TikTok – the world’s most popular app nowadays. The app managed to surpass Facebook and according to a Nikkei Asia survey, it is now the most downloaded social media app for 2020.
So, how did TikTok manage to become the world’s most popular app?
TikTok used to be very popular amongst Gen-Z a few years ago, with over 800 million monthly active users. It started gaining further popularity in 2018-2019 but it exploded after the whole world went into lockdown and we all started looking for ways to entertain ourselves. During mid-2020, we noticed a spike in Millenials and Gen X, again mainly due to the lockdown. Another reason for the growing popularity was TikTok’s sponsorship of Euro2020. This had a huge impact on the overall growth and development of the app as well.
TikTok is now available across more than 150 countries worldwide and increases in popularity day by day. Currently, TikTok’s demographics have changed considerably and over 44% of the 20-39-year-olds are actively using the platform.
As people needed to feel heard and seen while being under lockdown, they started getting more and more creative. This is when short video content boomed in popularity – and this is exactly what TikTok is best known for.
Furthermore, the biggest advantage of TikTok is that it allows its users to post about anything. The content varies from humour, hobbies, fitness, music, photography, travel, dance, lip sing or just normal singing. The greatest thing about the app is that anything can gain huge attention. We see a lot of new, smaller businesses penetrating TikTok’s space, especially estate agents, accountants and lawyers giving relevant and useful advice to the public.
At the moment the main draw seems to be entertainment, though there is an increase in educational, aspirational, and even business-oriented content.
What’s The Point of TikTok?
Usually, when new apps penetrate the market and start gaining more popularity, we try to understand why this particular app is needed.
Instagram, for example, seemed like a simple photo filter app at first. It then slowly started becoming a strong social platform as well as a branding tool. It was a similar story with Snapchat. Although their stories functionality seemed slightly odd at the beginning, people started using it more and more and as they grew in popularity, the idea got introduced by Instagram as well. IG Stories are now one of the most popular types of content on social media. Furthermore, Instagram also introduced IG Reels, which is very much copied from TikTok. This feature is becoming more and more popular nowadays. There was also an official statement from Instagram’s chief that it is on its way to becoming solely a video and entertainment platform. We will definitely keep you posted on this.
Twitter, on the other hand, had a set hashtag system that became very popular, allowing users to track topics, news and current events easily.
Overall, TikTok is popular because it is a completely different type of platform. On there, users can find a lot of relatable and useful content, as well as a very entertaining one. It is different from everything we know. For instance, TikTok differs from Facebook as you don’t see as many ads. Furthermore, there are no images or videos of your relatives’ weddings that you did not attend. In general, TikTok gains its popularity as it is the better option when you just want to have a bit of fun while you’re on the train, on a break .. or at work.
With the current Covid situation, busy lifestyles and the need to be “out there”, a vast market of people looking for micro-entertainment appeared. Furthermore, it comes as a distraction for a few minutes, sometimes even hours, during the day. It is much easier to get noticed on TikTok. We all have the opportunity to be seen. When a video has a good view rate, it gets picked up by the algorithm and can gain millions of views in no time.
Why did TikTok get banned?
In mid-2020 TikTok got involved in a political scandal. The app got banned in a few countries like India and the US. But why? TikTok is owned by ByteDance which is a Chinese tech company. Some governments were concerned that the app’s users shared too much personal data. This could have caused national security risks.
Long story short, TikTok is now cleared of most bans. There are only a few parts of India that cannot access the app.
Can you Use TikTok for Marketing?
This is one of TikTok’s great advantages. With such a large user base and the ability to create viral content, TikTok can be an extremely powerful tool. Brands like Gymshark and even the NBA are using this channel successfully to gain even more popularity. The channel is also suitable for small and not globally known businesses, for example, BrownieGod – a business that started in a small stall for handmade brownies in London, now has almost half a million followers on TikTok, a website and they have expanded to even offer delivery across England, Scotland and Wales.
What is the future of TikTok?
We believe that TikTok will continue to grow and gain further popularity. According to the digital information world “between 2021 and 2024, TikTok is expected to increase its US user penetration by only 5.1%, bringing the total to 39.3%.” In other words, the app is here to stay.
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