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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 271-273

An Exploratory Survey on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions toward TikTok

1 Consultant Psychiatrist and Founder Trustee, Desousa Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission22-Apr-2021
Date of Decision03-May-2021
Date of Acceptance14-May-2021
Date of Web Publication31-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Avinash De Sousa
Carmel, 18, St., Francis Road, Off SV Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai - 400 054, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_46_21

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Background: TikTok is a mobile application that had become very popular among youth in college and adults alike. Many people have used TikTok as an alternate form of social media and share videos from there on different social media platforms. This study was aimed as survey to ascertain the knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward TikTok as an application. Methodology: A semi-structured questionnaire was prepared to consist of questions regarding demographic details, knowledge regarding TikTok, frequency of usage of TikTok, attitudes toward its use and suggestions for change required in it. The questionnaire was circulated among students through e-mails and Whatsapp. The form was distributed three times in all within a gap of 7 days. The data collected were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis and percentages. Results: Seven hundred students in all were mailed and received the questionnaire. We received 583 responses, of which 81 responses being incomplete were removed, and the final analysis was done with 502 responses. Three hundred and three (60.4%) participants felt that it could be used for entertainment and only 11 (2.2%) mentioned education or awareness. Two hundred and seventy-two (54.2%) participants felt that TikTok use could be a media for boosting self-esteem and self-image. Conclusion: Further studies in detail about various facets of TikTok need to be studied in diverse population to generalize our findings and know how this application has influenced the youth in various sectors.

Keywords: Attitudes, college students, knowledge, perceptions, TikTok

How to cite this article:
Shah B, Karia S, Mandalia B, Shah N, Sousa AD. An Exploratory Survey on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions toward TikTok. Ann Indian Psychiatry 2022;6:271-3

How to cite this URL:
Shah B, Karia S, Mandalia B, Shah N, Sousa AD. An Exploratory Survey on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions toward TikTok. Ann Indian Psychiatry [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 10];6:271-3. Available from: https://www.anip.co.in/text.asp?2022/6/3/271/360079

  Introduction Top

Social media play a pivotal role in our lives. It is a digital space created by people that is conducive for interactions and networking to occur at various levels.[1],[2],[3] Social media are a collective term for internet-based applications for the creating, exchanging, and collaborating user-Generated content (UGC).[2] It is a tool to create, facilitate sharing and establishing one's network. There are different social media platforms which include Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Reddit. Overall social media bring together people from different backgrounds having similar interests and goals.[4] As per one study, India is predicted to cross 370 million social media users by the year 2022. Out of these, majority of the users will be teenagers.[5] A study from Tamil Nadu mentioned that 79.05% of the participants using social media, the most common one being WhatsApp.[6]

Short video platforms have been emerging over the past few years. TikTok is a relatively new social media platform started in August 2018 and is now one of the biggest social media platform.[2] Within 2 years, it has grown to the most popular social media platform in the world. Within a year of its launch, TikTok had become the most downloaded iOS app during early 2018 and downloaded more than 104 million times on the Apple App store.[4] They have standardized short duration videos which last 15 s. One can create either a short video or a short looping video. People can create, edit, and share videos on this platform. Short videos are known to improve learning attitude, effectiveness, and engagement.[7] Being short, they also sustain the attention of the viewers. The main motives for creating UGC are thought to be self-expression, self-actualization, and self-enhancement. These platforms act as an outlet to express their thoughts and identity and may also provide them with fame.[2] Primary uses of social media platforms are as information seeking, entertainment, socializing, status, convenience, and personal identity. Social media platforms are used for spreading awareness, promoting creativity, as an educational tool, helps develop social skills, helps develop virtual empathy.[5] While we know the popularity and uses of TikTok, there is very little data on the attitudes practice patterns and knowledge about TikTok use in students in the Indian context. We planned a study to evaluate the same.

  Methodology Top

A questionnaire was prepared to consist of questions regarding demographic details, knowledge regarding TikTok, frequency of usage of TikTok, attitudes toward its use, and suggestions for change required in it. This questionnaire was validated by three experts, two senior psychiatrists, and a clinical psychologist. This questionnaire was entered in Google forms and was circulated among students of undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses of different streams through e-mail and Whatsapp. The form was distributed three times in all within a gap of 7 days. The data were automatically collected in excel format throuhj Google Forms. The data collected were subjected to appropriate descriptive statistical analysis, and the results were presented. The study was approved in a department review meeting.

