The Ultimate TikTok Benchmarks Guide

TikTok continues to grow as a recognized short video social app. It is particularly popular with the young, although its audience appears to be growing with it. It has reached the point where people are beginning to use TikTok as a verb. For example, "Let's spend the afternoon TikToking."

Conviva recently released its TikTok Benchmarks & Strategy Guide. In this, they present rankings for sports, television, and news organizations on TikTok through February 2020. We have highlighted some of these benchmarks and scoured the net to find other benchmarks and statistics relating to the meteoric rise of TikTok over the last few years. In their original report, Conviva predominantly provides benchmarks for sports-related accounts, and we focus primarily on their high-level stats here.

The Ultimate TikTok Benchmarks Guide:

1. Top 20 Sports Media Accounts Average 1.6 Million Followers

The top 20 sports media accounts on TikTok average 1,594,320 followers. They also average 61,231,565 likes. Each of these accounts has posted 535 videos on average, making them one of the more prolific niches of accounts analyzed by Conviva. This gives them an average of 109,162 likes per video.


2. Top 20 Television Accounts Average 1.5 Million Followers

The top 20 television accounts on TikTok average 1,536,100 followers. They also average 17,714,836 likes, noticeably fewer than the sports media accounts. Each of these accounts has posted 222 videos on average, less than half the number posted by sports media accounts, and presumably the reason for the reduced number of likes. This gives them an average of 135,610 likes per video, the best of any category presented by Conviva.


TikTok’s appeal to the younger generations come very clear when you see that the most popular television account, by far, is for Nickelodeon, with 6,000,000 followers. This compares to second-placed WildnOut’s 3,900,000 followers. The difference in video output by those two channels is stark. Nickelodeon has uploaded 1,281 videos, averaging 86,018 likes per video. WildnOut has only uploaded 26 videos, earning them an incredible 837,095 average likes per video.

3. Top 20 Pro Sports Leagues Accounts Average 1.2 Million Followers

The top 20 pro sports leagues accounts on TikTok average 1,204,585 followers. They average 20,300,886 likes. These accounts have posted 629 videos on average, the most regular posters of the types of accounts analyzed by Conviva. This gives them an average of 70,421 likes per video.


By far the most popular sports league on TikTok is the NBA, with 9,300,000 followers and 167,084,343 likes. Their 59,801 average likes per video are lower than some other sports leagues, primarily because they have released more videos (2,794). For example, the second most followed league on TikTok is the NFL with 2,500,000 followers and 58,045,298 total likes. They have only uploaded 256 videos, however, giving them 226,739 average likes per video.

The WWE provides an even more extreme example of this. They, too, have 2,500,000 followers, but only 21,919,656 total likes. However, this has to be viewed in context. The WWE has only uploaded 67 videos, giving them a tremendous 327,159 average likes per video.

4. Top 20 News and Media Accounts Average 750,000 Followers

The top 20 news and media accounts on TikTok average 754,035 followers. They average 12,301,922 likes. Each of these accounts has posted 248 videos on average, giving them an average of 49,181 likes per video.


5. 18 Million iOS Downloads in Feb 2020

TikTok's downloads have grown phenomenally over the last few years. Although downloads have significantly varied from month to month, there have been months when TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app in the iOS App Store. According to Sensor Tower estimates, TikTok had 18 million iOS downloads in February 2020.

Although TikTok has generally not dominated as much on Android devices, it is still rising in the Google Play rankings. It saw a 120.1% increase in downloads in France in December 2019, along with monthly growth in Spain (101.9%), South Africa (85.6%), and Netherlands (84.8%) Android users are clearly now seeing the app's potential.

6. $4 million Revenue in Feb 2020

Sensor Tower also estimated that TikTok made $4 million worldwide revenue during February 2020. While TikTok is a free download, it brings in money through its advertising. TikTok charges its advertisers using either Pay Per Click (PPC) or Pay Per 1000 Impressions (PPM). This means that TikTok receives money every time somebody clicks on (PPC) or watches (PPM) an advertising video.

