Everything you need to know about TikTok

If you’ve never got lost in the amazing maze of Tiktok, it is worth trying at least once in a life.


Prepare for a roller coaster of memes, cute cats videos, ebullient teenagers and epic fails. Just take a moment to download the app and consider how attractive and groundbreaking it is.


In the case you really do not get the major interest of Tiktok, here are some avenues for you to scrutinize.



What is TikTok ?


Just like Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook, TikTok is headquartered in Palo Alto, California but the brains behind the operation are based in Beijing.


Before TikTok, there was Musical.ly, a platform on which users used to create and share lip-sync videos and choregraphies to the entire world. With Musical.ly, a whole generation of “musers” was born. But TikTok came and ate it up.


In 2016, TiktTok was launched (under the name of Douyin for the China Market, with the specific compliances to the Chinese restrictions) and grew very quickly before gaining popularity worldwide.


In 2017, ByteDance, the owners of TikTok/Douyin bought Musical.ly and combined the two apps to get a single war machine, keeping the title TikTok.


As a consequence, the app gained popularity, thanks to the existing accounts and data collected by Musical.ly. In October 2018, it became the most downloaded app in the US, the first chinese one to do so.



How and why does it work ?


TikTok is nothing more than a good old social media app. And yet, it is still more innovative creative than most of its competitors. The app’s greatest strength lies in the ease for the users to put on a performance thanks to a whole lot of filters, catchy musics and crazy montage effects.


Furthermore, it has many common points with Snapchat and Instagram :

  • Vertical format for videos 
  • The possibility to share, like and comment
  • The emergence of a brand new kind of influencers


In other words, you can find playbackers, aspiring dancers, buzz-makers but also some people who merely got lost. TikTok is the place for passing trends, challenges and most of all, very young figureheads.


In fact, it was made for gen Z, craving for platforms and ways to express themselves and assert their individuality.


Moreover, it has become a petri dish for youth culture as you can see from the way it propelled Lil Nas X’s hit Old Town Road this year to the longest ever reign at the top of the Billboard charts.



What about brands ?


The reason for brands discouragement to invest in the platform is the difficulty to understand its codes and good practices.


And yet, users are very receptive to brand contents and product placements as long as they are naturally built in their universe. TikTok culture is not as complex as it seems which is a real bonanza for brands.


Before starting a commercial campaign, it is all about focusing on the users and targeting the good segment. What do they like ? What do they share ? You should know that TiktTok employs AI to analyse users’ interests and preferences through their interactions to display a personalized feed to each of them.


As a brand, you need a few tips to succeed on the app :

  • Free yourself, free your creativity and do not be afraid to do too much. It might be viral.
  • Go for short and stimulating videos.
  • Engage in the different challenges and create your own.
  • Do not be afraid to make fun of yourself


There remains an undetermined question of when the craze for TikTok will stop. Is it made to last ? Nothing could be less certain with trustable competitors like Facebook or instagram. Nevertheless, Palo Alto’s engineers have more than one bag of tricks.


Which new features could differentiate TikTok from its elders within the coming months ?

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