When TikTok debuted on social media in 2018, it was hard to predict what powerful force it would become. But what exactly is TikTok?
TikTok is currently the sixth most popular social platform in the world, with over 2 billion downloads worldwide, but as the app of choice for the highly influential Gen Z, it has a huge impact on the cultural zeitgeist. Culinary fads, a new generation of celebrity canines, 2000s nostalgia, and Addison Ray’s acting career can all be credited to TikTok.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is an app for creating and sharing short videos. The videos are long and not square, like in Snapchat or Instagram stories, but you move through the videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed, and not by clicking or swiping from side to side.
The option to search for sounds for your movie recording is just one of the many tools available to video artists, along with filters similar to those of Snapchat. Users are also prompted to interact with each other through “reaction” or “duets” videos, where they can copy and join existing videos.
What is the point of TikTok?
When a new app appears in the market and becomes more and more popular, it can be difficult to understand why it is needed.
Instagram, for several years, seemed like a simple photo filter app but slowly emerged as a social platform and branding tool. Snapchat Stories at first seemed ridiculous, but as its popularity grew, Instagram basically stole the idea, and Instagram Stories now dominate the social network. With its confusing hashtag system, Twitter is finally becoming a new way to keep track of current news and events.
When it comes to TikTok, there is a huge market of people looking for small entertainment and distraction for a few minutes during the day. If the video is interesting or attractive, it will be quickly re-shared by the algorithm on the For You page and gain millions of views.
Celebrity partnerships have been a key tactic in TikTok’s geographic expansion strategy. The app uses celebrities and influencers to make a fuss about the platform and create viral content. These celebrities not only post content on TikTok but also promote TikTok on other social media channels. For example, in the post below, Indian celebrity Aashika Bhatia has promoted the TikTok app on Instagram.
Many celebrities, including Jimmy Fallon, use and love the app, which has contributed to its popularity. The app has pushed partnerships with many celebrities from different places who help to advertise it to the local audience.
Jimmy Fallon’s interest in the app developed naturally, but the app later made money from it through a sponsorship relationship. Jimmy Fallon introduced the Challenges section to his show in November 2018, and chose TikTok as the venue for the challenge.
In other countries, TikTok has celebrity sponsorships as well. The app attracted celebrities when it debuted in Japan, including Kinoshita Yukina, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and Watanabe Naomi. TikTok has teamed up with social media star Kaykai Salaider in Thailand and Aashika Bhatia in India.