Social Media

TikTok vs Facebook: the duel of social networks

By Bastien, on January 30, 2023 - 4 min read

Social networks are among the most popular ways to communicate, share and engage with others, especially on the internet.

The main players in the industry are TikTok and Facebook. Both of these social media apps offer a variety of features and tools for users, making them very popular.

But how do these two giants compare? Can Facebook stand up to the meteoric rise of TikTok? Debugbar compares the 2 social media in this article to bring you some answers.

We will see the differences between TikTok and Facebook in terms of:

  • volume of users,
  • daily usage,
  • growth,
  • valuation,
  • and much more.

We will also explain how marketing can be used on each platform so that content creators can maximize their audience and revenue.

TikTok vs. Facebook: who has more users?

TikTok is undoubtedly one of the most popular social networks today, but it has yet to dethrone Facebook.

According to data published by Insider Intelligence:

  • TikTok currently has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide.
  • Facebook (now Meta) has 2.7 billion monthly active users.

It’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg’s company largely dominates TikTok in terms of global audience. But to get the full picture it’s important to take a look at the user distribution of each of its social media channels around the world:

  • More than 44% of TikTokers are located in Southeast Asia (China included), which is a significant advantage for the platform as this region is one of the most dynamic and innovative in the international digital social market.
  • Facebook, on the other hand, boasts the largest number of U.S. users (approximately 183 million), making it a popular choice among U.S. companies looking to reach a local or extended international audience in the United States.

While Facebook is still ahead of TikTok today, these numbers should be taken with a bit of perspective, as the exponential growth of the Chinese social network may well lead it to overtake the American.

TikTok takes up a lot more of its users’ time

People spend a lot more time on TikTok than they do on Facebook.

In fact, again according to Insider Intelligence:

  • The average user spends about 40 minutes a day on TikTok.
  • while he spends only 28 minutes a day on Facebook.

This can be explained by the format of the videos offered by TikTok. Shorter and more entertaining, they are more likely to capture the attention of the public than the longer and more complex publications on Facebook.

So on this point TikTok has a (very large) advantage.

Growth: who evolves faster?

Since its inception, TikTok has experienced remarkable growth in terms of users and engagement.

As of the end of 2019, the platform (launched in 2016) already had nearly 800 million monthly active users. Its monthly engagement has seen a further large increase in the last 3 years to now exceed 1 billion registrants.

For its part, despite having considerably more registrants, Facebook does not enjoy such growth: at the end of 2022, the total number of monthly active users had remained stable compared to the previous year.

Valuation: who generates the most money?

In terms of valuation, TikTok is quickly catching up with Facebook but still far behind.

According to Statista, the company was valued at USD 75 billion in early 2021, making it one of the most valued companies in the world.

In comparison, Meta (which also owns Instagram and Snapchat) is valued at 373 billion USD at the beginning of this year.

While the difference is considerable, it is narrowing as the app is rapidly gaining ground on the American company in terms of revenue, profits and ads income.

How are the “views” on TikTok and Facebook divided?

According to Insider Intelligence, people spend an average of 14 hours per month on TikTok and 11 hours per month on Facebook.

This means that active members of these apps spend significantly more time on TikTok than on Facebook each month.

The data also shows that the majority of content viewed on TikTok is related to the categories:

  • “music” (about 25%),
  • “gaming” (about 20%),
  • and “lifestyle” (about 15%).

For its part, according to Recode, the category:

  • “networks & broadcasters” accounts for about 27% of videos viewed on Facebook each month.

TikTok: a definitely more addictive format

TikTok offers mainly short content formats such as short clips or lives limited to a maximum duration of 60 seconds, while Facebook allows much longer videos, up to 240 minutes for live videos and unlimited for the classic post-video.

There is also the new Reels feature available on Instagram that allows for short videos similar to that offered by TikTok.

However, despite the growing presence of Instagram Reels, it seems that TikTok still has a powerful advantage when it comes to short video format compared to other social platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Youtube Shorts.

Facebook and TikTok: a very different operation

When it comes to the internal functioning of social platforms, there is a marked difference between TikTok and Facebook.

TikTok news feed is essentially based on a system called “Discovery Engine”. This tool combines a complex algorithm that customizes the content displayed to each user based on their previous interests and positive interactions.

In contrast, the Facebook News Feed is based solely on posts made by friends or subscriptions.

Facebook’s added bonus is undoubtedly its “Ads” section located in the main Home page tab that allows businesses to reach a wider audience via social marketing.

Influencers: which social network is the most profitable?

Influencers can earn a lot of money from their social activity – and this applies especially to TikTok and Facebook!

With monetization, influencers can earn extra income from brands that sponsor their content or set up specific advertisement campaigns.

Creators can also earn money by selling products on their accounts and offering services to companies and brands.

Facebook’s “Influencer Marketing” program, however, allows influencers to benefit from a separate program that offers various monetization opportunities such as advertisement revenue sharing or polling and market research.

But in reality, profitability will depend on the type of content produced and the target audience, TikTok being a popular network among teens and young adults while 

Facebook targets an older audience.

Facebook vs. TikTok: what do we remember?

TikTok and Facebook are the main players in the social media market, each offering a variety of features and tools.

  • The Chinese company TikTok stands out for its short format, considerable growth and higher engagement than Facebook.
  • Mark Zuckerberg’s company (Facebook) stands out because of its large international audience, high valuation and diversity of content.

The outlook for each platform is positive as they continue to grow and improve over time. So it will be interesting to see what the future holds for TikTok and Facebook!

Facebook (Méta)TikTok
Number of users2,7 Billion1,2 Billion
Valuation$373 Billion$75 Billion
Average time/day28 mn40 mn
Average time/month11 h14 h
Target AudienceAdultsTeens