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25% Of TikTok Users Drive 98% Of Public Content, Pew Research Reveals

The platform is still a place where a minority of avid posters make up the majority of the content on the platform.
Cover Image Source:  TikTok usage among US adults | Dan Kitwood | Getty Images
Cover Image Source: TikTok usage among US adults | Dan Kitwood | Getty Images

A new report from Pew Research Centre says that 25% of TikTok users produce 98% of the public videos that are found on the platform. This means that only a small portion of the active creators on the platform have a major influence on the audience. Pew Research surveyed 2,745 US adult TikTok users in August 2023 and found that only very few people post content on the platform.

Users in the age group of 18 to 34 are much more likely than their older counterparts to use TikTok in the first place. However, when it comes to posting on the platform, their behavior is similar to their older counterparts (35-49)— around half of these younger users have ever posted on the site. The research also shows that people who do post have only a total of six public videos and have received an average of 149 likes in return. The research also found that 56% of all US adults (aged 18 to 34) say that they are on the platform regularly. Around half (52%) of people in this age group said that they have ever posted a video on the platform.

Getty Images | Matt Cardy
Getty Images | Matt Cardy

While half of the people in the US have not posted a video, an even smaller share (40%) have posted available videos to the public. It was also seen that users do not tend to give detailed profiles of themselves on their accounts and 70% of the users have changed their account nickname from the site-provided default. TikTokers who have ever posted a video are nearly five times as likely to have updated the bio field on their profile.

Samuel Bestvater, a social scientist from Pew says, "If I were to speculate, I would say that a big part of that is because creating videos is a more involved process than just typing out a tweet—and that could be a big part of what's driving that difference in posting behavior." Making videos still requires a lot more effort as compared to writing a tweet, and therefore, people are still reluctant to share videos online.

TikTok Download Page on the Phone | Matt Cardy | Getty Images
TikTok download page on the phone | Matt Cardy | Getty Images

The platform is still a place where a minority of avid posters make up the majority of the content on the platform. It was also seen that posters and nonposters behave differently on the platform. Posters are more likely to interact with other people on the platform, mostly to increase their engagement while nonposters do not generally comment. The report shows that a median poster has put up to six public videos in their accounts. The study also showed that age is hardly a factor in assessing the adult's posting habits. Posters are also more likely to report the highest level of interest in the material that TikTok's algorithm suggests to them. 

Some 17% of these users say that their For You content seems appealing to them. The For You page is the algorithmically curated page that suggests the content the algorithm thinks is suitable for you. 40% of the users said that this content is extremely interesting while 14% in total who say it is not too or not at all interesting.