Monday, 19 October 2020 08:22

TikTok flourishes in Australia despite all the American brouhaha

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TikTok flourishes in Australia despite all the American brouhaha Image by Kon Karampelas from Pixabay

Nearly 2.5 million Australians are using the social media app TikTok, an app that the Americans want to ban but which Australia has no problem with, the research firm Roy Morgan says, adding that this number means the addition of more than 850,000 users in the first half of 2020.

The company said in a statement that women and girls made up more than 60% of Australian TikTok users, with 1.5 million using the app, an increase of 380,000 since the second half of 2019.

The data was collected from single-source interviews with 8000 Australians aged above 14 and 1000 interviews with Australians aged between 6 and 13, between January and June.

There were 985,000 male users, up 470,000 since the end of 2019, with use by males growing faster.

Age also came into the question when looking at TikTok users, with so-called generation alpha — those born after 2006 — and generation Z (born between 1991 and 2005) dominating the user base. There were 746,000 (28%) generation alpha users and 1.04 million (20%) generation Z users.

roy morgan tiktok

Among Australians in older groups, use of the app tended to drop off, with only 9% of millennials (463,000) and 4% of generation X (177,000) using the social media app.

Roy Morgan said the 6-13 age group was the biggest user of social media and 2.1 million (80%) used some form of these apps, with YouTube seeing the most use (1.9 million in an average four-week period).

However, the company pointed out that there was no need to register to use YouTube, while other social sites like Instagram and TikTok required registration.

Roy Morgan said that looking at the generation alpha figures a little closer revealed that 523,000 (39%) of 10-13-year-olds used TikTok, compared to 223,000 of 6-9-year-olds.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said: "Australia's 'digital natives' born this century have grown up surrounded by powerful and frictionless technology as the norm and have taken quickly to TikTok. The highest rate of usage is for 'tweens' aged 10-13 years old with nearly 40% on TikTok and teens aged 14-17 years old with almost 30% on the platform.

"Among generation alpha, TikTok is far more widely used than the well-known Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Only the ubiquitous YouTube is more widely used and the videos on YouTube are more readily accessible without the need for signing up for an account."

Oracle has now struck a deal to buy TikTok's American operations, but it looks like it will go through only after the 3 November US presidential election.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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