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TikTok Guide: The Social Network Everyone Goes Crazy About

TikTok, a platform for creating and publishing short videos with music, is reminiscent of a mixture of Vine, Instagram and YouTube. A social network that became a teenage phenomenon in 2018. We figure out what’s what.

Where did it come from

A social platform for publishing short music videos was launched in September 2016 called Douyin in China. At home, the service quickly gained popularity and attracted users from other countries. In early 2017, ByteDance, the company behind Douyin, is launching an analog called TikTok to expand internationally.

In parallel with the service from ByteDance, developed with a similar set of functions, the main purpose of which is an online platform for publishing short videos with musical accompaniment. In July 2016, the service becomes the most downloaded service in over 30 countries, including the USA, UK, Germany and Japan. had 90 million downloads and more than 12 million videos published daily on its platform.

On November 9, 2017, ByteDance acquires for an estimated $ 1 billion deal. In 2018, it was decided to combine the two services and continue their further development under the TikTok brand. The platform now has over 500 million users from 150 countries, about half of whom are teenagers under 18. According to Mediascope, users spend at least 13 minutes a day on TikTok – this is the fourth place in the category of instant messengers and social networks.

All functions of the service are available in mobile applications for iOS and Android, it does not have a web version. The app interface is very similar to Instagram. At the bottom of the screen, there is a panel with buttons of 5 sections:

  • Home – new posts from users you follow are displayed here
  • Interesting – a selection with popular videos and recommendations
  • Create your own clip
  • Notifications
  • “I” – profile page.

Create a clip

In the process of creating a video, you can use a ready-made video or shoot it in the application. TikTok allows you to apply various color filters to clips, apply effects, apply masks and AR objects, and add music from the service’s library. As for the TikTok music library, it provides a search function for the desired song and is divided into categories: genre playlists and recommendations.

TikTik users form their own alternative chart of music hits, which is slightly different from the popular compositions of music services. The top 5 music tracks at the time of the article’s release are as follows:

  1. Why Mona – Wannabe
  1. Taylor – Microwave Chain
  1. Dom Dolla – Take it
  1. Smash Mouth – All Star
  1. Gaullin – Moonlight.

Most of the top songs are dance EDM tracks, rap and pop. The Top-20 chart also includes Russian performers who have their own separate playlist “Russian Hits”. The TikTok library has over 15 thematic and genre playlists, including: Pop Hits, Hip-Hop, Electro, On the Road, Dynamic and Indie Music.

Initially, TikTok was a platform for lip-sync videos. These are short videos where users of the service hum a famous clip or repeat some funny phrase, trying to get their lips into the text as much as possible. At the moment, the service has significantly diversified the content – “weiners” have pulled up there with clips of a humorous direction, and various challenges are popular among users. To become popular, you can buy views of your video here Other people will look at your profile and you will become popular.

Challenge is a genre of videos where users perform various tasks and offer to repeat them. TikTok regularly throws up new ideas for challenges, this week there is a “pro” – you need to shoot a video, doing your daily work duties and “bibadance”, where you need to repeat the dance with EDM producer Marshmallow.

Popular among TikTok users are paired videos, the so-called “duets”, in which, as a rule, one participant repeats the actions of the other, act out scenes, or one of the users records his reaction from watching a clip of another.

Basically, the content of the service exploits the entertainment direction. Short amateur videos with no production at all do not make any sense. If you are lucky, the service can sometimes select 7-8 minutes of sticky clips with breaks for a dance video to a song about Baltika-Troika.

The bulk of active users, those who generate TikTok content, are young people in the 16-24 age range. TikTok’s approach to content distribution is reminiscent of early Instagram, where any user could become popular who creates something new and interesting without budgets for boosting followers and likes.
Despite the lack of convenient promotion tools, brands and media have already begun to probe TikTok’s audience. Advertisers have already found some interesting user engagement opportunities:

Native advertising.

This action is integrated into the clip that appears while watching the tape. The effectiveness of this method can be measured by the duration of views, the number of likes, comments, and a unique action (clicks or installs).
Promotional challenges. One of the most effective ad formats on TikTok. The mechanics of launching such an advertising campaign involves starting among bloggers with a large audience reach, whose videos quickly gain a large number of views. The effectiveness of this feature can be measured by the number of views of all user clips that took part in the promo-challenge, as well as the number of likes and comments.
Branding effects, masks and stickers. Clips with various augmented reality (AR) effects are very popular on TikTok, so this kind of integration is the most interesting. The effectiveness of such ads is measured by the number of branded effect videos, the number of views of such clips, as well as the number of likes, comments, and reposts.
Interesting cases
Several ad integrations have already been seen on the TikTok platform. One of the first was Coca-Cola, which launched the #sharecoke challenge, in which users had to shoot funny videos with a bottle of cola. The hashtag has over 6 million views.

In the fall of 2018, Guess launched the #inmydenim promo challenge on TikTok, in which top bloggers appeared in front of the audience in old clothes, and then abruptly changed into a bow from the brand. The audience greeted this promo challenge very warmly and the number of views of clips by hashtag exceeded 30 million views.

The TikTok phenomenon

We are witnessing an interesting phenomenon on the network – a platform has appeared for young users who abandon the usual Facebook, VK and Instagram in favor of a social network, where the bulk of the audience is made up of the same adolescents and young people speaking the same understandable language of humor and various memes. Unfortunately, people over the age of 28 no longer understand the full phenomenality of TikTok. And that’s okay! Remembering my 16, it also seemed to me that with the more “adult” generation we speak different languages, and that our values ​​are inaccessible.

Parents should not severely restrict children’s access to the service due to the modern conditions of socialization and the need to maintain the trend among peers. We recommend paying attention to their behavior and keeping an eye on the content they consume, because despite the relatively young audience, there are also adults among the users of the service who may create inappropriate and unwanted content. So far, TikTok does not provide tools to limit the views of such content.

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