TikTok has become the application where Internet users spend the most money

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Social network users spent $840 million between January and March to give virtual gifts to their favorite creators.

TikTok has just achieved a small revolution. The Chinese video platform became in the first quarter of 2022 the application where Internet users spent the most money. Usually, the top of the leaderboard is reserved for mobile games, and more specifically those targeting Chinese gamers in the first place like Honor of Kings Where PUBG-Mobile. TikTok is coming to shake up those old traditions.

According to the firm Data.ai (the new name of AppAnnie), no less than 840 million dollars were spent in TikTok in the first quarter, or 40% more than at the end of 2021. This jump is due to the American market: alone, it represents 310 million dollars of expenditure, or 37% of the total. China follows, with 218 million dollars (26%). “Other major markets include Kuwait, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK, Russia, Japan, France and Italy“, continues Data.ai.

Virtual gifts to get noticed by influencers

But what do Internet users spend money on? This is not widely known to non-TikTok users, but the app sells virtual currency. The latter is used to buy “virtual gifts”, which take the form of emojis. These gifts can be sent to content creators when they broadcast a live video.

For example, a virtual rose is worth 1 coin, a donut 30 coins, a cap 99 coins, a duck 299 coins, a cat 3999 coins and a ram 9999 coins. A pack of 36 coins is worth 0.50 euros, a pack of 700 coins is exchanged for 11.39 euros, and you have to spend 116.15 euros to obtain 7000 coins.

Sending virtual gifts serves two purposes. First, donate money to the influencer. The latter can convert his gifts into “diamonds”, another virtual currency exchangeable for euros or dollars. By the way, TikTok pockets 50% commission. Sending gifts also increases the chances of being noticed by the creator, and that this one says a little word for the generous spectator.

Abuses

Some unscrupulous creators do not hesitate to abuse this system to push their most impressionable fans to send them virtual gifts. Others promote third-party TikTok accounts, and push their viewers to subscribe to them, if their owners send them generous gifts.

Video creators are also encouraged to buy coins to increase the visibility of their content on the platform. And thus gain more fans.

It was the Chinese live video platforms that invented the virtual gift system. This principle has since been copied by other Western social networks. You can also send gifts on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook Live.


SEE ALSO – Aurélie David: “TikTok has become essential for brands”

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