It’s October 2020 and for the past 10 months the year has been filled with news stories about Coronavirus and the US presidential election. That said, perhaps the third most talked about thing this year has been Tiktok, the video based social media app which seems to have taken the world by storm with even more downloads than Facebook and Instagram this year! The app is now the 6th largest social media app in the world!
By now I am sure that the majority of people will have had at least some exposure to many of the app’s viral videos and channels. However, at this point, the question “so what actually is Tiktok” would most likely get you laughed out of the room! Have no fear we’ve got you covered, in this post we will bring you up to speed and give you everything you need to know about Tiktok.
So…. What is Tiktok?
Tiktok is essentially a Chinese video sharing app for Mac IOS and Android where users can create, share and edit videos up to 60 seconds long. In many ways Tiktok is a spiritual successor to Vine as the app seems to centre around short, simple entertaining videos. Although the videos are short, there are plenty of editing tools on the app to allow users to be as creative as possible. Creators also have access to an extensive library of songs that they can use in their videos completely royalty free, a big advantage over other social media apps.
You don’t actually need a Tiktok account to view videos on the app, however you are required to sign up if you wish to like or comment on a video. Registering for an account also allows Tiktok to tailor the videos that they show in your feed.
What Kind of Content can you Find on Tiktok
Although starting life as Musical.ly a ‘lip synching’ app where users could upload a photo of themselves lip synching along to popular songs, the userbase has developed to the point now where there are now a variety of different types of videos available to watch. For example, dancing videos, comedy routines and “cringe” videos are all currently popular on the app.
Tiktok creators can also team up using the Duets function, allowing users to sample another person’s video and add themselves to it. Notable users of this feature include Lizzo and Tove Lo.
The tone of the videos on the app can go between light hearted and funny to politically charged and thought provoking as users will often use the platform to respond to current events going on around the world such as the current Covid19 pandemic and the BLM protests in the USA.
According to the app’s community guidelines anything goes as long as it doesn’t display violent, racist or sexually explicit content.
So how do people Actually get Followers on Tiktok?
There are a variety of different ways of getting new Tiktok followers. Perhaps the simplest way is actually just creating good content which will make people want to visit your profile. In addition users can also cross promote their Tiktok across other social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
That said, there are a few other ways of getting more followers, if you don’t quite have the patience to wait for them to roll in by themselves you can also claim free Tiktok followers from websites like Tiktokfamed.com where you can actually claim 1000s of authentic profiles free of charge.
Can you use Tiktok as a Marketing Tool?
Yes! If you are savvy enough, Tiktok can provide an excellent way of promoting yourself or your business. A good example of a business that has successfully used Tiktok to promote themselves would be Chipotle. Chipotle teamed up with influencer David Dobrik for the #Chipotlelipflip challenge. As a result, the campaign received 230 million views as well as over 100,000 submissions!
In terms of ways of paid advertising, Tiktok has 4 different types:
- Infeed Native Content – Similar to other social media apps, Tiktok allows users to include features like website links and app downloads.
- Brand Takeovers – Tiktok gives brands temporary control of landing pages in order to promote their products.
- #Hashtag Challenges – Companies and brands can use hashtag challenges to boost engagement with their followers.
- Branded Lenses – Brands can have their own filters which can be used on images and videos.
How has the app become so Popular?
Celebrity partnerships seems to be a key factor in the app’s popularity. The app has been popularized by many celebrities, for example Jimmy Fallon who regularly includes a Tiktok ‘Challenges’ segment on his show.
Another factor in the app’s popularity is the current Covid19 pandemic. The app has provided users a way to escape boredom during lockdown.
Is Tiktok Safe?
As well as it’s adoring fans, the app certainly has it’s fair share of detractors, perhaps most notably US President Donald Trump who has accused the app of selling it’s users’ information to the Chinese government, an accusation which Tiktok denies. Tiktok responded to Trump’s comments by casting doubt on whether the President was acting out of genuine concern for the safety of the app’s users.
That said, the USA is not the only country who has raised concerns over the app. Earlier this year India actually banned Tiktok after a border clash with Chinese forces left 20 Indian soldiers dead. In addition Australia has also considered banning the app as a potential threat to national security.
Although the app remains ever popular many users, concerned about the app’s future have begun to migrate to other social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Recently a string of rival apps such as Byte, Tangi, Kuaishou and Kwai have also sprung up, looking to challenge Tiktok’s dominance over the app market.
With all of these recent developments, who knows what the future has in store for Tiktok!
So there you have it, everything you need to know about Tiktok in 2020!