TikTok – Amazing New Platform for Massive Growth in 2020 and Beyond
If you haven’t heard about TikTok yet, chances are that you have been living under a rock. Remember the good old VINE days? Well, TikTok is a modernized version of Vines, plus a handful of extra features for individual creators as well as brands.
Ask the public, and you’ll receive mixed reactions. While the younger generation seems to have immersed themselves in creating and sharing short-form video content, the popularity of this platform has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. It is often referred to as a “lip-syncing” program, which makes it sound like it’s an online karaoke game. But a closer comparison would be Vine, the still sorely missed short-form video device from Twitter whose material lives on as compilations created from YouTube.
While it is true that TikTok is home to some traditional lip syncing, it is generally best recognized for its music-backed act-out videos and other sound clips that are constantly repeated and remixed by its young users.
TikTok is a completely new sub-culture and the fastest growing social media platforms of the world. It’s funny, it’s cringey, but it is definitely addictive.
TikTok was launched in September 2016, and in the three years since its launch, it’s safe to say that it has exploded in popularity. TikTok has 500 million active users worldwide (Datareportal, 2019). That makes TikTok 9th in terms of social network sites, ahead of better known sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
So, let’s tell you more about this unique platform, and how things seem bright for businesses who adopt it at the earliest.
History and Origin of TikTok
TikTok or Douyin (Chinese: 抖音) is a Chinese social networking video streaming site operated by ByteDance, a company based in Beijing, founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012.
It is used to create short videos of lip-sync, humor, and creativity. The iOS and Android app was released in markets outside of China in 2017. ByteDance first introduced Douyin in September 2016 for the China industry. TikTok and Douyin are close to each other and effectively the same software, but operate on different servers to conform with the constraints on Chinese censorship. The program helps users to create quick 3 to 15 second music and lip-sync videos and short 3 to 60 second looping videos. The app is popular in Asia, the US and elsewhere in the world.
Did you know Douyin was launched by ByteDance in China in September 2016, originally under the name A.me, before re-branding to Douyin in December 2016? It took 200 days to build the first version, and the app had approximately 100 million users within a year. Now, that’s IMPRESSIVE AF!
Stats That Matter
Here are some important things that are paving a bright future for the app –
- On 9 November 2017, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, spent up to $1 billion to purchase Musical.ly, a startup based in Shanghai with an office in Santa Monica, California. It then merged TikTok with Musical.ly on 2nd Aug, 2018 to create a larger video community, with existing accounts and data consolidated into one app, keeping the title TikTok.
- As of 2018, the app has been made available in over 150 markets, and in 75 languages.
- On September 3, 2019, TikTok and the NFL announced a multi-year partnership. The partnership includes the launch of an official NFL account that will bring NFL content to fans all over the world.
- As of 2020, the app has over 800 million active monthly users. However, 500 million of these active users – more than 60 percent of the total – live in China. That means that the platform has roughly 300 million monthly active users outside of China.
Furthermore, the latest data from App Annie suggest that Chinese users account for 80 percent of the total time spent using TikTok in 2019, while users in India account for a further 10 percent of the total. That means that users in China and India are responsible for roughly 9 in every 10 minutes spent using TikTok around the world. Regardless of country differences, however, the app climbed to sixth place in the global mobile app rankings by monthly active users for 2019. For context, it is still behind WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and Instagram, but it’s already ahead of all the other social platforms.
The latest statistics show that the app was downloaded 614 million times from January to November in 2019 (Sensor Tower, 2019). This marks a six percent year-over-year increase from the previous year and clearly on track to exceed 2018’s total number of downloads.
When it comes to the daily time spent on TikTok, users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app (BusinessofApps, 2019). So this means that people are using the social networking app daily either for creating and sharing short videos of themselves, or for watching the existing plethora of TikTok videos uploaded to the platform. Either way, they’re doing it for almost an hour everyday.
It’s important not to forget that the sizable user base is not only due to a growth in Western markets, but because of effectively growing in emerging markets like China and India. Content and community are the biggest factors in encouraging the growth of TikTok in a very short span of time. From then onward, TikTok has continued to grow and reach new audiences.
TikTok – What is It?
TikTok staff and its members, 60% of whom are 16-24 (in the US), describe it as a shared place where it is simpler to go viral than other social platforms. The attraction of this app is the constant show of 15-second videos featuring campy special effects, spinning reaction images, and trending hashtags that represent the different subcultures depicted on the device— no matter how unexpected or random these are!
Essentially the app is a short video group devoted to teenagers. Users can pick short-video songs to shape their own job. Through making video filters, VN video APP video editing, and special effects (repeat, light, slow motion), Tiktok users can make videos more artistic, rather than simple-to-mouth. Users can get a dashboard with statistics and insights that help creators understand their audience and adapt their content accordingly.
As of now, if you scroll through the app, you will end up with tons of videos or regular teenagers posting random videos, mostly non-contextual. It’s a mixed bag of reactions, and the purpose of TikTok is just taking shape. For instance, Reddit (and other platform users) consider TikTok as an app for normies, yet 800mn+ people are actively using it. Of late, businesses and brands have joined in as well, posting product promos and ads to target the millennial crowd.
Don’t get confused when you see a #PeppaPigRemix trending or when you see a hardcore cringe clip with a million+ views! That being said, TikTok is no longer an app for normies. With the recent addition of ads, the product owners are ready to compete with industry leaders like Facebook and Google ads. And, TikTok has been running aggressive ad campaigns on YouTube and other apps to rope in celebs. But, it is still a new platform that is evolving for businesses and marketers.
TikTok for Business is the newest (and welcome) addition for brands and businesses to enjoy the benefits of a targeted audience, and that too a huge number of active users. If you can create videos that appeal to the demographics, you can rest assured of generating a constant stream of revenue, probably with a better return rate than any existing ad platform. TikTok is advertised as a forum for social media, where you are revealing your real side. Authenticity is a powerful communication strategy. You will really shine with TikTok’s advanced editing tools.
Learn more about TikTok for Business in our upcoming blog. Subscribe to the notifications and be the first to read (and adopt the trend).
TikTok – Is This The Future?
2019 was a successful year for TikTok. From being the most downloaded app to being voted Gen-Z’s most-favorite apps, nothing seems to slow down the growth of this platform. 2020, too, looks bright for this Chinese-owned social media platform, hence, we are going to inform you about some future developments and trends (use these to learn how the app functions and how you can benefit from it).
The platform is ripe for brands to leverage on, and early adopters will reap the most benefits.
To maintain its current success, TikTok will need to continue to innovate and find new ways to reach its base of users. They will also need to make the site more marketing-friendly for marketers to create the app as a staying social network. TikTok is on the right track, as more brands have started to adopt it to further extend their presence in social media marketing.
We think one of the immediate things that TikTok should work on (or is probably working on) is building a more effective monetization framework (something that Vine failed at), so it could be the “next big thing” in social media marketing.
“While ads have brought TikTok exposure, its groundbreaking AI is what keeps users hanging around. According to Bloomberg, “Within a day, the app can get to know you so well it feels like it’s reading your mind.” ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming is regarded as something of an AI savant inside China, with an uncanny ability to build platforms that harness user data to addictive effect. “ – Source
TikTok has the potential to be the next big social media platform that doubles up as an effective ad-medium for brands. It enjoys a huge monthly traffic, AI-based features, extended analytics, and dashboard. The newly-launched TikTok Ads is a definitive addition to the diversity of this platform.
As more and more brands flock to TikTok, be prepared to see some amazing content, exceptional advertisements, and surge in competition in 2020 and beyond. Connect with the team to know more.