Report: TikTok Now More Popular Than Instagram Among US Gen Z Consumers

June 9, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Featured | Social Media | Teens & Younger | Youth & Gen X

eMarketer Gen Z TikTok Snapchat Instagram User Forecast June2021TikTok continues to shake up the social media world, estimated to overtake Instagram in number of Gen Z users. The video sharing app is forecasted to reach 37.3 million Gen Z users this year, surpassing Instagram’s 33.3 million, according to a forecast from eMarketer.

While TikTok and Snapchat are expected to keep ahead of Instagram in Gen Z users over the next couple of years, by 2025 all three platforms will have a similar number of users.

Growth Among Demographics

Despite threats of TikTok being banned in the US, it was the fastest-growing app in 2020. With those threats apparently a thing of the past, eMarketer reports an upward revision of their user projections. TikTok is now expected to see year-over-year (y-o-y) user growth of 18.3% this year to reach 78.7 million users.

Although Gen Z makes up a sizable portion of these users, this generation isn’t the only one enjoying the app. Pew Research Institute research shows that TikTok is used by one-fifth of US adults (21%), and MarketingCharts’ most recent US Media Audience Demographics report found that more than half (52%) of its adult users are 35 or older.

Growth outside TikTok’s core demographic is expected to continue. Data from Ampere Analysis indicates that in Q1 2021, 36% of the app’s users were between 35 and 54, compared to 26% in 2020. Even though the app appeals to younger generations, the share of users between the ages of 18 and 24 was estimated to have dropped to 32% in Q1 2021 from 39% in 2020. Similarly, the share of total users between 25 and 34 is reported to have fallen.

Snapchat Still Most Popular

TikTok still has competition among teen users, but maybe not for long. Earlier data from Piper Sandler found that while 30% of teens said Tik Tok was their favorite social platform, an ever-so-slightly higher percentage (31%) still favor Snapchat. The same study found that teen engagement remains the highest on Instagram, with 84% saying they use the platform every day, with fewer reporting daily use of Snapchat (78%) and TikTok (71%).

That said, the TikTok app dominates in hours spent per user – the average Android TikTok user spends approximately 21.5 hours on the platform every month, per data from App Annie.

While TikTok’s wide variety of content, video style, and unique aesthetic make it especially appealing to Gen Z, Snapchat is still more popular, at least in terms of users. In fact, Snapchat is expected to have 42 million Gen Z users by the end of this year, and is forecast to stay ahead of the game through 2025.

Good News for Instagram

Instagram remains popular among Millennials and older members of Gen Z (18-29-year-olds) and still has more total users than both TikTok and Snapchat, with predicted growth of 3.7% to 118.9 million users this year.

With the introduction of Instagram Reels in late 2020 and in spite of last year’s prediction from eMarketer that the platform’s growth would stall in the coming years, Instagram appears to have a bright future.

Although TikTok is expected to outperform Snapchat by 2023, reaching 89.7 million total users compared to Snapchat’s estimated 89.5 million, Instagram will still be more popular than both. In that same year, Instagram is expected to reach 127.2 million followers, keeping it far ahead of the competition.

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