Here, our marketing assistant, Ash, discusses the world’s fastest growing app, TikTok:

With over 2.6 billion downloads as of December 2020, the app had more than 1 billion monthly active users globally by the end of 2021 (Statista) making it the 7th most used social media app in the world. This number grew to 1.4 billion by the end of Q1 2022 (CNBC), so the app’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down.

The ‘for you page’

The social media platform will  give content that is unrelated to the user’s preferences in their “For You” page. This tool is meant to increase diversity by introducing users to new content creators and  categories, as well as new ideas and perspectives. This algorithm can also remember which videos you might have liked, commented or lingered on and suggests new videos based on that information.

Other platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, could be claimed to have not fully addressed the issue of content suggestion diversity. These large social media platforms’ algorithms spotlight more of the same type of information that users previously loved, trapping them in a cycle of similar content and not allowing them to explore further.

The trends

Another key reason for TikTok’s success is the prevalence of trends, such as  dance challenges for popular songs or videos with trending in-app filters. The algorithm gives preference to videos that corresponds to current internet trends and because popular trends attract greater attention, other users are more likely to join in and generate material too. This system encourages songs, challenges or filters to snowball in popularity and cultivates virality in a way other social media apps don’t.

Video sharing

The TikTok app has taken video making and sharing to the next level by simplifying it. All users have to do is record and publish anything from their regular activities. Because of the brief format, neither creating the video nor watching it takes much time or effort.

Additionally, when a user starts the app, this short-form video material is automatically played. One by one, the clips begin to play, and the spectator becomes drawn to a sea of amusing, addictive video content. The sheer volume of content means it’s not uncommon to loose track of time while watching. Coupled with the short video durations (most clips are between 10 seconds and 10 minutes long) and the constantly refreshing feed, this can quickly become addictive!

TikTok’s future

Where to next for TikTok? Despite it’s meteoric growth, TikTok will have to continue to innovate and find new ways to engage its users in order to sustain it’s current popularity.  We’re also interested to see how they attempt to court more brands to start building a presence on the App. A few brands have seen success with their videos on the platform (Duolingo and Innocent smoothies are noteable accounts) but not every business will be able to embrace the casual jokes and authentic tone of voice viewers favour on this platform.