Nowadays, most people spend their time using various apps to entertain themselves or to pass the time. Quite a number of apps have surfaced, but one particular app is gaining prominence. Formerly known as musical.ly, TikTok — a bitesize and user-friendly platform — is the most downloaded app in 2022, outperforming Facebook and Instagram, now reaching over 6 billion downloads worldwide. Since its launch in September 2016, it gained popularity during the pandemic, bringing comfort and entertainment to house-bound viewers.
I personally use TikTok during my spare time and especially before I go to sleep. It is mindless and endless scrolling, and I hardly notice that it’s almost 4AM. My screentime on this app averages 3 to 4 hours daily! As a passive user, there’s something strangely addicting about it that makes me and other users scroll for hours. Active users, on the other hand, can create video to their heart’s content — from skits, trends, cover songs, and anything under the sun.
But what is it about TikTok that makes it the go-to video platform for creators, musicians, business owners, professionals, and literally everyone?
Content creation on TikTok is easier and simpler. Nowadays, most people just use their phones to record a video and edit. In TikTok, the majority of the tools that you need are available for use — filters, templates, voiceovers, etc. What’s interesting about TikTok is that they have a Copyright License Agreement or an IP Licensing Agreement with labels and artists, so no one needs to worry about copyright infringement when they use a particular piece of music.
Engagement and reach are enormous on TikTok, with over 1 billion active users on the platform. I notice that users will scroll and automatically like a video even before they’ve seen
the entire thing. Although the algorithm is still unclear about how it works and with numerous random hashtags, somehow it still lands on the correct users’ For You Page (FYP). TikTok drives such a high engagement for a platform with little or no paid promotions.
Building a community on TikTok is uncomplicated. It allows people to talk about their shared interests and many communities have popped up on the app such as #BookTok, #ThrifTok, #WitchTok, #MathTok, and so much more. With these existing hashtags, content creators find it easy to engage with the right users.
TikTok is bite-sized. With an average attention span of 8 seconds which is a second shorter than a goldfish, we pay more attention to 30 to 60-second videos, instead of watching an entire vlog for 5 to 15 minutes.
Trends are faster to catch up on through TikTok. Perfect for rising influencers and brands, with just a tap on the sound, a few moves to learn, and a couple of texts to add, you’re good to go. Moreover, when you use a specific sound, your post will be shown when another user taps on the same sound.
The popularity that this app gained over recent years has been very impressive. Almost everyone in the planet is a user, whether as a passive or active user. I’ve seen some apps surface, trying to replicate TikTok and its features, but not one has achieved the same popularity as this app.
Words by Franceska Aguila
Also published in Gadgets Magazine July 2022 Issue