Watch out, TikTok.
Almost nine in ten TikTok users who have used Instagram Reels say that Facebook’s TikTok competitor is basically the same as TikTok. And 61% said they’ll be spending more time in Instagram as a result.
“This strong number for Instagram is driven by the fact that TikTok users who have used Instagram Reels do not think that TikTok is inherently special,” says Tommy Walters, research and insights managers at social media content company Whistle.
That is my sentiment exactly.
TikTok, of course, is being forced to sell to an American company by the Trump administration, although the company is contesting that order in court. That controversy doesn’t have appeared to hurt TikTok: it is still the third most-downloaded app in the United States, according to AppFigures data.
But the controversy is also helping other apps.
Instagram usage is up, but so is Snapchat and other apps.
34% of TikTok users say they’ll spend more time on Snapchat, which is currently the ninth most-downloaded app in the U.S. Only 10% say they’ll spend more time on Triller, a TikTok competitor, and another 10% say they’ll spend more time on Byte.
Interestingly, people don’t seem more worried about Chinese companies getting and using their personal data, which is ostensibly driving the government ruling requiring TikTok’s sale.
Rather, they don’t like it across the board.
“75% are worried about an American company obtaining their personal data,” Whistle says while 67% are very or somewhat worried about a Chinese company obtaining their personal data,” Whistle says, adding that TikTok users aren’t super-happy about copycats. “63% agree that larger social media companies like Facebook, who owns Instagram, should not be allowed to copy newer social media companies like TikTok.”
The sample size is not huge — 686 18-34 year olds — but Whistle says it is nationally representative.
Ultimately, the results cast doubt on whether any company that buys TikTok, if a sale proceeds, will be able to maintain the company’s incredible growth rate, or if that growth might be captured by existing market players like Facebook and Instagram.
And, of course, the news shows once again that no publicity is bad publicity. Even though Tiktok has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, usage is up.
“Since a TikTok ban has been discussed in the news, 44% of daily or weekly TikTok users have been spending more time on the platform, with only 10% reporting spending less time on the platform,” says Tommy Walters.