09 Mar Why is TikTok a Thing?
Tiktok, also called “Douyin” was launched back in 2016 in China and a year later became available to both Android and iOS users around the globe. From a social media platform initially made for short video content, it has now grown into a medium for entertainment with a multitude of videos such as, pranks, cooking videos, motivational talks, advice from experts in their fields (i.e. doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, among others), exercise routines, and educational clips, etc.
Boasting over a billion users worldwide, TikTok has become notorious for sucking its users into a dimension where time seems to run twice as fast – what seems to be just an hour of scrolling can actually be three hours of the user, aimlessly swiping on their phones, watching video after video, while totally losing track of time.
With its rise to fame, even big companies such as Chanel, Amazon, and Starbucks have tapped on the social media platform to announce new releases or post other engaging videos. Smaller businesses have been utilising the power of the app as well to gain more traction and to attract more prospective customers.
With the rise of more social media platforms and the continued fame of the popular ones like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, one would then ask, “Why is TikTok a thing?”. As consumers ourselves, we can only speculate that it may be because of the following reasons:
It is simple
It’s simply just videos. Video duration was initially only 15 seconds in length, but with some creators able to post clips up to 10 minutes long, one can expect an even wider variety of videos to be found on the app. However, regardless of the length of the video, users can just freely swipe to the next video and the next video until they get to one that they would like to watch. This straightforward interface could be one of the many good selling points of the app.
While YouTube and TikTok have their similarities – both are platforms for posting videos and both encourage viewers to subscribe or follow their chosen content creators, TikTok may be on the lead when it comes to ease of use of the app. Unlike YouTube that has ads that you can only skip within its 5-second mark and totally unskippable advertisements, TikTok currently has ads that you can swipe off your screen straight away. Following your chosen content creators is also easy. With just one click on the plus icon below the creator’s profile image, you are instantly added to the list of that person’s followers.
It is entertaining
It goes without saying that TikTok videos are undoubtedly entertaining. Why else would users spend hours of their day scrolling through videos if not for its entertainment value.
With the wide range of video genres you can find on the app, there is definitely going to be one for everybody. From dancing videos, funny clips, even a video of a literal slice bread, every flavour of humour and entertainment is catered for.
You can learn a few new things
With the video duration now up to 10 minutes long, more and more creators are using the app to post tutorials and review videos. With the length sufficient to complete one full tutorial, more viewers are also lured into buying certain products and services from specific brands and companies through the videos that they have watched. A series “TikTok Made Me Buy It” shows the different items that TikTok users have been persuaded to buy because of either a good review or pure curiosity. While some products were as good as they looked on review videos on TikTok, some were really money down the drain.
In connection to the previous point, TikTok can also be an avenue to catch up on the new brands out there As the platform is heavily utilised by both big and small companies, TikTok has slowly been an extension of these companies to provide either sales pitches or after-sales customer service support.
With this being the situation, more and more users find themselves watching different videos from small brands and big companies.
Celebrities are also using it!
More and more celebrities have also hopped on the TikTok bandwagon, either just stitching videos, dueting them, or actually putting up original content of their own. With stars being “within the reach” of their fans, more and more can be enticed to download the app.
Since TikTok can be considered as generally a “feel-good” community, it is such a breath of fresh air to witness celebrities be in a totally different space, and seem to have no filter and inhibitions with the posts that they put up.
It can be a source of income
To become a full-fledged influencer is a legitimate career these days. With social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube being some of the mediums for individuals to rise to stardom, it is not surprising that more people have dedicated time, energy, and loads of effort into creating content for their target audience. TikTok is nothing different to the said platforms. With a lot of influencers earning millions of dollars through short videos, TikTok has become another way to create a name and rise to fame.
Unlike other social media platforms where there is at times a deliberate effort to mask a bit of truth and make things appear slightly better than reality, One look at the TikTok community and you can see how it is slightly different from the communities in other social media platforms.
This may have been brought about by the kind of content found on the app as well. A good amount of content is all about life in general, experiences that apparently a lot of us share (regardless of geographic location), and some fears and phobias that apparently most of us have. All these taken into factor, TikTok has in a sense glued together a group of strangers using experiences that they had together, although apart.
With how TikTok has evolved through the years, we can anticipate to see more new features and updates from the video-sharing platform.
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