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Why Are Filipinos So Addicted to TikTok?

Looking into the deeper-rooted reasons behind why are Filipinos so addicted to TikTok. There isn’t a single reason, but several reasons that feed into and inform each other, fully explaining the reasons as to why we can’t let go of the app. 

Here’s an unsurprising fun fact: did you know that as of January 2023, there are 42.8 million TikTok users in the Philippines? Considering the country’s current population of 117.4 million, that means about 36% of all Filipinos are on the app. 

This wouldn’t mean much, at first glance. After all, it’s easy to say that a lot of people are on TikTok–essentially like saying water is wet. However, when you also consider the fact that Filipino TikTok users spend an average of six days and 17 hours a year (for a total of 161 hours) on the app, things start to get a little bit more serious. That’s 36% of the country’s entire population glued to their screens for enough minutes (even hours) each day in the year, bit by bit. 

Think of it a little bit like this: imagine scrolling through the app for a week straight without eating, sleeping, blinking, or breathing. That’s how much time Filipinos spend on TikTok. 

With that in mind, the question that follows is no surprise: Why in the world are Filipinos so addicted to TikTok? There isn’t a single or even straightforward answer, but there are some very interesting ones. 

Filipinos love to watch things

If there’s one thing about Filipinos, it’s that we’re a video-forward kind of people. Our love for drama is heavily intertwined with our love for things like anime, teleseryes, and movies. It’s no surprise then that when given access to a platform that has a thousand videos perfectly curated to suit your likes and dislikes, Filipinos would latch on instantly. 

With this, Filipinos have an undeniable flair for the visual. Our cinematic history, teeming with teleseryes and blockbuster films, is a testament to this. 

Dive into any Filipino household during prime time, and you’ll see families huddled, sharing laughs and tears over the latest on-screen twists. TikTok, with its bite-sized, varied content, seamlessly integrates into this culture. 

The platform distills the drama, humor, and creativity Filipinos love into digestible segments, often no longer than a minute. It’s a near-infinite reel of entertainment, tailored to the viewer’s taste, creating a veritable buffet of visuals that’s hard to resist. Even more than that, it’s all accessible from the palm of your hand, with the swipe of your finger. 

Considering all of that, it becomes less and less surprising that so many Filipinos spend that much amount of time on the app. Using TikTok becomes less like a pastime or hobby, and more like a bonding experience. 

Filipinos find community on TikTok

It’s hard to match a Filipino’s unique sense of humor. While we do love our own fair share of international trends and memes, there’s nothing quite like the locally-grown content that shakes up our very own chain of inside jokes. 

Take Esnyr, for instance. He quickly rose to become a Filipino favorite on TikTok, amassing over 6 million followers on his account. His rise in popularity isn’t because he appealed to international audiences or brought global trends down to the local level, no. He told it exactly how it is: sharing stories and relatable experiences from his own life growing up in the Philippines. 



♬ original sound – Esnyr – Esnyr

Videos like his that recount what it’s like to live in the Philippines resonate with viewers. We like to see our own experiences laid out on a screen for us–it’s relatable, it’s hilarious, and it feels good to be seen. Nobody wants to be alone, and knowing that someone out there shares the same struggles and experiences when it comes to the little things can add all the more to that addiction. 

Another good example of a Filipino content creator that taps into everyday life in the Philippines is Gigi. His videos take on a similar format of sharing POVs, but have a more “conyo” lilt to them. 


POV: Your Tito tries to speak Gen Z. Growing up doesn’t mean giving up fun. Make every moment, even awkward moments, sweet! #genz #tiktokph #conyo #WoomeraWines

♬ original sound – gigi || IG: itsgigiboi – gigi || IG: itsgigiboi

It’s the kind of thing everyone’s gone through at least once in their lives. His comment sections are full of people proclaiming “omg, so me” and letting him know that his videos are on point. In their words: “Kuhang kuha!” 

There’s even a strong community for those that love dancing on PH TikTok. With our very own locally-grown talent, we have a strong arsenal of content creators that make their original dances to popular songs–international or otherwise. 

Niana Guerrero is one of the best examples for this. She started as a kid and victim to her older brother’s pranks on their family vlogs but has since evolved into a well-known and well-loved dancer on the app. 

Much of her content features herself dancing to popular dance trends on the app, as well as coming up with some of her own original dances. She’s gone viral on an international level a few times as well, even going so far as to meet up with Sabrina Carpenter for a TikTok. 

And of course, with Filipinos’ unique sense of humor, they take dance trends to a new level. Given how most of the country is flooded for half of the year, videos like the one below pop up quite regularly. 

It’s the perfect marriage of showing off the local talent, yet poking fun at something everyone goes through at the same time each year. If that doesn’t exemplify community, then nothing else does. 

ALSO READ: How small-town Pharma Arshie Larga Became a TikTok Star

TikTok is built to be addicting

Lastly, it’s essential to note TikTok’s design itself. The platform is engineered to captivate. 

With its algorithmic precision, TikTok presents content it believes the user will enjoy, ensuring they remain engaged. The app’s “For You” page becomes a personalized theater, showcasing a near-endless stream of clips that appeal directly to the viewer’s preferences. 

It’s not just that Filipinos love TikTok—the app has been built to ensure that once you start scrolling, it’s hard to put down.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see how the app can be a powerful tool for shaping consumer behavior and driving customer engagement. Several different factors lead into it being so addicting, making it a reliable asset for getting your name out there. 

M2.0 Communications is a creative agency that offers social media management, content development, and video production services to engage your target audience. Visit our case studies to learn more about the brands we collaborate with.

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