Over 500 million of its monthly active users are Chinese.
  • Users in India account for almost one-third of its downloads – 467 million times.

How much time do users spend on the app?

  • Most – 90 percent – use the app more than once a day.
  • 29 percent open the app daily.
  • Users spend 52 minutes on the app each day.

Should you be using TikTok?

The question to answer now is: Is it likely that your ideal reader is using this video platform?

If you’re targeting a young audience and have mastered the art of the short video, this might be a good fit for your book. If it is, don’t wait too long to figure out how to use it effectively. What’s popular today can lose favor by tomorrow.

EDITED TO ADD: A reader has reminded me that there have been security concerns about the TikTok app. He works in internet security; here is his wise message to all of us: “May I respectfully request that you advise your email list that TikTok may not be a safe app/site to use when personal information is kept on the same device.” Please keep this in mind.

Are you using TikTok? What do you like most about it?






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    1. Research shows that in general, people in the younger demographics do read books. I haven’t seen any research into the reading habits of TikTok users specifically.


      1. From the research: Those ages 18 to 29 as of 2018 read the most — 84 percent of them read a book in any format in the previous 12 months. People ages 30 to 49 in 2018 were the next largest group of readers, at 74 percent.


  1. Thanks for the insights, Sandra. I checked out the site recently and was amazed by how much silly stuff is on there. After reading your post, I’m grateful I need not join in as its demographics is not my target.

    1. This is interesting feedback, Cat. What do you think is the age range of the parents of the children you write for? Or, do you think it’s grandparents buying your books? (And of course you could never be silly with a video there, but I’ll bet you could be clever!)


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