TikTok also makes money from selling virtual currency – TikTok Coins. Users exchange real cash for TikTok Coins and then gift them to their favorite performers. TikTok keeps 20% of the value of the Coins and gives the remainder to the broadcasters who were donated the Coins.

7. 7th Most Followed Social Platform

We Are Social and Hootsuite have combined to create Digital 2020: Global Digital Overview. This gives a detailed summary of how the world uses social media. TikTok is not yet big enough to receive comprehensive benchmarks in this report, like the better-known social networks. Still, the overview does tell some interesting information about TikTok usage. 

The report lists the world's most used social platforms, ranked by monthly active users. Facebook still tops this list with 2,419 million users as of January 25, 2020. YouTube follows with 2,000 million uses. WhatsApp is third with 1,600 million, Facebook Messenger fourth with 1,300 million, Weixin/WeChat fifth with 1,151 million, and Instagram sixth with 1,000 million. TikTok now takes the seventh spot with 800 million followers.

It is notable that TikTok now has a much larger following than some other better-known and established social networks. Snapchat has 328 million followers, Twitter a surprisingly small 340 million followers, and Pinterest 322 million followers. LinkedIn doesn’t make the Top 15 list of social platforms.

8. 6th Ranking App Globally by Monthly Active Users in 2019

The rankings vary somewhat if you analyze the global rankings of the top mobile apps by average monthly active users throughout 2019. In this case, WhatsApp Message is the most used app, followed by Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Instagram, and TikTok.

9. 4th Ranking App Globally by Total Number of Downloads in 2019

App Annie has listed the global rankings of the top mobile apps by the total number of downloads as of January 2020. This combines both iOS and Android data.  This benchmark shows just how much TikTok has shot up the app charts in recent times. Three Facebook products take the top slots: Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp Messenger. However, TikTok takes the fourth position.

In terms of app downloads, this places TikTok ahead of popular social apps like Instagram and Snapchat, as well as streaming apps like Netflix and Spotify.

10. 66% of TikTok Users Want Brands to be Smart

GlobalWebIndex’s report on the latest trends in social media includes a TikTok-specific analysis on what survey respondents believe marketers on the platform need to know. They were given ten qualities and asked to rate their importance. GlobalWebIndex then indexed the TikTok-specific results against those of the average internet user.

66% of the TikTok respondents say they want brands to come across as smart (this is 1.35x the general index). The most important qualities for TikTok users were wanted brands to be reliable (61%), innovative (57%), authentic (51%), trendy/cool (49%), young (44%), exclusive (42%), bold (36%), funny (35%), and traditional (29%).

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising, considering TikTok’s demographic (predominantly young females), that the most significant variation between TikTok users’ views and those of the typical internet user, relate to a wish for brands to come across as youthful. TikTok's 44% is 1.83x the scores given by the typical internet users.

11. 41 percent of TikTok Users are Aged Between 16 and 24

One common feature of TikTok, its Chinese equivalent, Douyin, and its Western predecessor,, is that they have all targeted a young demographic. This is one of the reasons that TikTok has managed to sneak up the rankings in the app stores without many (older) people noticing. If you ask any "old person" (someone aged 30 or above), the odds are that they won't know much, if anything, about TikTok.

Forty-one percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24, and roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34.


12. Charli D'Amelio has Leapt to the Top of the TikTok Accounts with 46.7 Million Followers

Things have changed recently at the top of the TikTok follower charts. Baby Ariel (@babyariel) topped the charts until April 27, 2017. At that point, she had 18.8 million followers. She currently has 31.9 million followers.

Lisa and Lena then took over the mantle as TikTok’s most popular account holders - @lisaandlena.

They didn't lose their top spot as such. Instead, they decided that it was time to move onto a new stage in their lives, so they shut down their TikTok account. At that point, they had over 32.7 million followers.

This gave Loren Gray (@lorengray) the chance to take the top spot for approximately a year, and she currently has 42 million followers.

However, on March 25, 2020, Charli D'Amelio (@charlidamelio) gained sufficient support to overtake Loren Gray. She currently has 46.7 million followers. The New York Times declares, “ The undisputed star of the group is Charli D’Amelio, a 15-year-old from Connecticut known as the reigning queen of TikTok.”

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.