TikTok has grown quickly, from $34 million revenues worldwide in 2019 to an expected $11.64 billion in 2022, according to eMarketer.
More than half of those revenues will come from the U.S. this year and pass Twitter and Snapchat combined in revenues, eMarketer says. Tik Tok “has moved well beyond its roots as a lip-syncing and dancing app; it creates trends and fosters deep connections with creators that keep users engaged, video after video,” said Insider Intelligence principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.
But TikTok’s position in the worldwide digital ad market is still small, according to Insider. Its share of the market is projected to grow to 1.9% from 0.7% in 2021. That compares with Google at 29% and Meta at 21.4%.
The stats make TikTok the No. 3 social media network, but half of the top brands—including Google, Facebook and YouTube—have no TikTok presence. According to one survey, the brand with the most TikTok followers is the Guinness World Records, which has more than 19.2 million followers.
The appeal is simple—short videos of would-be world records in most consecutive handsprings (53),longest legs (female) and lowest vocal note by a female. Red Bull is No. 2, with 6.5 million followers. That account includes stunts, like those of skier Matej Svancer.
Among other blue-chip brands with strong Tik Tok followings include Samsung (1.6 million followers) Chipotle (1.7), Starbucks (1.8) and Nike (1.3). Hits include a 9-second video from Chipotle that claims its chicken is fire because it’s grilled fresh in small batches all day, a video of a couple trying Starbucks’ toasted vanilla espresso for the first time, and a woman teaching how to hula-hoop for Nike.
As the success of such videos illustrate, the most popular TikTok videos feature ordinary people doing extraordinary things within a very short period of time. The current list of the top brands on TikTok illustrate that it’s early days, and most large brands (Walmart, Amazon, AT&T) have not yet figured out how to take advantage of Tik Tok.
Michael Della Penna, the chief strategy officer at InMarket, said he expects larger brands to get better at TikTok soon. “I think you're going to see more bigger brands develop that muscle over the coming year, particularly because their backs are against the wall,” he said. “And I find when biggest brands have their back against the wall, that's the time when creativity is at its peak.”