TikTok earned $58 billion in 2021

TikTok revenues reached $58 billion in 2021, a 70% increase from 2020. Although TikTok’s revenues are at their absolute highest, revenue growth has slowed down, possibly because of stricter regulations from the Chinese government. Source: Reuters.

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February 4, 2022 11:25 am

The algorithm!

I have never used an app before that can get me to scroll incessantly watching one useless video after another. The TikTok algorithm is magic. Other apps can copy the concept of scrolling short-form videos, but can they replicate the algorithm? I’m not so sure. TikTok is incredibly addictive. This is because the algorithm knows exactly what to show you. This comes at a cost, however. You can be sure that TikTok is monitoring every single behavior of yours in the app, and very likely your behavior outside the app. It will monitor the length you watch a video, the moment you swipe up to see another one, the profiles that you view and who you follow. ALL of this info plus millions of other data bytes will be fed into a system to create a stronger profile of what you like watching. It is self-improving system that will get you hooked on the app. One friend told me to control myself before it controls me.

TikTok has been creative with the way it earns revenues. The introduction of TikTok coins has been a good way for fans to connect with creators beyond likes and comments. It has also been rolling out a Cameo-like feature. You can purchase a customized message from a creator, however as it stands it’s quite expensive. Also with 1 billion monthly active users, advertising revenues will be bringing in a large amount of revenue.

The algorithm is doing its job and will continue to earn TikTok a huge amount of money, for the time being that is. Of greatest concern to TikTok’s revenue growth is the potential impact of the metaverse and how hard the Chinese government cracks down on social media platforms.

February 11, 2022 8:38 pm

TikTok is in an enviable position. Clocking over $50 billion in revenue after a few years of operation is an unfathomable amount of revenue. Its growth is slowing down, attributed by tech journalists to the CCP’s policies, however I think there’s more to it. TikTok has a steady stream of daily active users because of their young target audience who spend a lot of time on their phones. As of this moment TikTok is the “cool” or “happening” app. Take note that Facebook once used to have that image. Brands are hopping on too because they have to go where their target audience is. But how does TikTok make you feel?

As an adult, I can only go on TikTok for so long before I’m craving some other form of value. TikTok is nice side-entertainment. Something to look at while waiting for a bus. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. After 10 minutes of scrolling on TikTok, my brain is screaming for some text-based content. As a kid, I’m guessing you can tolerate this for hours on end. You may not even have the sensations I’m describing. But I feel like after 10-15 minutes on TikTok, I need to make up for that time by doing something challenging, something intellectual, something that nourishes my brain.

I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. Many people have described how easily you can fall into the Wikipedia rabbit hole, reading about past wars or a theory of behavioral psychology. The difference between Wikipedia’s rabbit hole and TikTok’s is that on Wikipedia, the rabbit hole provides value. I learn something. I benefit from it. The feeling after spending 25 minutes on TikTok is horrible. It’s a draining feeling. It’s like an acknowledgement that we have such a short period of time to make use of each day, and I messed it up by spending valuable time on TikTok.

The current young audience on TikTok will eventually grow up. Will they have the same feeling I have in a few year’s time? Will they be replaced by the next batch of young mobile users? Or will a new app have taken its place as the “cool” app of the day. I’ll laugh when that day comes – TikTok? No I don’t use that. That’s for old people! The problem with TikTok is its short-form content focus. With YouTube I similarly need to take time off and spend time on text-based content, the form of content from which I derive the most satisfaction, but because YouTube’s videos can be longer and more in-depth, the value I get far surpasses the surface-level entertainment TikTok provides. If younger people are starting to feel the same way as me, TikTok’s decline could be just as quick as its ascent.

Jenna T
February 10, 2022 7:16 pm

Ever since TikTok burst onto the scene it has made all the regular names in Tech take notice. Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat. They’re all on edge. TikTok isn’t just a new entrant. Its growth has been extraordinary. It has become so big, so quickly. A sign of times. You don’t have to wait decades for your business to become a disruptor anymore. It can happen in a number of years. TikTok’s valuation is around $400 billion. Not bad for an app released in 2016.

Coinciding with Facebook’s first ever reversal of user growth, Meta is fully focused on TikTok and is putting in extra effort to prevent and recover market share that TikTok is taking away from Facebook. In some ways it seems the media is over-exaggerating Facebook’s predicament. We always knew Facebook wouldn’t last forever. Every company has its good years and then eventually steps aside for newer, different companies. Facebook’s user growth has reverse for the first time ever but it’s still the biggest player in the market by a long shot.

Mark Zuckerberg has told his employees to hone in on video. His admission that the company is facing “unprecedented competition” is acknowledgement of TikTok’s undeniable impact. As he rightly points out, people have so much choice how to spend their time. , your point about the TikTok algorithm is so true. I’ll add onto that by saying TikTok is not only very good at keeping you on the app when you open it, but it’s also very good at getting you to open the app in the first place.

Thinking about my own usage, when I open up the Facebook app, I generally do a quick scroll of the home feed to see what my friends have been up to. After that scroll, I close Facebook. When I open TikTok, I’m on it for much longer and I have to tell myself to close the app. It’s such a time sink! This is the differentiation TikTok has over Facebook and its why Mark Zuckerberg wants Meta to double down on Instagram Reels.

Zuckerberg is correct in that we have so much choice. The old saying goes: Time is money. A very true saying. More people are spending their time on TikTok, making it a $400 billion company in handful of years.