  Results Top

The questionnaire was circulated among 700 UG and PG students in all. Of which, we received 583 responses. We removed 81 responses as they were incomplete ones, and the final analysis was done with 502 responses. The mean age of our sample was 23.76 ± 5.8 ranging from 16 to 62 years. There were more males, 310 (61.8%) than females 182 (36.3%); 10 (2%) students did not want to reveal their gender. We got 287 (57.2%) responses from UG students and 215 (42.8%) from PG students. Instagram (461, 91.8%) and Facebook (409, 81.5%) were widely used social media platforms, followed by Snapchat (288, 57.4%) and Twitter (168, 33.5%). Viber was less known among them (15, 3%). Nearly 96% of them accessed these social media platforms on mobile phones, only 3% on laptops and 0.8% on tablets.

Of 502 students, only 101 (20.1%) of them were active on TikTok, of which in 90 participants, their family members knew that their child was on TikTok, while 93 participant's sibling too was using TikTok. Although only 20.1% of participants were active on TikTok, 490 (97.6%) of them were aware of TikTok. [Table 1] shows responses received for various questions asked regarding knowledge, attitudes, and practice of TikTok [Table 1].
Table 1: Results of various questions asked in the survey

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On asking what use can one make of TikTok, 303 (60.4%) participants felt that it could be used for entertainment, 43 (8.6%) for personal skill development and expression, 37 (7.4%) for marketing, promotion, and fame, and 11 (2.2%) for education or awareness. Two hundred and seventy-two (54.2%) participants felt that TikTok use could be media for boosting self-esteem and self-image. On asking what changes should be made in TikTok, 54 (10.8%) suggested that it should be banned, 58 (11.6%) felt content should be modified, and 6 (1.2%) suggested making it user friendly [Table 1].

  Discussion Top

The aim of our study was the evaluate the knowledge attitudes and practice of TikTok in students. The most common used social media platform was Facebook. This is following prior literature that reports Facebook as the most popular and most visited social media site.[8] Apart from keeping in touch with friends and sharing photos and videos, Facebook is used to broadcast live streams and private message friends. It is used as a platform for gaming and gambling.[8]

Nearly 20.1% of our participants were TikTok users. A study conducted in a small district in South India reported 6.9% of its participants using TikTok.[9] However, the study sample was much smaller (145) and in a small district of South India compared to our sample being from a metropolitan city of India. The most common use of TikTok in our users is as a source of entertainment. It is a well-known fact that social media platforms are mainly used for entertainment. Entertainment could encompass a tool for being fun and interesting as well as a way to pass the time, escape reality, and relieve stress.

TikTok is a new application and research on it in India is scarce. Further studies are needed in larger and diverse groups of general populations to ascertain better results and give impetus to and generalize the findings.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Qiyang Z, Jung H. Learning and Sharing Creative Skills with Short Videos: A Case Study of User Behavior in TikTok and Bilibili. New York: International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference; 2019.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ahlse J, Nilsson F, Sandström N. It's Time to TikTok: Exploring Generation Z's Motivations to Participate in Challenges. Bachelors Thesis. Sweden: Jonkoping University; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kapoor KK, Tamilmani K, Rana NP, Patil P, Dwivedi YK, Nerur S. Advances in social media research: Past, present and future. Inform Syst Front 2018;20:531-58.  Back to cited text no. 3
Xu L, Yan X, Zhang Z. Research on the causes of the “Tik Tok” app becoming popular and the existing problems. J Adv Manag Sci 2019;7:59-67.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bhati VS, Bansal J. Social media and Indian youth. Int J Res Anal Rev 2019;7:2348-69.  Back to cited text no. 5
Thenmozhi S, Manimegalai MR. The usage of social networking sites among college students in Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu. J Xian Univ Arch Technol 2020;12:1920-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
Omar B, Dequan W. Watch, share or create: The influence of personality traits and user motivation on TikTok mobile video usage. Int J Interact Mob Technol 2020;14:121-37.  Back to cited text no. 7
Kircaburun K, Alhabash S, Tosuntaş ŞB, Griffiths MD. Uses and gratifications of problematic social media use among university students: A simultaneous examination of the Big Five of personality traits, social media platforms, and social media use motives. Int J Ment Health Addict 2020;18:525-47.  Back to cited text no. 8
Suthamathi D, Saranya MS. An impact of social media among college students with reference to Dharmapuri District. J Interdiscipl Cycle Res 2019;11:408-19.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Table 1]


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