Study Reveals Why People Use TikTok

Photo from Solen Feyissa via Unsplash

Study Reveals Why People Use TikTok

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new study from Pew revealed the habits and preferences of TikTok users and how they view the platform as a whole.

Nearly everybody on TikTok (95%) uses the platform for entertainment purposes. This is by far the largest driver of engagement on the site, with 81% of those involved in the study naming it as a major reason for their use of the platform.

Other large drivers of engagement include “connect[ing] with others who share their interests,” “look[ing] at product reviews or recommendations” and “keep[ing] up with sports or pop culture.” Less than 50% of users come to TikTok “to keep up with friends and family,” “to get the news” or “to keep up with politics or political issues.”

Despite it being a minor reason for people to use TikTok, politics is a common topic on the site, with nearly half (45%) of all users saying they regularly see political content despite only 7% saying they post political content themselves. Regardless of political affiliation, the majority of users feel comfortable expressing their political views – 88% for Democrats vs. 81% for Republicans. Perhaps because of the freedom that is felt about the topic, most users (65%) believe it is a good thing that politics are popular on the platform.

As for the upcoming TikTok ban recently signed into law, most users believe it to be a mistake, as half think the app “has no impact” on democracy compared to 33% who believe the platform is “mostly good” for democracy vs. only 17% who believe it to be “mostly bad.” These beliefs largely hold true regardless of political affiliation, with only 22% of Republican users believing it is harmful to democracy compared to 15% of Democrats.

The view of TikTok users is interesting to compare to those held by the American public at large. Compared to the majority of TikTok users who see the platform as safe, over 50% of Americans support the TikTok ban.

Movieguide® previously reported:

According to a recent study, over half of the U.S. wants TikTok excluded from American devices.

“A majority of Americans (56%) have an unfavorable view of TikTok, and half support a nationwide U.S. ban on the app from China-based ByteDance, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll,” Variety reported May 1.

One main concern around the platform is that the Chinese government can access users’ data, per the NY Times.

“In 2022, ByteDance said it fired four employees for ‘misconduct’ after the company found they accessed TikTok data on several users, including two reporters,” Variety noted.

Over 50% of Americans think TikTok sways public opinion. About 46% believe that China spies on Americans through the platform.

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