TikTok is still meant for children in the eyes of many people. But the social media platform is maturing. Users in the Netherlands are getting older, according to recent research. And the videos made for the platform change with it.
One of the success factors of the platform is that the algorithm quickly understands what kind of videos you as a user would like to see. As a result, TikTok is experiencing enormous growth worldwide. In total there are now about a billion users.
The upward trend has also started in our country: TikTok in the Netherlands has grown from 1.7 million users in 2021 to 3 million users in 2022, according to an annual survey into the use of social media by Newcom.
“It has been a while since a platform has experienced this increase in such a short time,” says Hans Hoekstra of Newcom. “A saturation point has been reached in the group under 15 years old. The growth is no longer there. It is now largely in the twenties, but there is also considerable growth in the thirties and in the 40+ group. “
With the arrival of the older generation, what can be seen on the platform also changes, says Joey Scheufler, owner of an agency for TikTokkers and producer of Tomorrow For You, a new daily soap on TikTok. “You can see that the platform is maturing. Users are getting older, and they need different content. They don’t have to see the dances and miming of the young generation.”
The series started more than a week ago and now has more than 100,000 viewers daily. “That’s thanks to the algorithm,” Scheufler says. There was no major advertising campaign at the start.
The episodes of Tomorrow For You are ultra-short at one minute, but otherwise it is a soap opera as you know it from television. The cast, including Kasper van Kooten, for example, is also partly known from the ‘old’ medium. “We also bet on TikTokkers and upcoming actors.” He calls the viewership remarkably old. “We counted on viewers aged 18 to 25 in advance. Now we see that it is mainly women aged 25 to 35 and a group of 35+. The traditional soap audience is watching us.”
Growth is ‘insane’
Someone who notices daily that TikTok has demanded more attention from viewers in recent years is influencer Jeremy Frieser. He has been active on YouTube for about ten years. It took a long time before he reached the now more than 740,000 subscribers. He has attracted more than 800,000 followers on TikTok in a short time. “That’s really insane.”
He himself does not see the videos on the platform becoming more ‘mature’. “For example, because of the algorithm I never saw videos of children. I do see that there are more celebrities on the platform. Now you also see actors, singers and musicians making videos.”
Also different about TikTok is that there is not yet a large revenue model for makers. Advertising revenue goes almost entirely to TikTok. Influencers can make sponsored videos and viewers can donate if someone starts a live stream. For many makers, however, this is not yet a fat pot.
The platform therefore does not yield much for Frieser. He sees his presence on TikTok more as a showcase for what he does on YouTube and other social networks. He does not think that is a big disadvantage, he is especially enthusiastic about TikTok. “Anyone can go viral in a day, even if you don’t have any followers. That’s really the magic of the algorithm.”
There are many questions about the privacy of TikTok users. NOS Stories made this video about this: