If Instagram and Snapchat weren't enough, now you've got another social media platform to wrap your head around. And TikTok is quite literally taking over the world.
So, if you want to know a little more about the world's fastest-growing social media, we've got you covered.
New to TikTok? Understand how to use TikTok.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a relatively new social media and used to be known as Musical.ly. It has changed quite a bit over the years, whereas Musical.ly allowed its users to post 15-second videos of whatever they wanted. TikTok allows its users to make videos for up to 3 minutes and has a highly curated algorithm.
Who invented TikTok?
TikTok was launched in 2016 by a Chinese company called ByteDance (also known as Douyin). Its main rival was Musical.ly, and in 2017 the app was rebranded to TikTok to reach more audiences internationally.
Who uses TikTok?
Anyone can and does use TikTok. From small kids making videos about slime to grandparents making comedy videos, you can find just about everyone on TikTok.
Although only about 7.1% of TikTok users are aged 50 or older, this doesn't mean it's targeted to young people. The point of the app is its accessibility and ease of use, so just about anyone can get the hang of it in a short time.
How is TikTok different from Instagram and Twitter?
TikTok has quite a few similarities with Instagram and Twitter, which can get confusing at times.
Initially, Twitter used hashtags to group together people and create places where users could find specific things. TikTok has taken this use and boosted it to the next level.
On TikTok, hashtags are also a way of grouping users based on interests, but they also provide crucial information for your algorithm. The more you interact with videos on a specific hashtag, the more videos like that you will see.
However, TikTok is still very different from Twitter. Twitter emphasizes short quips and engaging with others through replies and retweets, whereas TikTok is a video platform, and it has more similarities with Instagram.
Today, Instagram and TikTok have a lot in common. With Instagram's newest feature, reels, users can essentially get the same experience as if they were on TikTok. You may even get some videos made on TikTok pop up on your Instagram explore page!
Why has TikTok become so popular?
In October 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded photo and video app in the app store globally. If that doesn't tell you how popular TikTok is, I don't know what will.
Especially in its early days, TikTok relied heavily on celebrity mentions to boost its popularity around the globe.
One of the most memorable is Jimmy Fallon, who created a 'challenges' bit on his late show and hosted it through the app.
He would challenge his viewers to do certain things and create a new trending hashtag on the app. Thousands of challenge entries would flow through, with millions engaging in some way or another with it.
Localised and relevant content
Despite TikTok being a globally popular app, it makes excellent use of localizing its popularity and content. One way it does this is by hosting contests such as the "1 million audition" in several countries across the globe.
Users are given a theme for each competition by which they should make their videos, and the top video creators are rewarded. This creates a lot of buzz for TikTok in each country and also helps new users gain popularity.
Another way that TikTok creates local buzz is through trending hashtags. For example, the "seaweed dance" went viral in China, and thousands of videos were made under this hashtag.
TikTok uses its algorithm to send each user personalized videos. This helps create a community in local sections through videos. For example, if the app knows that you live in the UK, it will send you videos relating to comedy or news in that country.
You may get a video on your FYP of an American trying to make a proper cup of tea and find community with other users angrily correcting the creator in the comments.
Easy digestible video content
TikTok is famous for its ease of use. It allows users to post content with a single click and viewers to sit back and scroll for hours (and hours…)
As soon as you open the app, you are launched into videos on your FYP, and it can be (incredibly) hard to tear your eyes from the screen. This keeps its users and creators always coming back for more since engaging with the app is low effort.
The future of TikTok
TikTok is on a high and will only keep going higher. It uses fascinating and innovative ways to keep its users and audience engaged and addicted to the platform. Therefore, for the time being, it's not going anywhere.
It will have to keep producing new ways to keep its users engaged to prolong its longevity, but they have already got this far!
What's next? Learn how to use TikTok
Now that you know what TikTok is and what it is used for, it's time to learn how to use it and create videos for yourself. Check out our page on How to use TikTok for more info.
Want to post some high-quality videos on TikTok? Check out our page on Filmmaking to make yourself stand out on this world-dominating social media.
What is TikTok FAQ
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media app that allows users to post and interact with videos made by different users. Depending on their following, users can post videos from 1 second to 3 minutes long.
Why is TikTok so popular?
TikTok is a global sensation due to its use of new and innovative business and marketing strategies and its ease of use. It's impossible not to get addicted!
What is the point with TikTok?
Like with any social media, the point is to create and share content with others and interact and engage with users. Users can reply, comment, like and duet with other users, which gives TikTok its big community feel.