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TikTok passes Facebook among Dutch youth

The number of Dutch people between the ages of 15 and 19 who watch TikTok every day has increased fivefold in one year. Newcom reports this after a representative investigation.

A total of 1.7 million Dutch people now use TikTok, an increase of 149 percent compared to January last year. Daily use in particular has increased enormously: TikTok was used daily by 281 thousand Dutch people in January last year, now there are 836 thousand. TikTok is also popular among people in their twenties nowadays: its use has doubled.

Also many young children

TikTok achieves similar growth figures in children between 6 and 14 years old, as Newcom asks parents about. This young group includes approximately 700,000 TikTok users in the Netherlands. TikTok prohibits the use of the app under the age of 13, but does not properly verify age yet.

“Until now, TikTok has had little trouble with a declining lack of trust among users or major negativity on the platform, like some other social media. For example, TikTok is hardly about politics,” says market researcher Hans Hoekstra of Newcom. TikTok’s concept of swiping through short, self-repeating videos hasn’t been copied well by competitors either.

But whether TikTok can maintain this growth rate is still the question, Hoekstra thinks. “Governments want to impose stricter rules on social media, including TikTok, especially when it comes to controlling the ages of the young users.” In Italy, unchecked TikTok accounts have been blocked for the next few weeks as a measure following the death of a 10-year-old girl participating in a dangerous challenge. “If that mandatory identification is introduced, it could have a major impact on TikTok.”

Success year for Pinterest and LinkedIn

Another ‘winner’ among social media in 2020 was the picture app Pinterest, which rose from 3.5 to 3.9 million Dutch users. Hoekstra explains this because of the corona lockdowns, which led to people taking up new hobbies. “For example, on Pinterest they found inspiration for their interior, or for cooking and baking.” More than 70 percent of Dutch Pinterest users are women.

In daily use, LinkedIn also showed a large increase: 39 percent. LinkedIn also benefited from the corona pandemic, says Hoekstra. “LinkedIn is being used as an alternative way to network, now that it is no longer possible at drinks and other meetings.”

Instagram growth is leveling off

At Instagram, the growth in daily usage (+7 percent) leveled off compared to previous years. The growth rate of Instagram is nearing zero for groups up to 40 years old. “Among children we even see a small decrease in Instagram use. Something similar happened before with Facebook and Hyves. They were also popular among schoolchildren and students at first, but when more and more older users came, young users felt less home.”

The number of Dutch users of Facebook (10.4 million) and YouTube (9.1 million) remained virtually stable. With YouTube, the video site is much more popular among young people. WhatsApp now has 12.4 million Dutch users, an increase of 3 percent.

Youngsters: 3 hours a day on socials

The average number of minutes that the Dutch spend on social media decreased by 1 minute and is now 97 minutes per day. In the group of 15 to 19 year olds, the time increased sharply last year: from 143 minutes to 160 minutes per day. It is 78 minutes a day for the over-65s.

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