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New Report Suggests TikTok Will Surpass 1.5 Billion Users in 2022

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Despite ongoing challenges from rival platforms, along with regulatory concerns, and even restrictions in some regions, TikTok continues to go from strength to strength. And according to the latest data from App Annie, the app’s growth momentum won’t be slowing down any time soon.

As per App Annie’s 2022 Mobile Forecast report, TikTok is set to surpass 1.5 billion users in the next twelve months, as its cultural influence continues to spread around the world.

App Annie 2022 predictions

That would put it well ahead of Instagram, which remains on a billion actives, a number it first reported back in 2018 and hasn’t updated since. Which, in itself, is a little strange. Has Instagram’s growth simply stopped – and if so, what does that mean for the app’s broader popularity?

App Annie’s predictions have been solid in the past too. Last November, App Annie predicted that TikTok would surpass a billion active users in 2021, which it did back in September.

App Annie TikTok prediction

As App Annie notes (above), TikTok’s growth rate is unprecedented, with the app becoming a cultural force faster than any other platform in history. Some of that, of course, comes on the back of established trends – Facebook and Instagram had a harder time reaching their first billion users because they needed to establish new habitual behaviors, which TikTok has benefited from in its rise.

But even so, the app’s rapid ascension is significant – and this is without India, which, at one stage, was TikTok’s biggest user market, at 200 million monthly actives. It’s fairly safe to assume that had TikTok not been banned in India back in June 2020, that its Indian user base would now be closer to 500 million, which would mean that TikTok would already be at that 1.5 billion user market at this stage.

It’s amazing to consider how TikTok has been able to achieve such strong performance in an increasingly crowded social media market. Snapchat once appeared to be set for similar massive growth, till Instagram copied Stories and slowed it right down, which is the same playbook that Instagram’s parent company Meta has followed with TikTok, by adding Reels on both Facebook and Instagram in an effort to steal audience share back from a rising potential rival.

But even more than just that, YouTube has also added Shorts, Snapchat added Spotlight, and other apps have tested similar TikTok-like tools. And yet, even with all of these competing tools being pitted against it, TikTok has remained resilient.

Far from slowing it down, if anything, TikTok has only gained more audience as a result of these counter-growth efforts.

How has TikTok been able to keep winning, where others have wilted in the face of the established giants?

The key lies in its algorithm matching, which is still far better than any other platform at providing a never-ending stream of content that’s highly attuned to your specific interests.

As anyone who’s used TikTok a few times will know, the customized ‘For You’ feed of videos that you’ll likely be interested in is very addictive, and very good at quickly aligning with your personal interests.

The advantage that TikTok has over other platforms is its full-screen feed, which means that every action you take when each video is on screen is indicative of your response to that specific clip. Swipe past quickly and that video’s content is clearly not of interest, watch the whole thing through and that’s a strong signal, while tapping on any element also provides clear response data for its matching.

Instagram doesn’t have the same, as there are often several posts on screen, and while Reels can be more specifically attuned in this way, its algorithm is not as good as detecting your interests, with Reels often being overly sensitive to trending content, then showing you more of it without taking into account broader context.

TikTok’s system is far better at determining more intricate matches in response to your actions, which is why it’s so addictive to so many, and that’s helped it continue to add users, even as other apps have tried to replicate its key features.

Because, really, they can’t, or at least they haven’t been able to as yet. And while it seems like both Meta and YouTube should, at some stage, be able to figure it out, the fact that neither has made significant ground as yet may well point to TikTok simply having better capacity, and better audience understanding, than its rivals, which again points to ongoing success for the app, which is now arguably the cooler place to be for creators either way.

Monetization is the next step, and providing comparative capacity for top stars to make as much money on TikTok as they can in other apps. But that, too, is moving along, with the platform’s eCommerce and brand/creator partnership tools evolving quickly, facilitating more opportunities on this front.

If you haven’t considered TikTok as a potential platform for your marketing efforts, in 2022, it may be time to give it some more thought. Not all brands will thrive on TikTok, and it does require a more dedicated, organic-type approach, so you do need to know the platform-specific trends, or work with creators that are in-tune with such. But the opportunities, for the right brand, with the right approach, can be significant.

And they’re growing more every day, with its growth momentum building. At this rate, TikTok could well have over 2 billion active users by 2023, and even more cultural relevance around the world.

It may not be a platform that comes naturally for your promotions, and it may not be one that you yourself are interested in. But in 2022, it’s likely worth familiarizing yourself with the latest TikTok trends, and getting a better understanding of the app.

You can download App Annie’s full 2022 App Predictions report here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Snap making changes to direct response advertising business

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Snap making changes to direct response advertising business

The company posted a net loss of $288.5 million, or 18 cents a share, including $34 million in charges from its workforce restructuring. That compared to a profit of $23 million, or one cent, a year earlier.

Snap ended the fourth quarter with 375 million daily users, a 17% increase. In the first three months of the year, the company estimates 382 million to 384 million people will use its platform daily.

