NEWS7 May 2021

TikTok popularity rises in lockdown

Covid-19 News Trends UK Youth

UK – The number of 15 to 24-year-olds using TikTok surged by 212% during the 2021 UK Covid-19 lockdown, according to data from IPA TouchPoints.

smartphone screen showing tiktok app and other social media icons

The IPA also found a 45% increase in takeaways and 17% rise in time spent watching television compared with data from between 17 January and 23rd March 2020, before the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The data is taken from TouchPoints, a consumer-centric, cross-media, cross-device database celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and run by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

Data was taken from diaries completed by participants between January and March 2021. The sample size was more than 6,000 adults aged 15+ living in Great Britain, and the data is expanded onto the Barb Establishment Survey, providing an operational sample size of approximately 50,000.

The TouchPoints data reveals that 66% of TV and video viewing was live or recorded, rising to 89% for the over-55s but just 27% among 15 to 34-year-olds.

TikTok reached 43% of 15 to 24-year-olds during the 2021 lockdown, up significantly from 13% before the first 2020 lockdown and 30% in the 2020 lockdown.

This meant TikTok was used by 11.5% of all adults in lockdown 2021, up from 4.1% in pre-lockdown 2020 and 7.3% in 2020 lockdown.

While the number of people practising mindfulness or meditation increased by 14.1% in lockdown the first lockdown between March and May 2020, it fell by 7% in the lockdown at the start of 2021, marking an 18.5% decrease between the two lockdown periods.

Belinda Beeftink, research director at the IPA, said: “These latest figures provide tangible evidence on our suspected hunches and reveal consumers’ real hunger for video content and fast food.

“It also reveals interesting insights into how some good intentions from the first lockdown perhaps slipped into bad habits in lockdown 2021, as we grew increasingly weary and less communicative.”