What is TikTok? TikTok is an app where users can create short videos in which they sing, dance, act, or lip-sync to audio clips or songs. The application was formerly known as Musical.ly, and now has become one of the most successful apps in the world. The app has over 500 million active users worldwide and was even one of the most downloaded apps in 2019 on both iOS and Android systems.
TikTok is a subsidiary of a company called ByteDance, which is based in China. TikTok resulted from merging two existing apps, Douyin and Musical.ly. What makes TikTok unique is that it’s the only social network based in China that became globally successful.
The community of TikTok is what the app flourishes off. The community uses hashtags and challenges, which jumpstart particular trends through one short video that introduces it. The idea behind this is that other users copy the challenge, and it becomes trending. Since there are many users on the platform, trends, and challenges change quickly; however, the ones the trends that are picked up by celebrities or famous influencers have the most momentum.
The concept of short videos on an app first came from the platform called Vine, in 2012. Vine accumulated around 200 million monthly users globally, where the average age being 18-24. However, Vine was discontinued in 2016, and it left a gap in the market, which TikTok successfully filled when it launched globally in January 2018.
Due to the rise of all these new social media applications, it seems a new one appears every few years, and they redefine how the world sees social media overall. Currently, TikTok is leading in the path for the new Generation Z and creates more diverse ways for their users to interact with the digital world.
What makes TikTok so appealing?
Younger audiences have a shorter attention span; therefore, they crave entertainment in short bursts. This is one of the main reasons TikTok is appealing, where the videos are fun, quick, and always trending.
In the app, users can follow other accounts and create a custom feed of content that they can enjoy to the fullest. Another section of the feed called “For You,” which shows videos of other users that you do not follow. This section offers an endless thread of new content to watch, which catches the users into becoming highly addicted to the app. The best part of the “For You” page is that it allows users with even the smallest amount of followers to go viral and become famous overnight, which is why TikTok is so appealing. Also, TikTok has the standard social media features, such as liking videos and direct messaging.