TikTok's Asean users top 240m
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TikTok's Asean users top 240m

The TikTok app is displayed on an iPhone in this photo illustration. (Photo: AFP)
The TikTok app is displayed on an iPhone in this photo illustration. (Photo: AFP)

TikTok, a short-form video platform, says its user base in Asean has surpassed 240 million while it is forging ahead with its plan to become a trusted entertainment platform, going beyond just music and dance.

In Thailand, TikTok is expected to enter the list of top 10 platforms this year in terms of digital media spending, according to Digital Advertising Association Thailand (DAAT).

Advertising spending on TikTok is expected to reach 455 million baht in 2022, accounting for 2% of total digital media spending in Thailand, up from 362 million baht in 2021, DAAT indicated.

"We are the platform with the fastest growing community in Southeast Asia and aim to be a trusted entertainment platform," said Manas Sabnis, head of brand strategy for Southeast Asia and India at TikTok, via a media group interview.

TikTok's recommendation algorithm was selected as one of the top 100 global breakthrough technologies by MIT Technology Review in 2021, which shows why TikTok has gained faster adoption amongst users, Mr Sabnis said.

Tiktok now has 240 million monthly regional active users, with 1 trillion video views and more than 800 million video creations, he said.

Mr Sabnis said TikTok aims to go beyond music and dance. In Asean, pieces of education content shown on TikTok grew 148% year-on-year in 2021. Travel content rose 545% and games grew 193%, while financial services surged by 6,780 times.

According to the Tik Tok Marketing Science Global study by consultancy Material, over 20% of TikTok users said TikTok is more entertaining than entertainment and social brands.

Meanwhile, 73% of users feel that advertising on TikTok blends in with the content, according to a Tik Tok marketing Science Global study by research company Nielsen.

One in four global users purchase or research a product after watching it on TikTok, and 92% of TikTok users say they take action after watching a TikTok video, based on the Marketing Science Global Time Well Spent research conducted by marketing consultancy Kantar.

It also found that 46% of the audience engages with TikTok content without distraction or multi-screens, compared with 37% on rival platforms.

Some 61% of TikTok users prefer to see content about products from brands, 1.5 times more than other platforms, according to the Marketing Science Global Retail Path to Purchase study in 2021 by Material.

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