NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends

Young Europeans Are Using TikTok More Than Ever

May 10 2022

TikTok became an entertainment staple among young Europeans during the pandemic, and its popularity in the region is still rising…


  • Even as young Europeans return to IRL activities, their media consumption habits are still rising—and TikTik has seen the most growth
  • Gen Z is still using the app the most, and its growth is highest among this generation
  • After largely being used by Gen Z females, young males are taking to TikTok

Even before the pandemic, young consumers were watching a lot of video content. But as we know well by now, screens dominated Gen Z and Millennials’ entertainment during quarantine, leading to an increase in viewing across platforms and services. But no platform saw as much growth as TikTok. Just weeks after the first lockdown orders came down in 2020, TikTok was named “the breakout COVID-19 social media platform”—and the past two years have only seen its use and influence grow. TikTok has changed the music industry, spawned fashion trends, created the next generation of celebrities, and is generating the pop culture moments young consumers care about most. TikTok has also become a marketing hotspot: among Gen Z, who are using the app the most, TikTok is the top place they last saw an ad that made them want to purchase something.

Of course, it makes sense that the video-sharing platform would grow so much when all Gen Z and Millennials could do was, well, watch videos. Now that the vast majority of young Europeans are no longer quarantining and are returning to in-person activities, it would make sense to see a corresponding drop in their consumption of video content. But as we found in our WE Media Consumption report, young Europeans are watching more video content than ever. Across nearly all platforms, we’ve seen an increase in the number of Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe that report watching video content weekly or more. But no platform has seen as much of an increase as TikTok:

Gen Z is still using TikTok the most

The first time we surveyed young Europeans on their media consumption habits in July 2021, less than half of Gen Z and less than one-third of Millennials were watching video content on the app weekly or more often. Now, less than a year later, the majority of 13-20-year-olds and more than two in five 21-39-year-olds say they’re turning to the FYP to keep entertained. Now, overall, TikTok is the No. 3 top platform young Europeans are using to watch video content weekly, up from No. 5 in July 2021. And among Gen Z, it’s the No. 2 platform behind only Netflix.

From the start, TikTok has been most popular among Gen Z (and Gen Z females in particular), who were quick to adopt the app—and were responsible for wooing brands to the platform as they tried to reach the gen. And though we’ve seen an increase in the number of both Gen Z and Millennials who say they’re watching content on the app weekly or more, Gen Z’s use has increased +16pts since July 2021 while Millennials’ has gone up by +11pts. But when we break it down by generation and gender, we can see who’s driving this growth the most:

Young males are driving TikTok’s growth

While Gen Z females are still watching video content on the app more than any other group, their steady uptick in use is overshadowed by their male counterparts: Gen Z males’ use of TikTok has increased by a whopping +24pts since July 2021, more than any other demographic. Now, the majority of Gen Z males are watching video content on the app weekly or more too, making their use nearly even with Gen Z females’. Meanwhile, Millennial males are taking to TikTok, too: +16pts more are using the app now than in 2021, and they’re now slightly more likely to be watching video content on the app than Millennial females. As the video-sharing platform grows increasingly popular among all young Europeans, it’s becoming even more imperative that brands make their mark on the app.

YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full WE Media Consumption behavioral report and data here.

Don’t have a YPulse Western Europe Business account? Find out more here.

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