TikTok addiction and why women are the most affected

Addiction to the app is a real thing that many have said, it slowly grows over time.

In Summary

•It draws both those who create content, and those who want to use it for entertainment.

•The researchers found that the users tended to score higher on loneliness and extraversion, while females were more likely to be at-risk than males.

A woman applying lip-gloss
A woman applying lip-gloss

In September 2021, TikTok announced that it had 1 billion global monthly active users, placing it the world’s most active social media platform.

According to Kepios 2022 on TikTok’s advertising audience data for April 2022, 56 per cent of its global users are female while 44 per cent of TikTok’s global users are male.

The app has become synonymous with Gen Z and most young women have embraced it, with some posting more revealing or sexualized content that receives both positive and negative ramifications

Yes, addiction to the social media platform is a real thing that many have said,  it slowly grows over time.

The app is friendly for those who create content and those who want to use it for entertainment.

And just like drug addiction, the app leaves users feeling accomplished, or with some sort of temporary happiness and self-fulfilment.

Addiction experts warn that the app is designed to get users hooked after just a few seconds on the app, and its promise of “worldwide fame” in seconds causes chemical changes in young brains, hence the addiction.

Image: antonynjoro from Pixabay

The experts indicated that many people became hooked on the site during the Coronavirus lockdown after they were starved of other forms of social contact.

“We are seeing users, most between 18 and 22 years old, who are coming to see us for issues such as eating disorders, substance dependency, or gaming addiction," Paracelsus Recovery CEO, Jan Gerber, told Daily Mirror.

“Yet they experienced the most intense withdrawal symptoms when they were separated from their phones. We are talking about one-hour periods when the client was in a therapy session or eating a meal.”

Researchers from the University of Trinidad and Tobago analyzed 173 TikTok users to identify the most definitive signs of addiction to the app.

The results revealed that 6.4 per cent of the TikTok users were at-risk of being addicted to the app. Women make up the largest percentage.

The most definite signs of addiction were: Users becoming nervous, users becoming irritable and anxious while showing strong feelings of sadness when denied access to the app.

TikTok's Audience

The TikTok addiction is most common with users below the age of 24, giving the brands an opportunity to maximize their reach.

Based on the latest available data, users aged 18 to 24 account for the largest share of TikTok’s advertising audience.

TikTok’s user base is increasingly diverse, however, according to Hootsuite, brands that try to reach younger female audiences will likely see the best results.

The app has an algorithm that tracks what users interact with and shows them similar content.

TikTok also fosters communities with similar interests, which can cultivate a sense of belonging for users but also add the pressure of competition.

The competition is most among women who try to outdo each other on the application, offering a marketing opportunity for brands.

Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Trends Survey found that 24 per cent of marketers considered TikTok effective for reaching their business goals, compared to just 3 per cent in the previous year.

Even though the app still ranks far behind the advertising juggernauts of Facebook and Instagram. Brands are slowly moving to the TikTok wave.

This shift is there as brands need to adapt to meet their customers where they are on each platform.

TikTok has growing communities for everything from books to fridge organization, allowing marketers to hone in on their audiences with appealing, targeted content.

Brands partner with creators

Creators, the official influencers of the TikTok marketplace, are one of the greatest assets for brands on the platform.

Here brands can partner with creators to create content that can reach their targeted diverse audience.

From dancers, makeup artists, travellers, food reviewers, and fashionistas, all of these are potential marketers.

This benefits the users as much as brands: 35 per cent of users discover products and brands from creators, and 65 per cent enjoy it when creators post about products and brands.

In one case study, the beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics partnered with creators for the Benefit Brow Challenge to promote their new Brow Microfilming Pen.

The 22 resulting videos, made by Gen Z and Millennial creators, generated 1.4 million impressions and over 3500 hours of views.

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