All You Need to Know About TikTok

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media short-video creating and sharing app that started out in China in 2017.  Now, there is one app solely for the Chinese market and one just for the international market – TikTok. Users can post videos of either 15 or 60 seconds in length on the platform.

Since its launch, TikTok has seen significant growth. There are now over 500 million users across the world, and was the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018. During this time, there were over a million downloads of the app for both Android and iOS devices.

How to Get Started with TikTok

The company behind TikTok, ByteDance in Beijing, China, purchased the app Musical.ly for $1 billion. It kept many features of this popular app and added a few new ones. Users of Musical.ly mainly created lip-sync videos to popular songs, which has continued in the TikTok world today – along with a lot more interesting content.

The user base for TikTok is young. Over 60% of the current users are under the age of 30. They like to be entertained and they like to entertain themselves. As a result, most of the videos are fun and make good use of the special effect features.

TikTok Features

There is a “Discover” feature that lets users search for specific videos. One of the most popular themes on the app is the hashtag challenges. Here the users are asked to participate in a certain challenge and create their own videos around this.


The host of the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, initiated a TikTok challenge called #tumbleweed challenge. The idea behind this was for TikTok users to find a public place, and roll around like a tumbleweed when they heard a specific piece of music.  

This resulted in more than 8,000 videos created in response to the challenge. This challenge also created the greatest engagement levels the platform had ever seen, coming in at around 10 million. Companies and organizations are now using the challenges for branding and awareness.

Hashtag Challenges

TikTok has a very popular feature called ‘Duet’. Users can create a video that appears next to a currently existing video, continuing the popular trend on Musical.ly. The most popular are those that show a user’s reaction to another video.

“Duet” Feature

There are some great special effects with TikTok. Slowing down or speeding up videos is a popular feature, along with filters and other effects. The majority of popular videos on TikTok all use special effects.

Types of Videos

Virtually all of the videos on TikTok have background music. Some users create mini music videos,  make music montages, and some use funny dance moves. The more creative and fun a video is on TikTok, the more successful it is likely to be.

TikTok 101

Not every user creates their own content. Some are happy just viewing and enjoying content from other users. TikTok uses artificial intelligence technology to recommend new videos to users on their “For You” page. The algorithm looks at the videos a user has watched in the past and makes recommendations for other similar content.

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