TikTok Saw $2.3 Billion in Consumer Spending in 2021, Up 77% Annually

Users spent approximately $2.3 billion last year on ByteDance’s popular video-sharing app TikTok, according to data published on January 13 by Sensor Tower. This figure, which includes transactions made on the iOS version of TikTok’s mainland Chinese counterpart app Douyin, corresponds with 77% year-on-year growth – up from $1.3 billion in 2020.

Consumer spending on TikTok reached $824.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, more than double the $382.4 million generated during the same period in 2020.

Although China remains TikTok’s largest market in terms of consumer spending, its share of the overall pie has diminished significantly. In the fourth quarter of 2021, 57% of spending came from Chinese users, whereas Chinese  app stores accounted for 85% of in-app spending in Q4 of 2020.

The United States maintained its ranking as the second-highest revenue generator for TikTok, with its share of total spending having grown year-on-year. In last year’s fourth quarter, U.S. consumers spent nearly $110 million on the app, representing 13% of global revenue.

Meanwhile, TikTok’s usage declined year-on-year in 2021, due in part to its losing access to the largest market – India – in mid-2020.

The app reached approximately 740 million first-time installations worldwide last year, down 25% from 980.7 million in 2020. Despite this, the app still managed to surpass the impressive milestone of 3 billion total installations, making it the first app since Facebook to do so.

Sensor Tower Consumer Intelligence data show that TikTok’s audience is highly engaged. The average number of sessions per active installation in the fourth quarter of 2021 was up 30% year-on-year. Not only was the session count higher last quarter, but time spent per active installation was also 15% higher when comparing the two periods.

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While the adoption of TikTok has slowed since its remarkable surge in 2020, that’s by no means an indication that the app’s popularity is losing momentum.

Spending on the app continues to grow, and is more commonly coming from sources beyond Chinese app stores. Bytedance will undoubtedly look to continue building on this momentum with new features in 2022.