Is TikTok setting alarms off at Facebook?
In 2012 94% of teens had a Facebook account. Now ten years later only 27% of the teenage
demographic say they are on the platform. Where have they gone and will Meta owners of
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp be able to evolve the platforms to stay relevant and
survive? How will this affect digital advertising for direct to consumer (DTC) brands?
Even though Facebook is the largest social media platform with 2.9 billion monthly users, they
have faced tough competition from TikTok. TikTok’s user base continues to grow as does the
time spent on their platform, and they have seen increased ad revenues. TikTok also dominates
the audience once owned by Facebook.
TikTok’s 1 billion monthly users they spend 90+ minutes a day on the platform. Facebook and
Instagram demographics skew considerably older and use the platform about 29 minutes a day.
And best of all, 46% of TikTok users report that they have made a purchasing decision based
on reviewing something on the platform.
In the past when Facebook found that people were spending more time on other social
platforms, they purchased their competition: i Instagram, which it bought for $1 billion in 2012
and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.
Today, instead of purchasing their most dangerous threats, Facebook has decided to be more
like them. Two years ago, to compete with TikTok, Facebook released its own TikTok-like short
form video known as Reels. Reels can be seen on both Facebook and Instagram. However,
people have reported that many Reels are just reposted TikTok videos. Recently Facebook
added a new viewing feed with a “TikTok-like feel” that displays content from people who aren’t
your friends. This “Feeds” feature uses algorithm-curated content and accounts for a fifth of the
content viewed. Even with the views, it doesn’t appear that Reels has done what Facebook had
hoped: having users create and share more content on their platform.
What does this mean for advertisers? The social media advertising landscape is shifting, and
DTC brands need to adapt to meet their customers where they are on each platform. For DTC
brands this means the power of TikTok can not be underestimated, especially for reaching the
Gen Z and millennial demographics.
Even with competition from TikTik and others Facebook is still bulldozing along. Despite
ongoing controversies and emerging competition, Facebook still remains the largest social
platform among consumers and marketers. But let’s face it, their user base is aging and their
CPMs rising. People of all ages now gravitate to video-sharing platforms like TikTok and brands
will need to invest in TikTok advertising to meet them where they are. It is unlikely that
Facebook can maintain its total dominance over social networking forever.