Hey Boomer! or Gen-Xer (yeah that’s me)! You might have heard of this new social media thing called TikTok among the others competing for attention, or ones that say they could be. In spite of TikTok’s contraversial history, TikTok has seen an unprecedented explosion of use which, by comparison, exceeds even the mighty Facebook at a similar point in its history. So we want to take a couple of posts to “reset” something’s you don’t know about TikTok. Before we start though, please understand that it’s our informed opinion that kids and teens have no good reason they should be on TikTok. That said, there are few reasons they should be on any social media platform at present because of what these sites are designed to do and how well they do it. These tools can be used for “adult good” though so let’s see why.

When TikTok came to prominence in early 2020, lots of information was shared about the service. One of the most “hyped” issues was that the platform was mostly a place for kids and people doing goofy dances. This was bolstered by the reality that it became home to “TikTok challenges” that encouraged kids to do stupid, dangerous, or illegal things to see if they could succeed. While these challenges may still surface, the platform seems to be trending in a different direction with the hope that this change brings these high-stakes acts of stupidity to a halt. Recent analytics as of late 2021 and early 2022 yielded surprising changes about who is on the service.

Analysis from Backlinko seems to show that the demographic makeup of TikTok is trending older very quickly. 52% of TikTok users are ages 30+ with a full 41% of those being age 30-49. While the largest single group (25%) of users are still age 10-19, that number has fallen sharply in just two years as the grown-ups realize the power and entertainment value of TikTok. You can rest assured that advertisers are taking notice too. Ad rates and complexity of system are starting to hinder “traditional” social media such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We will explore why TikTok is so successful in the next post, but it is where things are going.