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May 27, 2021

TikTok, the app most blocked by families, keeps growing

Qustodio team

Qustodio team

Experts in digital safety

  • With more than 1 billion users across 155 countries, TikTok leads the ranking of the most used social media app in the world. 
  • Globally, average TikTok usage has increased 37% during the first five months of 2021 compared to 2020. 
  • In Spain, minors now spend an average of 92 minutes a day on the TikTok, which represents an increase of 41.5% over 2020; only behind the United Kingdom, where minors use the app more than 112 minutes per day. 
  • Kids in the US spend on average 104 minutes per day on TikTok, just a 19.5% increase over last year. 
  • 9 out of 10 TikTok users access the platform more than once a day. 
  • TikTok has recently been sued for illegally collecting personal data from millions of children since May 2018. 
  • Approximately 7 out of 10 companies plan to use Tik Tok as an e-commerce tool to reach Gen Z. 
  • Qustodio has analyzed the growth of TikTok use by minors in Spain, the USA and the United Kingdom in 2021 so far. 

 2020 stands out for many reasons, including the 76% growth in the use of social media, according to data from Qustodio’s annual report on children’s app use. And the protagonist of that app category was TikTok, de-throning Instagram. TikTok, known in China as Douyin, is already present in more than 155 countries, available in 75 languages and has more than 1 billion users, according to the AppAnnie. All this, largely due to its algorithm based on content adapted to the interests of users and that allows anyone to become viral. as well as to a captive audience during the pandemic. 

According to the Qustodio analysis of TikTok usage by minors in 2021 so far in Spain, the USA, and the United Kingdom, the app’s growth hasn’t slowed down yet. Globally, the use of the application by under 18s has increased by 37%, going from an average of 75 min/day to 103 min/day. And, according to data from TikTok itself, 9 of each 10 users access the platform more than once a day. 

In Spain, TikTok growth is even higher. Spanish minors have spent an average of 92 minutes a day on the application compared to the 65 minutes they spent in 2020, an increase of 41.5%; only behind the United Kingdom, where minors spend 60% more time, going from 70 minutes a day to more than 112 minutes per day on average. The lowest growth is found in the United States, which with current use at an average of 104 minutes per day had a 19.5% increase in use by minors. 

What are families worried about? 

TikTok is the most blocked app on the Qustodio platform. Parents are concerned about the excess time minors spend in front of the screen as well as the app’s dangerous “challenges”. The problem not only lies in the physical and psychological problems that minors can suffer from irresponsible use of these types of applications, but they go much further. 

Parents are concerned about the use of their children’s data. Lawsuits are starting to pile up for Tik Tok. Less than two months ago, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the company had to pay a fine of 4.6 million euros for violating the children’s privacy law. Now, Anna Longfield, a former commissioner for children in the United Kingdom, has just started a judicial process on behalf of 3.5 million children under 13 years of age in which she accuses the social platform of having illegally collected personal data from million children since May 2018, the date on which the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force in the European Union. 

And that’s not all. The amount of data that they are able to move from this platform has caused that almost 7 out of 10 companies plan to use TikTok as an e-commerce tool to reach Generation Z, according to the recent Kantar media reactions survey. 

“We need to establish healthy limits so as not to put our sons and daughters at risk, the data shows us that there is still a long way to go,” says Eduardo Cruz, CEO and co-founder of Qustodio. “Without parental control tools and educating our kids on digital well-being, we are leaving in an extremely vulnerable position, with dangerous short and long-term consequences we are already starting to see.” 

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