TikTok is possibly the biggest social media winner of COVID-19 locks. Although his audience Tilting exceptionally young (e.g. 60 percent of users are between 16 and 24 years old). It's been hard to miss a viral video in the past few months on the music-drenched short-form video platform formerly known as Musical.ly.
Now with more than 800 million active usersThe viral platform moves beyond short dance videos, which are reminiscent of the no longer existing vine, into a broad category of influencers that cover everything from cooking to cooking digital learning.
TikTok could have a significant rise to reach the pantheon of Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube, which more than account for six billion active users between them. However, the platform relies on something that traditional metrics cannot measure – virality and popularity among young people.
It's the cool new social media platform on the block – something that can no longer be ignored in the media world.
A unique algorithm
One of the defining features of TikTok is that it is based on a unique algorithm that presents content in a different way than most social media platforms. The algorithm subtly displays content based on user preferences, which Jesse Hirsh, an established social media researcher, called “incredibleSignal-to-noise ratio.
The strength lies in the detail, where the TikTok algorithm contains some oddly convincing by-products that encourage users to publish content. For example, content from people that a user is following is separated from the main viral content feed. When posting a video, influencers don't necessarily have to respond to their audience to make it go viral – an area that differs from apps like Instagram.
Most interesting, however, is how often new users get impressive engagement numbers from the start with a simple 10-second video.
Reasons for this were as "slow burning“The algorithm in which videos with poor engagement numbers received thousands or millions of views days or weeks later instead of being closed in the attic of the content. Composite views can also catapult a random video to the user's "For You" page based on user preferences regardless of their follower list. As a result, videos are less reliant on hashtags and can aggregate views over long periods of time without an established follower base.
Since the videos are only a few seconds long, a higher clip distributes more content on the platform. Compared to platforms like YouTube, which rely on longer engagement times, TikTok users can go viral much more easily than other networks. This is exactly what ambitious teenagers are looking for. This is also the reason 83 percent of users posted a video – a meaningful metric.
Its popularity is exploding
Facebook's moat from social media apps dominates the entire landscape. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger are four of the most actively downloaded non-gaming apps in the world. But guess who is willing to outperform them in downloads? That's right: TikTok.
In context, TikTok took seventh place in "The 10 most downloaded apps of the 2010sCNET's list. It was completed before Twitter and YouTube, although it started in 2016. Twitter was launched in 2006 and YouTube in 2005.
If network effects on social media are everything, the idea that TikTok has surpassed two social media giants in just four years after launch is pretty astonishing.
Using digital marketing strategies often involves projecting a future landscape of media, influencers and clever marketing tactics. Media agencies have a compelling opportunity to take advantage of TikTok's snowball growth now.
Many older generations, even millennials compared to their Generation Z counterparts, are completely unaware of the power or popularity of TikTok. They cheerfully reject the platform as a venue for silly videos of teenagers and children, but it's completely different now.
One of the most intriguing changes brought about by COVID-19 was the transition from TikTok away from mostly dance videos and Vine-like content. It is aimed at social movements, the professional engagement with the audience of people who want to learn something during the quarantine, and even subtle political criticism. And here it used a unique method to get people's attention.
A unique market to attract people's attention
TikTok differs from its social media competitors. It may not be the digital forum for serious (and often toxic) debates like Twitter that is now becoming one great force in science. And it may not be the ideal communication medium for real-time chats with friends like WhatsApp, which is now included with a Payment function.
But it's addictive, just in its own way. Zoom calls with funny backgrounds got pretty boring during the quarantine doldrums. Twitter is more fascinating than zoom, but it's often in toxic political discourse. And Instagram is nowhere near as entertaining when everyone is locked up and not exploring the world. Enter TikTok.
Imagine an unemployed bartender who decides to give supporters tips on how to mix drinks during quarantine, as many bartenders actually did. What is the best platform to attract people's attention: one on which the algorithm displays viral videos of new arrivals permanently or on YouTube? Or are you inviting people to a zoom call that random people are unlikely to participate in?
What about someone who wants to mix music with fun cooking videos while everyone decides whether to order the same food the next night or prepare it again? This is how TikTok personalities like The pasta queen did. Nadia's (The Pasta Queen) silly Italian cooking videos, which became increasingly popular during quarantine and have doubled their followers in the past three weeks alone, have received numerous hits in the past few months. The Pasta Queen is originally from Rome and now lives in the United States. It's a microcosm for a class of new personalities that appear on TikTok and have smashed TikTok's viral shorthand style with educational tips you'll find in some YouTube videos.
It is an interesting dynamic and also represents the global appeal of TikTok, which is widespread not only in the United States, but also in India and China, which together make up the majority of its users. Expect creative people to become interested in TikTok in the coming months and move away from more restrictive platforms such as YouTube, where they even did Departure by podcast king Joe Rogan recently.
Creativity is where the clicks are
Piggybacking on the idea that TikTok is a black hole for young, ambitious people and professionals, its growing list of influencers could become the most dynamic in the social media space. Different influencers bring a more diverse audience and more advertising dollars. And it's not just the users who are interested in creative platforms (and the advertising dollars who follow them).
Content creators who want more flexibility to impress the emerging Gen Z Horde that will soon be that largest generation of consumers in the world, TikTok is pursuing aspirations. Social commerce is an unstoppable trend, and if you want to brand like Supreme, you need to turn to Gen Z. With the promise of going viral for your first video, why shouldn't an aspiring influencer at least try TikTok? After all, leading influencers are moving some into TikTok breathtaking earnings.
As a media professional, marketing enthusiast or advertising specialist, TikTok can currently fly under the radar of most conventional brand campaigns despite its growing popularity. Maybe due to a mix of its Tencent origins, pointed out criticism of the congressor young audience; it doesn't matter anymore TikTok has emerged from the lockdowns as a platform for dark horses to seize the coveted circle of Facebook app hegemony. It is now the king of creative social media content.
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