TikTok: what is it?

TikTok is the new social network that is giving marketers something to talk about and one of the big surprises of the last few years. In a very short time, this network has managed to reach no less than 800 million users… but if you’re not in the right age segment, you may not even have heard of it.

Because TikTok, like Snapchat, is sweeping through the young. Also, it has recently started to incorporate advertising solutions, so it is becoming one of the options with more potential to reach the centennial target if you want to advertise on social networks. Do you want to know what TikTok is and how to use it for your brand? I’ll explain it to you.

What is TikTok and how does it work?

TikTok is a social network based on 15-second videos that repeat in a loop, something like the missing Vine. Although this format can produce a wide variety of content, the most popular at the moment are music videos in different styles, involving the users themselves (e.g. singing or playing an instrument).

TikTok has its origin in the Chinese company Bytedance, owner of Toutiao (a very popular search engine in her country). Originally it was called Douyin, which means “to shake the music” in Chinese. In November 2017, Bytedance bought (an American social network) for a billion dollars, and from this merger TikTok as we know it today was born. Interestingly, this is the same amount that Facebook once paid for Instagram.

And there is certainly no shortage of reasons to think that this network could achieve similar success. These figures give us an idea of its impact:

By early 2020, TikTok already had 800 million users, making it the most popular Chinese application in the Western market.

By the end of 2019, the app had been downloaded 1.5 billion times worldwide from the App Store and Google Play, according to SensorTower data.

TikTok fans has conquered a large part of the world’s youth, the so-called tiktokers, as 41% of its users are between 16 and 24 years old, according to Globalwebindex in 2019.

BusinessofApps claims that tiktokers spend on average 52 minutes a day on the app.

In Spain, it is no stranger to the success of TikTok, with 2.7 million users a day using it for an average of 31 minutes a day.

As if this were not enough, the network also records very good figures of engagement and permanence, so everything points to it being here to stay.

How does TikTok work?

As we have seen, TikTok is a social network based on the playback of short looped videos. Let’s take a look at its main features:

Users share video clips in which they record themselves, often with background music accompanying their movements.

TikTok offers the ability to edit videos before publishing, and features a variety of fun filters. Not surprisingly, it works so well with younger audiences.

Within the application, we can find a chat for users to talk to each other and a browsing tab to discover the most popular videos of the moment, very similar to Instagram.

To connect with other users, TikTok has a system of followers and followers, like on Instagram or Twitter.

Other features include friends lists and voting.

To get your bearings within the TikTok application, the first thing you’ll find is the home page, where you can watch the most popular videos or those of the people you follow. If you decide to play a video, it will be displayed in full screen and you’ll see a series of icons to take different actions: follow the user, mark as “like”, comment or share.

In addition to this main screen, you can also find content in the browse tab or perform your own searches. Please note that videos are tagged with hashtags.

To record your own videos, you’ll need to press and hold the center button. You can release and re-press it to record your video in multiple takes, always respecting the maximum 15 seconds. You can also apply different effects to different shots when editing your video. In addition to recording content directly, you can also create slideshow videos from photos stored on your device – you’re ready to start using TikTok!


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