People now spend more time on TikTok than any other social app
In the world of social media, there's a new king in town. According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, people are now spending more time on TikTok than any other social app.
The average user spent an astonishing 23.5 hours (23 hours and 28 minutes) each month scrolling through TikTok throughout 2022 — 3 hours and 51 minutes more than the year before. The total time spent on TikTok amounts to nearly 282 hours per year.
It is the first time TikTok has overtaken YouTube regarding time spent on social media. This surge in TikTok's popularity is a testament to the app's unique and engaging format, which has captured the attention of millions of users worldwide.
However, it is important to note that both video content platforms were previously reported to track user data the most out of social media apps.
These figures are derived from data provided by Meltwater and We Are Social. The data looks at social media monthly usage trends worldwide among Android users aged 16 to 64.
Nevertheless, YouTube is still the second most popular platform in terms of hours watched. Throughout 2022 people spent approximately 23.1 hours (23 hours and 9 minutes) on YouTube per month. The time spent on the platform decreased by 32 minutes compared to the previous year.
Facebook occupies the third spot on the list. Internet users spent an average of 19.7 hours (19 hours and 43 minutes) monthly on the world's most popular social media app — 8 minutes more than the year before.
Next up is the instant messaging app WhatsApp, with 17.3 hours (17 hours and 20 minutes) spent on the app. The time spent on the app dropped by 1 hour and 15 minutes compared to before.
Instagram rounds out the top five list, with social media users spending 12h hours per month on average on the app. Time dedicated to browsing Instagram increased by 46 min compared to 2021.
Other platforms that consumed a significant portion of social media users' time include Line (10h 59 min), Twitter (5h 28 min), Telegram (3h 57 min), Snapchat (3h 10 min), and Facebook Messenger (3h 7 min).
Overall, people reported spending 38% of their time online on social media.
TikTok privacy concerns
While TikTok is increasingly popular among social media consumers, it has raised many concerns among security experts and authorities.
TikTok is owned by a Beijing-based company ByteDance. Therefore many officials and security experts fear ByteDance could share sensitive TikTok user data with the Chinese government.
This includes personal information such as browsing history, location, and biometric identifiers. The concern stems from a 2017 Chinese law obliging companies to provide data relevant to the country's national security upon request.
Given the significant amounts of data TikTok and other social media platforms collect from their users, officials worry that this information could be potentially misused if shared with Beijing's authoritarian regime.
TikTok creators have distanced themselves from the Chinese government and have stated that they would not willingly provide user data to authorities. However, despite their assurances, we can never be sure if that is true.
So is TikTok safe to use?
While much of the discussion surrounding the app centers on national security concerns, it is worth noting that the risk is not substantially different for the average user from that of other popular social media applications.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal discretion and making informed choices about data security and online privacy issues. Awareness of the potential risks and taking necessary precautions can help ensure a safer experience with the app.