What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform that allows its users to create short 15sec or 60sec videos. Once you create the video, you can upload it for others to see, like, comment and share.

That’s the basics, but what makes it special? Why the platform, so simple and similar to other social media tools has managed to get 800 million installs?

TikTok has become the ‘Facebook’ of the past. All the young kids are jumping on it and doing it fast. They realized it’s a great place to be creative, without the old generation looking over their shoulder (no parents, family members or teachers even realize that such a platform exist). What’s new and exciting for the young generation, it’s often unknown and not understood by oldies.

TikTok was so misunderstood at the beginning that it was even banned and removed from app stores in India for a short period of time. This was as a result of a High Court in Madras order, which stated that the app was encouraging pornography. India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had no choice, but to ban it as it was believed it had a bad impact on users mental health. The court lifted the ban on 22nd of April. TikTok also took some action form it and removed over 6 million videos, which could violate its terms of use and community guidelines. It is a decent social media app as a result.

TikTok #challenges

Discover TikTok - is it the future of social media? 1
Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

One of the ways in which TikTok users can feel like a part of community and interact with each other are #challenges. It is social media platform in the end, so being social is the main thing. # challenges are created by different users, influencers or celebrities, for everyone else to try to beat or repeat.

One of the most famous challenges from TikTok was Jimmy Fallon’s #tumbleweedchallenge. The challenge was to upload videos showing how you drop to the ground and roll around like a tumbleweed, with a western music theme playing in the background. There is over 9k video submissions in response! Jimmy Fallon (US TV personality) continues to give out challenges on TikTok.

There are millions of challenges on TikTok as we speak. Everyone can find something for themselves and get creative. Nothing is off-limits anymore. Just like on Instagram for example, where animals get social media accounts, also on TikTok there is no right or wrong content. As long as there is an audience.

What is so fun about taking a video’s on TikTok?

Discover TikTok – is it the future of social media?
Photo by Stokpic

TikTok is marketed toward the young generation of kids. Whereas some of the business people still talk about generation Y, it’s the Z generation what we should be looking at. Those are the under 25 years old, who grew up in a fully digitalized world.

Generation Z people are not the one who would be happily sit in front of traditional TV, watching entertainment at times when it’s shown. This is way too passive experience for them. They prefer to be involved and fully immerse themselves in the experience. They need to create their own reality.

That’s where the fun of TikTok comes to play. You can very quickly shoot short video and edit it in fun, unique to your personal style way. You can join the challenge or make a challenge. There are no rules. You free to create what you want, when you want, to the audience who wants you.

Can TikTok be used for brand/product marketing?

Yes! Just like other social media platforms, TikTok can be used for marketing. The most popular ways to use it are:

  1. Brands creating their own TikTok channel.
  2. Brands working with influences and create campaigns that suit both sides.

It’s very likely that TikTok will open up wider for advertising (just like Instagram or Facebook are doing). It is very early days so far and you won’t see many adds on TikTok at the moment.

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