Nowadays, it’s difficult to avoid TikTok’s never-ending stream of content. While the app has faced criticism for its hyper-personalized algorithms and questionable data usage practises, Americans, particularly young people, are glued to it.
The popularity of hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt and the viral success of challenges like “NyQuil chicken” show how influential the app has been.
The good news is that the majority of the app’s users appear to be gaining relatively low-stakes inspiration. According to a recent survey by The New Consumer, the most common action TikTok users have taken as a result of the app is listening to a song. Forty-four percent of respondents said they had done so.
However, brands and influencers also populate the app, recommending household products, clothing items, and office accessories, among others. This contributed to nearly one-quarter of TikTok users claiming to have purchased an item they saw on the platform.
Even though airline tickets aren’t technically a “product,” 12% of users claim that TikTok has inspired them to visit another city or country. TikTok has an endless stream of videos sharing different ways to spend your money, even if it’s just buying ingredients for a new recipe, whether it’s fashion inspiration or a local business recommendation.
Although the end result of your time on TikTok might be discovering new music or creating a “nacho table” with your friends, users claim that’s not why they first open the app. According to the survey, users most frequently use TikTok for comic relief and mindless entertainment.
The algorithm of TikTok operates differently. Once it determines that you enjoy a particular type of content, it displays more of it. Therefore, it may only take one purchase influenced by an influencer to find yourself in an endless loop of product recommendations. And modern payment technology makes it easier than ever to spend money quickly. Users may visit for entertainment, but advertising is inescapable.
Nonetheless, more than half of users claim the app makes them feel joyful or amused. Despite not always seeking an educational experience, 27% of TikTok users report feeling more culturally aware, and 22% report feeling more globally aware.
It is debatable whether or not that awareness is always connected to factual information. But for the time being, TikTok’s popularity seems unflappable. [Source: www.cnbc.com]
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