Is TikTok the new way to make friends? Survey finds 61 percent of SA TikTok users are forming friendships on platform

South Africans are making friends by scrolling through TikTok. File picture: Pexels

South Africans are making friends by scrolling through TikTok. File picture: Pexels

Published Oct 26, 2023


In a world where technology often gets criticised for isolating people, short-form video platform TikTok is actually doing the complete opposite.

According to a a recent survey, TikTok discovered that 61% of its South African users have formed valuable connections on the platform.

The survey also shows 68% of participants stated that they find a sense of belonging on TikTok, and 64% mentioned that using the platform makes them feel less alone.

This in interesting to note, considering a recent study that said South Africans spend more hours a day online than any other country in the world.

According to a report released by Delaware-based virtual private network (VPN) platform Atlas VPN, South Africans spent at least 9.5 hours a day online, while average time a person spent browsing the internet in 2022 was six hours and 37 minutes per day.

The survey comes as TikTok recently launched its #MentalHealthAwareness: Better Together Campaign, aimed at creating a safer and more supportive environment where users can openly discuss their mental health experiences and access guidance.

TikTok's commitment to the mental health comes in light of the changing landscape of mental health discussions.

Content creator, mental health advocate, and psychologist, Sanam Naran, says she uses TikTok to raise awareness about mental health issues.

"Many of my videos serve as psycho-educational content to increase awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. I educate viewers on various topics that can impact their mental wellbeing," says Naran.

Poloko Mmakgolane, known as the Speaking Dynamo, also uses TikTok to inspire his followers. He aims to help people understand the power of constructive, positive thinking and to cultivate a resilient mindset.

“My TikTok content centres around inspiration, encouragement, and teaching principles that empower individuals to cultivate a resilient and overcoming mindset,” Mmakgolane explains.