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TikTok becomes UK’s most shopped social channel as users flock to deactivate Facebook and Insta ahead of subs fee

TikTok: the new place to shop?

TikTok has outpaced Instagram and Facebook to become the UK’s most shopped social channel, as social media commerce finally takes off. However, users are starting to abandon Facebook at the prospect of having to subscribe. 

Research of more than 1,000 UK shoppers by the Retail Technology Show reveals that the average consumer now makes 10 purchases on TikTok each year.  This now outpaces the number of purchases made on Instagram and Facebook, where shoppers make 9 purchases a year on both the platforms.  

And this tracks even higher when it comes to Gen Z, with the poll showing this demographic makes an average of 19 purchases through the TikTok platform every year – almost double that made by the average UK shopper.  This compares to 18 purchases on Instagram and 15 purchases this demographic makes on Facebook.

Having reported a a five-fold surge in revenues last year, growing to $1billion turnover across its international markets, TikTok’s UK and European sales rose by 477% in 2022, as it continues to grow its market share of the coveted 18-25 year old demographic, which are estimated to make up 60% of the social channel’s users

 And this burgeoning demand, which is being driven by Gen Z consumers, is seeing TikTok’s ad revenues flourish; in 2022 analyst Insider Intelligence estimated that it generated $5.96 billion from advertising sales– more than Twitter and Snapchat combined.

While Gen Z’s social channel adoption and usage continues to grow, so too is their adoption of the Metaverse when it comes to shopping, with 42% of Gen Z already interacting with brands through this channel, according to the research. 

While on average UK shoppers had made just over 8 purchases in the last year on Roblox, Gen Z now makes almost 17 purchases each year, surpassing the number of purchases this demographic makes on Facebook (currently 15 per annum), suggesting the Metaverse is ow very much entering the commerce mainstream. Last year, for example, Nike’s Nikeland, one of the very first proof of concepts for mainstream metaverse commerce on Roblox, saw 21m users visit its Roblox store, while beauty brand NARS said it saw 19.6million redemptions of virtual goods on the platform via its NARS Color Quest activation.

Deactivate searches soar
Searches for ‘Deactivate Instagram’ are up by 2,400% and those for ‘Deactivate Facebook’ increased by 1,566% following an announcement that parent company Meta will be introducing a ‘verified’ charge of $11.99.

The move comes after Twitter recently introduced a fee for an ‘approved’ check mark.

According to Cybersecurity experts at analysis of Google Trends data over the weekend shows that search interest for the terms ‘deactivate instagram’ and ‘deactivate facebook’ have risen sharply after Meta announced a new subscription service would be rolled out. 

The data shows that search interest for ‘deactivate instagram’ has increased by 2,400% and the search interest for ‘deactivate facebook’ had an increase of 1,566%. 

Meta have said that the subscription would allow for priority commenting and faster customer service as well as a mark on your profile saying that you are ‘Meta verified’. 

Monetisation of social media has become more common since the introduction of GDPR and other privacy laws which make it harder for companies like Meta to sell your data without consent.  

A spokesperson for says:  “Social media has allowed people to stay in touch with each other even if they’re in different countries. However, before the advent of GDPR, companies could and did sell your personal data to advertisers. Across the various platforms, some are supported by non-personalised ads alongside a premium plan and others are now introducing subscriptions to remain profitable for investors.  

“With more companies adopting strategies like this, it will be interesting to see in the future if the social media landscape will change and become fragmented as opposed to the centralised model we have now.” 

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