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Can’t stop TikTok: Virginia is obsessed with Chinese social media app

Rebecca Barnabi
TikTok
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An analysis of Google searches ranks states by their obsession with social media app TikTok.

TikTok, owned by Chinese-based ByteDance, has raised concerns in Washington, D.C. among lawmakers, especially Virginia Sen. Mark R. Warner, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, for possibly threatening national security in the United States.

Yet, millions of Americans continue posting and viewing videos and photos on TikTok.

According to QR Code Generator QRFY, California is the state most obsessed with TikTok, followed by Nevada, New York, Georgia and New Jersey. Maryland is No. 6. and Virginia is No. 8 on the list.

The ranking comes after a survey in which 78 percent of Gen Zers who use TikTok revealed they feel “addicted” to the social media app.

QRFY analyzed nationwide Google search volume behind 28 keywords related to TikTok, such as ‘TikTok App’, ‘TikTok dances’, TikTok songs,’ to identify the most obsessed states.

“This study highlights the nation’s ongoing obsession with TikTok, most notably in California where the influencer market is extremely saturated,” QRFY CEO Marc Porcar said. He added that while TikTok “can be an amazing tool for sharing information and content across the globe, it can also tempt users to spend excessive amounts of time scrolling and consuming content that isn’t always beneficial for their mental health – especially if it prevents them from other activities.”

TikTok gained popularity in 2019 and 2020 thanks to personalized algorithm. Some states are more TikTok-obsessed than others, with the average monthly searches per 100,000 residents ranging from 2,252 to 5,202.

California claiming the top ranking is no surprise given its massive presence of social media influencers and share-worthy shops, restaurants and beaches. With an average monthly search volume of 5,202 per 100,000 residents, California is America’s TikTok hotspot.

Nevada had a monthly search average of 4,983 per 100,000 residents, revealing a large proportion of their population find the app particularly addictive.

New York had an average of 4,899 monthly searches per 100,000 residents. Clearly, the city that never sleeps is up all night watching TikTok.

Virginia is clearly also heavily dependent and addicted to TikTok. The state ranked in 8th place with 4,715 monthly searches per 100,000 residents.

Least obsessed are residents in Wyoming, who searched for TikTok-related topics only 2,252 times each month per 100,000, 57 percent less than California.

The United States reported an average monthly search volume of more than 13 million for TikTok-related terms. Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has gained an estimated one billion monthly users worldwide.

Interestingly, the study revealed a massive uptake in TikTok-related searches in March of 2023, with average monthly searches increasing nationally after TikTok CEO Shou Chew, testified at a congressional hearing on the app’s privacy concerns.

War on TikTok: Lawmakers introduce legislation to monitor technology – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.