Nielsen Study Commissioned by TikTok Examines Community, Authenticity, Positivity

Three-quarters of respondents said they can express themselves openly

TikTok users feel energized, motivated, confident and entertained when spending time on TikTok Chaay_Tee/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

TikTok feels good about the results of a U.S. study it commissioned from Nielsen, which found that TikTok makes TikTok users feel good.

The goal of the study was to uncover insights about the value of authenticity in community and marketing in order to inform brands on how to shift their storytelling and meaningfully engage new audiences.

TikTok head of U.S. business marketing Sofia Hernandez said in a blog post, “Being real is the new cultural currency, as today’s influence comes from the authentic ideas and imagination of everyday people. This opens up a new opportunity for brands to take a more meaningful approach to marketing by truly connecting with our community. Trends on TikTok create moments and movements that extend off the platform and become part of our daily lives, and this type of engagement and relevance are what brands continue to strive for.”

The video creation platform broke out Nielsen’s findings into three categories.

The power of community

TikTok wrote, “People don’t have to be perfect, and that’s perfect. Everyone belongs to the TikTok community and is accepted. You are not only accepted but celebrated for being yourself by your viewers and fellow creators.”

Nielsen’s findings included:

  • 60% of TikTok users said they felt a sense of community while on TikTok.
  • TikTok users feel energized, motivated, confident and entertained when spending time on TikTok.
  • Three-quarters of respondents said TikTok is a place where people can express themselves openly.

Authenticity and positivity in marketing

TikTok wrote, “Brands are embracing the creative and authentic spirit of TikTok and giving users a new way to discover and engage with the products they love. In the study, TikTok was the only app where ‘to lift my spirits’ was a top reason for using it.”

Nielsen’s findings included:

  • Nearly three-quarters of TikTok users who felt positive said that they felt inspired, confident and entertained while using TikTok.
  • 61% of TikTok users feel that advertising on the platform is unique compared with other top social and video platforms.
  • Users associated advertising on TikTok with being more authentic, fun, genuine, honest, real and trustworthy compared with other channels.
  • 43% of heavy TikTok users feel that ads on the platform blend in with organic content.

Discovery and connection

TikTok wrote, “TikTok is a dynamic platform and allows for constant discovery. This allows for brands to be relevant and discovered in the same. TikTok is an open platform where anyone and any brand can be discovered.”

Nielsen’s findings included:

  • TikTok users enjoy the discovery of new and relatable content.
  • More than one-half of users are engaged in activities like saving sound clips and searching through hashtags, and 79% mentioned that they take the time to read the comments on videos.
  • 88% of TikTok users discover new content that they enjoy while using the app, and about one-half discover new products through ads posted by products or brands.

TikTok wrote in its blog post, “When we introduced the TikTok for Business platform, bringing authentic, creative storytelling back into marketing was our guiding light. We’ve seen our community inspire trends and start movements by showing up as their true selves—telling stories of joy, humor, courage and honesty. This opportunity to spark joy by being your authentic self is not isolated to creators: Brands are recognizing the value of realness, as well.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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