TikTok is used by nearly one-tenth of all adult UK smartphone users, according to the latest data from Comscore. Penetration reached 8.7% in December 2019 (nearly 3.4 million unique individuals), an increase from 5.6% the year before.

By age group, over one-quarter (26.0%) of 18–24 year olds used the platform in December 2019. This is equal to 1.4m unique visitors, a number that Comscore says has grown by 90% compared with December 2018. This puts TikTok on par with Twitter in penetration among this age group.

Those aged 25–34 also saw strong growth, with unique visitors up 91% to 0.8m (a 9.3% share of all smartphone users in that age bracket).

In comparison, only 2.5% of those over the age of 55 used TikTok. This equates to 0.2m unique visitors, up 8% from the previous year.

TikTok has also had more traction among female audiences – 10% of female smartphone users currently use the platform, equal to 1.9m unique visitors. This comes after stronger growth among female audiences, which rose 75% year-on-year. Male users rose 63% to 1.4m (7.5% of smartphone users).

Brands looking to succeed on the platform should adopt a 'test and learn' approach and either create bespoke video content or partner with relevant influencers. TikTok Challenge, a content-creation challenge centred on a piece of music or visual effect, can be a shortcut to brand visibility and engagement.

However, marketers should be aware of the brand safety issues that the platform has recently experienced.