Which App is More Engaging to Its Users: Instagram or TikTok?

August 1, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Social Media

Roughly 4 in 10 (39% of) Instagram app users globally count as “power users,” having opening the app every day in Q2, according to an analysis from Sensor Tower that was specific to the measured social apps’ Android versions.

In this respect, Instagram exceeded the 5 other social apps analyzed. TikTok was the app with the second-highest share of power users, with 29% of its active installs on its Android version engaging with the app each day. This was just ahead of Facebook (27%) and Snapchat (26%), with YouTube (20%) and Twitter (18%) trailing further.

TikTok Leads in Hours per User

While Instagram boasts the highest share of its user base opening the app every day, TikTok far surpasses it in a separate form of engagement, being average daily minutes spent in-app per user, during the quarter.

On this front TikTok leads the pack comfortably, with a global average of 95 minutes spent in the app per day during Q2. This was almost 30% more than the next app on the list, YouTube, which clocked in at an average of 74 minutes per day. (Past research from App Annie – now Data.ai – has also found users spending more time on TikTok than YouTube in the US.)

The 95 minutes per day spent on TikTok was almost double that of Instagram (51) and Facebook (49), while being closer to quadruple the amount of time spent with Twitter (29) and Snapchat (21).

The results were much the same in the US, where TikTok users averaged 82 minutes in the app per day, about twice the amount of time spent by Facebook (41) and Instagram (38) users, and about 3 times the amount of time spent by Snapchat (26) and Twitter (25) users.

Again, these figures are limited to Android app users. However, there’s reason to believe they apply across platforms: a Qustodio analysis of kids’ and teens’ use of TikTok and YouTube across platforms, reported here by TechCrunch, found that for about 2 years now these young demographics have been spending more time watching videos on TikTok than on YouTube. The gap is only widening, and is evident both globally and in the US, according to the analysis of 400,000 families who have accounts with its parental monitoring service.

It’s worth noting here the real data privacy and national security concerns presented by TikTok usage in the US, as eloquently detailed by Scott Galloway here and Juan Mendoza here. Marketers considering using the app should fully consider these concerns before proceeding.


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