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TikTok has quietly become the most lucrative app in the world… not for advertising, but for in-app purchases. That’s according to app analytics firm Data·ai, which claims that TikTok users spent $840m within the app in the first quarter of 2022.

“The biggest quarter for any app or game ever” after 40% year-on-year growth, to be specific. That’s based on users buying TikTok’s ‘coins’ currency, which they can use to tip their favourite creators as well as promoting videos.

Data·ai noted that TikTok is also “the first app to ever beat a game in consumer spend in a given quarter”, and provided a new estimate for its userbase: nearly 1.6 billion monthly active users globally.

“Not only does TikTok have a growing user base, the app has fostered deep engagement — with global users outside of China spending 19.6 hours per month on average in the app during 2021,” claimed Data·ai.

“While this is equal to Facebook (the #1 Social app by time spent globally in 2021), TikTok’s growth trajectory is unrivaled, up 4.7x in just 4 years. In 2018, its average monthly time spent per user was only 4.2 hours.

In other ‘studies that will have TikTok’s management leaping around the boardroom popping champagne corks’ news, analyst firm Piper Sandler has published its latest survey of American teenagers: 7,100 of them.

“Teens continue to spend roughly four hours a day on social media as TikTok surpassed Snapchat as their favourite social media platform for the first time,” said senior research analyst Nicole Miller Regan. 33% of respondents said TikTok was their favourite social media service, ahead of 31% who said Snapchat.

Outside TikTok, the study also has some stats that may deflate some of the metaverse hype. 26% of teens surveyed own a VR device, but only 5% use it daily, and 48% said they are “either unsure or not interested in the metaverse”.

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