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Young Europeans Can’t Have Enough Of TikTok (More Than NA)

Logo TikTok

TikTok is increasingly popular in Western Europe, and European Gen Z and Millennials are even more into the app than North America…


  • While young consumers in both regions are obsessed with TikTok, more Western Europeans are using it
  • Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe are also more likely to find the platform addictive than those in NA
  • Meanwhile, governments in both regions are growing increasingly suspicious of the app

TikTok managed the exploit of becoming a heavy hitter among other social media platforms in just a few years, and its popularity among young people seems unstoppable. A few months ago, YPulse informed you that TikTok has become the most-used social platform among Gen Z in North America, and the same happened in Western Europe recently. TikTok is where Gen Z and Millennials turn to for pretty much everything in life: shopping inspo, learning new skills, getting advice, and so much more.

Data from YPulse’s most recent Social Media Behavior report revealed an interesting finding: young Europeans are even more into TikTok than their North American peers, if you can believe it. When you compare the number of Gen Z and Millennials in each region who use the platform, we see a significant lead for young Europeans:

More young Europeans say they’re using TikTok than their North American peers

While just over half (52%) of young people in North America are TikTok users, even more have adopted its constant use in Western Europe. And the growth of TikTok happened very quickly: at the same time last year, 46% of young Europeans said they were using the app, but now nearly 60% say so (59%), a +13pts increase. No other social media platform in Western Europe has experienced such rapid growth among Gen Z and Millennials. TikTok is definitely European Gen Z’s most used social app, and while it’s not the case among Millennials quite yet, the older gen is using TikTok more than ever. Last year, 40% of European Millennials reported using TikTok, and this year it’s 52%, a jolly +12pt increase.

TikTok managed to become one of young Europeans’ favorites in part by investing in strategic partnerships with popular events in Western Europe: TikTok was the official sponsor of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 which took place in the U.K. last summer, and also of the Cannes Film Festival. But TikTok doesn’t rely solely on sponsoring events to make itself known to Gen Z and Millennials. In fact, the growth of TikTok happened organically, with young consumers turning to the app because of all the viral trends they can find there. Data from YPulse’s Social Media Behavior report also shows that TikTok is the top platform young consumers in both regions say they feel trends are created / found (60% in NA, and 62% in Western Europe), showing that these gens think it’s the place to go for anything up and coming.

Young Europeans are more likely than their NA peers to be describing TikTok as addictive

YPulse also surveys young people’s feelings towards social media platforms, by asking them to say choose which social platform (of top platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, or none of these) is best described with words such as creative, fake, or entertaining. And when it comes to the word “addictive”, the results of the question are quite telling:

Put simply, TikTok is by far the top social media platform that young consumers in both regions find the most addictive, but even more in Western Europe than in North America. Two in five young Europeans describe TikTok as addictive, which is almost twice as much as Instagram (21%), and also +6pts more than their North American peers. Comparing the data with last year’s report reveals that TikTok is the only social media platform with such an increase in the number of young consumers who describe it as addictive: in 2022, 29% of European Gen Z and Millennials described TikTok as addictive, and now at 41%, a +12pts increase. Data from YPulse’s The TikTok Effect Trend Report also shows that TikTok is the social media platform with the highest percentage of young consumers spending more than 3 hours on a typical day on the platform (43%), proving that TikTok has an unbeaten capacity to retain young consumers’ attention.

While the app is most popular among young consumers in Western Europe, governments are growing suspicious

TikTok has been embroidered with data protection stories pretty much since the beginning, and to make sure the app would grow in Western Europe, TikTok even opened a transparency center in Ireland. But governments are still being cautious with TikTok, mainly because of the fears of misuse of personal data from the Beijing-based company. Remember how YPulse told you TikTok’s CEO had to fly over to Brussels last week to reassure the European Commission amidst data privacy concerns? And just last week the EU announced it was asking its thousand staff to stop using the app. This is happening in North America, too: the White House gave 30 days to all employees to delete TikTok from their phones. But while government officials are increasingly cautious about using TikTok, it seems that the threat of the app being completely banned is very unlikely now, considering how important the platform has become in young consumers’ lives.