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Silent TikTok Majority - Surprising Truth About Adult User Habits


Silent TikTok Majority – Surprising Truth About Adult User Habits

A new study from the Pew Research Center reveals some counterintuitive findings about how U.S. adults are actually using TikTok. The research dispels assumptions that the platform is dominated by prolific video creators and shines a light on the little-known habits of the silent majority of adult users.

Silent TikTok Majority – Surprising Truth About Adult User Habits

Silent TikTok Majority - Surprising Truth About Adult User Habits

The numbers are stark: Around half of all adult TikTok users in the U.S. have never posted a video themselves. And a minority group comprised of the platform’s top 25% of account holders by posting volume is responsible for producing 98% of all publicly accessible videos from this cohort.

“The typical TikTok user posts seldom, if ever,” states the report matter-of-factly. It finds that the median adult user has not provided any information in their profile bio and follows 154 other accounts while having just 36 followers themselves.

Silent TikTok Majority - Surprising Truth About Adult User Habits

The degree of participation does not appear to be heavily influenced by age. While TikTok use is far more prevalent among younger adults aged 18-34, around half of users in this demographic have posted on the site – a share that is statistically identical to usage patterns among those aged 35-49.

There are, however, some key differences in behavior between those who do post videos and their more passive counterparts. Users who have shared content are nearly five times as likely to have filled out their profile biography. They follow and have garnered far more followers compared to non-posters. Posters have also put up a median of 6 public videos to date across their accounts.

Interestingly, both cohorts tend to respond positively to TikTok’s algorithmically-curated “For You” feed of recommended content. 40% of all users surveyed described videos on this feed as “extremely interesting” or “very interesting.” This figure rises to 47% among the 18-34 age bracket.

Posters registered higher still, with 17% finding the “For You” feed’s content “extremely interesting” versus just 11% of non-posters. This distinction suggests that active participation in content creation on TikTok may foster a greater affinity for the platform’s curated discovery experience.

The study’s findings shed new light on common assumptions about TikTok’s user base and content dynamics. Far from being dominated by hyper-engaged creators, the data reveals that passive consumption is the norm, with just a minority fueling the app’s vast video inventory.

Marketing professionals and creators operating in this landscape may need to recalibrate their strategies and expectations based on these realities. Leveraging TikTok’s powerful recommendation algorithms to reach more passive users could prove to be a worthwhile strategy.

The report is based on a survey of 2,745 U.S. adult TikTok users and direct account observation of a subsample who opted to share their handles. By combining self-reported data with behavioral measurement, Pew has produced a rare quantitative glimpse into the actual posting activities taking place within TikTok’s walled garden.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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