You may have heard about the app TikTok, a buzzword at the moment,  with over 800 million active monthly users it would be no surprise that it has become the most used platform in the social media scene in 2020.

Although TikTok is still very much undiscovered territory for anyone over the age of 25 and extremely popular with generation Z, TikTok is the ultimate glimpse into what is it is like to grow up in today’s hyper-connected world. As more users of all ages begin to jump on the metaphorical social media bandwagon, including famous celebrities, influencers, publishers and brands, it’s not going anywhere any time soon and if you didn’t already know what it was or how to use it – it’s time to join the phenomenon.

In this blog, we will guide you through what it is, how it works and how to TikTok like a pro!

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a short-film, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, on any topic. It is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. ByteDance first launched TikTok under the name of Douyin in China, before launching the TikTok app in international markets in 2017. Both Douyin and TikTok use the same software today but have separate networks to comply with China’s censorship laws.

Important TikTok Statistics

  • As of 2019, the user base of TikTok users had reached 800 Million. It is estimated to reach over a billion users in 2020.
  • TikTok reports that it has over 60 million monthly active users in the United States. 60% are female, 40% are male.
  • Bytedance is valued at $75 million, making it the world’s most valuable start-up.
  • Almost 50% of TikTok’s audience is under the age of 34 while 26% of all TikTok users are aged between 18 and 24.
  • The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide.
  • TikTok’s worldwide reach is: 466 million are from India (however, the app has now been banned), 173 million from China, and 123 million from the United States.
  • The average user spends 52 minutes per day on the TikTok app.

How does TikTok work?

Once your app is downloaded and you have set up your account, it’s time to start browsing videos. The TikTok app is divided into two main feeds. Very similar to Instagram, the default feed is ‘For You’, an algorithmically generated stream of videos. If you swipe left, you will then find another feed called ‘Following.’ This features uploads from the people that you chose to follow on your account.

Once you start following people, (don’t say we didn’t warn you) it becomes addictive and the next thing you know you have spent two hours on TikTok watching motivational videos from the likes of @therock or hilarious skits by @k.chh.

To the right of every TikTok video, you will notice a series of icons. The first icon takes you to the profile of the person who posted the video. Then there is the heart which functions the same way as a heart on Instagram – easy peasy! Next are comments, then an arrow for sharing individual TikToks to other platforms. Click the arrow if you want to copy the link of a specific TikTok, for example, to share it.

The very last icon is a spinning record with music notes emanating from it. This represents the song excerpt the user is playing in their TikTok.

Lastly, if you don’t like the videos you see – hard press on the video to reveal a not interested button.

Sharing your own videos on TikTok

Are you ready to venture bravely into the world of TikTok? All you need to do is tap on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen, before you start recording, you can add a song so that your dance, lip-sync or skit is in time with the music. If you want to film something ‘in the moment’, you can skip ahead and start recording without a musical track, then add the music later.

Taking notes from its competitors, Snapchat and Instagram, TikTok also offers a variety of augmented reality effects that can be used in the video which do awesome things like changing the colour of your hair or simply applying filters to your videos.

TikTok’s can be up to 15 seconds long, but users can also connect multiple clips together for up to 60 seconds of total recording. You can also upload longer videos that have been recorded outside the app itself.

Once you master regular TikToks, try experimenting with duets, which split the screen in half and let you sing the same song as another creator. To make a duet, tap the share button on the original video, and then hit Duet.

 Music challenges and Hashtags

For anyone who loves music, you will love TikTok. Often the reason why TikToks go viral is due to the song selected.

On this same music, the streaming menu is the songs associated with TikTok #Challenges. Challenges are what bring the TikTok community together, and they’re often sponsored by advertisers. For example, the app currently features a #faketravel challenge whereby users pretend to be on luxurious vacation –all in the name of fun.

To browse all of TikTok’s challenges, tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of the home screen. At the top of this same menu, find the search bar, which can be used to search for specific creators, sounds, or hashtags.

Ready, Steady, Go!

Now that you know the stats, a brief history into the world of TikTok and how to rock the latest TikTok #Challenges – grab your earphones and turn the volume up because you are officially ready to impress your friends, family and maybe even your kids with your knowledge.

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Should you have any questions about your marketing or TikTok strategy contact us on 020 3911 9715 or make an online enquiry and we will call you.