Snap has become a bellwether for other digital advertising companies. Last year, it was the first to raise concerns about the slowdown in marketer spending online and to fire a significant number of employees—20% of its workforce—to cut costs in the face of falling revenue.

The company has spent the last two quarters refocusing the organization, cutting projects that don’t contribute to user and revenue growth.

In the first quarter, Snap expects the environment to “remain challenging as we expect the headwinds we have faced over the past year to persist.”

Investors will get additional information about the state of the digital ad market when Meta and Alphabet report earnings later this week.

—Bloomberg News

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Twitter Outlines New Platform Rules Which Emphasize Reduced Reach, as Opposed to Suspensions

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Twitter Outlines New Platform Rules Which Emphasize Reduced Reach, as Opposed to Suspensions

After reinstating thousands of previously suspended accounts, as part of new chief Elon Musk’s ‘amnesty’ initiative, Twitter has now outlined how it will be enforcing its rules from now on, which includes less restrictive measures for some violations.

As explained by Twitter:

“We have been proactively reinstating previously suspended accounts […] We did not reinstate accounts that engaged in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large-scale spam and platform manipulation, or when there was no recent appeal to have the account reinstated. Going forward, we will take less severe actions, such as limiting the reach of policy-violating Tweets or asking you to remove Tweets before you can continue using your account.”

This is in line with Musk’s previously stated ‘freedom of speech, not freedom of reach’ approach, which will see Twitter leaning more towards leaving content active in the app, but reducing its impact algorithmically, if it breaks any rules.

Which means a lot of tweets that would have previously been deemed violative will now remain in the app, and while Musk notes that no ads will be displayed against such content, that could be difficult to enforce, given the way the tweet timeline functions.

But it does align with Musk’s free speech approach, and reduces the onus on Twitter, to some degree, in moderating speech. It will still need to assess each instance, case-by-case, but users themselves will be less aware of penalties – though Musk has also flagged adding more notifications and explainers to outline any reach penalties as well.

“Account suspension will be reserved for severe or ongoing, repeat violations of our policies. Severe violations include but are not limited to: engaging in illegal content or activity, inciting or threatening violence or harm, privacy violations, platform manipulation or spam, and engaging in targeted harassment of our users.

Which still means that a lot of content that these users had been suspended for previously would still result in suspension now, and it leaves a lot up to Twitter management in allocating severity of impact in certain actions.

How do you definitively measure threats of violence or harm, for example? Former President Donald Trump was sanctioned under this policy, but many, including Musk, were critical of Twitter’s decision to do so, given that Trump is an elected representative.

In other nations, too, Twitter has been pressured to remove tweets under these policies, and it’ll be interesting to see how Twitter 2.0 handles such, given its stated more lax approach to moderation, despite its rules remaining largely the same.

Already, questions have been raised on this front – Twitter recently removed links to a BBC documentary that’s critical of the Indian Government, at the request of India’s PM. Twitter hasn’t offered any official explanation for the action, but with Musk also working with the Indian Government to secure partnerships for his other business, Tesla, questions have been raised as to how he will manage both impacts concurrently.

In essence, Twitter’s approach has changed when it chooses to do so, but the rules, as such, will effectively be governed by Musk himself. And as we’ve already seen, he will make drastic rules changes based on personal agendas and experience.

Twitter says that, starting February 1st, any previously suspended users will be able to appeal their suspension, and be evaluated under its new criteria for reinstatement.

It’s also targeting February for a launch of its new account penalties notifications.



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4 new social media features you need to know about this week

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New social media features to know this week


Social media never stands still. Every week there are new features — and it’s hard for the busy comms pro to stay up-to-date on it all.

We’ve got you covered.

Here’s what you need to know about this week.

LinkedIn

Social media sleuth Matt Navarra reported on Twitter that LinkedIn will soon make the newsletters you subscribe to through the site visible to other users.

This should aid newsletter discovery by adding in an element of social proof: if it’s good enough for this person I like and respect, it’s good enough for me. It also might be anopportunity to get your toe in the water with LinkedIn’s newsletter features.

Instagram

After admitting they went a little crazy on Reels and ignored their bread and butter of photographs, Instagram continues to refine its platform and algorithm. Although there were big changes over the last few weeks, these newer changes are subtler but still significant.

 

 

First, the animated avatars will be more prominent on profiles. Users can now choose to flip between the cartoony, waving avatar and their more traditional profile picture, rather than picking one or the other, TechCrunch reported, seemingly part of a push to incorporate metaverse-esque elements into the app.

Instagram also appears to have added an option to include a lead form on business profiles. We say “appears” because, as Social Media Today reports, the feature is not yet listed as an official feature, though it has rolled out broadly.

The feature will allow businesses to use standard forms or customize their own, including multiple choice questions or short answer.

Twitter

In the chaotic world of Twitter updates, this week is fairly staid — with a useful feature for advertisers.

The platform will roll out the ability to promote tweets among search results. As Twitter’s announcement points out, someone actively searching for a term could signal stronger intent than someone merely passively scrolling a feed.

Which of these new features are you most interested in? That LinkedIn newsletter tool could be great for spreading the word — and for discovering new reads.

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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