Trying to figure out what TikTok is? If you are above 25 years old, it is most likely you don’t really have the slightest idea what it actually is. Although, many tech media cover the topic, the questions of what makes it so popular? can people earn from it? is it kids-friendly? remain unanswered.
So, we are going to answer these questions for you. What is this new social media app that has been having its popularity on the rise for such a long time now?
What is it, really?
Originating in China, TikTok is a social media app designed for sharing short videos. It is stacked with all sorts of tools that help with content creation: camera, filters, effects, music, etc. It also has everything else that Instagram or YouTube do: likes, comments and followers. But fun is what it mainly is.
How is it different from other apps?
What makes TikTok stand out is the technology behind its tools and algorithms. According to ByteDance, the company behind the app, they combined the power of AI with the growth of mobile Internet to revolutionize the way people consume information.
This refers to the fact that most of the filters are powered by facial recognition, while all the app’s content suggestions are extremely customized. The app manages to show you exactly what you like and nothing more.
Who uses TikTok?
TikTok is most popular among the gen Z and some of the younger millenials. However, this doesn’t change the fact that people, like the Tonight Show’s host Jimmy Fallon, and world-famous actress Reese Witherspoon are obsessed with the app as well.
While Reese is having her 15-year-old son teach her how to use the app, Jimmy Fallon is already fluent in the app and has managed to launch a few challenges of his own. One of the first ones was the #tumbleweedchallenge, that had the users share videos of them rolling around on the floor. While creating a new segment for the show, the challenge also boosted the app’s popularity.
Where did TikTok come from?
Before TikTok, there was Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app that was bought out by ByteDance (a tech company based in Beijing). In 2018, the apps were merged with all the users and content from Musical.ly transferred to TikTok.
Is TikTok here to stay?
TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin now has about 400 million active monthly users, which is about 30% of the country’s population.
At the same time, TikTok itself now has over a billion users all over the world, being downloaded over 80 million times in the US. Back in 2018, it was the most downloaded app in App Store.
ByteDance, the company behind the app, is now valued at $75 billion, making it the most valuable tech app in the whole world. And if you pay any attention to Zhang Yiming, the company’s founder, you know for sure that the company is not going to stop there.
TikTok is making the world a better place.
While being full of silly challenges and memes, the sole purpose of which is entertainment, there is a lot of good being done through the app as well.
If you go to the ByteDance website, you will see a list of the awareness-raising challenges that were launched through the app. Hashtags, like #CreateforaCause, were not only helpful in spreading information, they also helped raise money for charities, like DoSomething.org, Best Friends Animal Society, and Oceana. This challenge alone ended up in over $2 million in donations. This brought TikTok the Halo Awards’ gold nod for Best Digital Campaign in 2019.
Can TikTok make you famous?
Of course, you can! All you have to do is post consistently (don’t forget to also figure out the type of content you want to make and people want to watch) and the app will do the rest for you. There are many bots and services that can help to get TikTok likes for free without verification. As TikTok is a fairly new social media, its biggest stars are not yet as popular as the protagonists of YouTube and Instagram success stories. The most popular TikTok-born star Loren Grey, however, already has over 32 million followers.
TikTok has already provided her with an opportunity to host her own Snapchat show and receive a Teen Choice Award. Not to mention, that she is a singer now.
Can TikTok be monetized?
Well, yes. TikTok is still figuring out the process, but there are some options. Apart from getting brand deals and posting sponsored content, you can monetize live streams by having your audience buy emojis for you, that you can later convert back to cash.
Should I be worried about my kids using the app?
TikTok is not really any different from any other social media in terms of being kids-friendly. While there is a lot of silly and pure content, the music still contains explicit lyrics, people still dress however they want and comments can still be hateful.
Use the privacy settings to limit the interactions with other users and be attentive to what your kids are watching.