What is TicTok and Why Should You Care?

A lot of people have never heard of TikTok. Marketers that spend advertising money on social media platforms do not know anything about it or the potential that it provides. That’s OK for you because it means that there is less competition for you to worry about.

In fact, TikTok has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons. There was concern that the platform was not safe for youngsters to use. The truth is that there was some dodgy content on TikTok but they have cleaned up their act and removed a lot of videos that did not meet their community guidelines and terms of use.

This has not stopped TikTok from experiencing incredible growth over the last two years. In the first half of 2018, it was the most downloaded free iOS app. TikTok was the most downloaded app on Google Play in October 2018 and overall it was the third most downloaded app in the world in November 2018.

In March 2019 there had been over 1 billion installs of TikTok. There were 660 million downloads in 2018 and in the first quarter of 2019 there were 188 million. There are over 500 million active users of TikTok and 26.5 million of these are from the United States.

Here are some other key statistics about TikTok:

  • There are more users of TikTok on Android than iOS

  • At the moment the largest user base is in India representing around 43%

  • Around 66% of TikTok users are less than 30 years old

  • The average time spent on the TikTok platform is 52 minutes

  • There has been an increase with in-app purchases of 275% year on year

  • 29% of the user base use TikTok every day

  • Challenges work well – the #RaindropChallenge has more than 685 million views and the #TumbleweedChallenge created 8,000 videos and has more than 9 million views in a week

  • For the #InMyFeelings challenge, there are over 5 million videos on TikTok compared to 1.7 videos on Instagram

 

What is TikTok?

A company in Beijing, China called ByteDance developed the Douyin app in only 200 days. They launched the app for the Chinese market initially and the company launched TikTok (which is the same) for the international market in 2017.

The ByteDance company purchased musical.ly which was a popular app created by a startup in Shanghai, China who also had an office in Santa Monica in the United States. This helped ByteDance to build a larger video community.

TikTok is all about short videos. Users upload videos of around 15 seconds. With the previous app Mucical.ly the users tended to upload videos of themselves lip-synching to popular music videos. The most talented of these people that uploaded videos turned into the biggest influencers of the Musical.ly platform.

It is possible to upload videos of around 60 seconds that share stories but the majority of the videos on TikTok are 15 seconds or less. The target audience for TikTok, and formally Musical.ly, are teenagers and those in their early twenties with an age range of 13 to 24 year olds.

TikTok changed the variety of the videos uploaded on the platform since it has grown so much. Now you will find a lot more than lip-synced videos. In fact there are many other videos to choose from rather than just music.

You can now find comedians doing stand up, lots of prank videos, dancing videos, skateboarding videos, fashion and beauty videos and a lot more. People with all kinds of talents are now uploading videos to TikTok. And now there are people uploading videos showing them using their favorite products.

Not all of the TikTok users create and upload videos of course. This is the same with YouTube and Instagram. A lot of users are just looking for entertaining content to make them happy.

There is no need for a TikTok user to follow anyone on the app. If they just want to find entertaining videos they can just use the Discover page and look for videos that they are interested in. A TikTok user can search for videos using keywords or they can use specific hashtags.

Now TikTok users are “liking” videos more than they did before and they are subscribing to more channels. There is a lot more sharing of TikTok videos than before and you can take a look at the videos that a user has played through their profile page.

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