TikTok is taking the world by storm, but what even is it? Isn’t it just a bunch of little kids lip synching? Well… No. Not anymore.
A History of TikTokin’
Though TikTok has only been around since August of 2018, their short history can be tough to keep up with, but here is what you need to know:
- September 2016 TikTok was launched as Douyin in China
- August 2017 TikTok was launched outside of China
- November 2017 ByteDance (TikTok’s Parent company) acquires Musical.ly
- August 2018 Musical.ly was absorbed by the new app TikTok
- Sept 2018 TikTok surpasses Instagram and hits 1 billion downloads
- Q1 2019 TikTok most downloaded app worldwide
- 2019 TikTok dominates Google Searches according to Google’s “Year In Search” review
Basically, TikTok is up-and-coming and the longer businesses avoid it. The longer they wait, the longer they miss out on a booming social platform that reaches a large audience.
TikTokers - Who They Are
It’s probably no surprise to many that TikTok is heavily dominated by both Gen Z and Millennials. Much like many previous “hot” social media platforms, young people adopted the platform first and held it close to their chest in the early days (when TikTok was still Musical.ly).
And while the users still remain heavily Gen Z/ Millenial, the number of adults flocking to the platform cannot be overlooked. According to MarketingCharts, in May of 2019 more than 1-in-8 US between 18 and 24 adults had adopted the platform.
Today you can find dentists, cops, teachers, parents and even grandparents on TikTok.
Why Businesses Should Care
1. Kids make things cool
Do you remember what businesses and parents said about Snapchat started to grow? Or Twitter? Or Facebook?
The reality of it is, historically speaking, if young adults/ teens flock to an app, their parents will soon follow. Parents want to see what their kids are doing, and whether they’ll admit it or not, they want to have fun!
So, even if you business is solely targeting adults, TikTok is a platform to watch as it will likely continue to grow in adult users.
2. It’s influencing user behavior
As mobile video continues to grow, apps like TikTok will have more influence over video consumption behaviors.
Currently, TikTok only supports videos at a max of 60 seconds. You can assume that means the next generation will be trained to only be interested in video content that long – so you will have to know how to capture their attention and get your point across within that amount of time.
3. Get inspired
Let’s face it, while we have cool jobs… Creating content is HARD, and creating exciting content is even harder!
If you are ever looking to get inspired, jump over to TikTok. See what is trending, see what brands are doing on the platform, see what influencers and actors are doing, and make it your own.
Recently I noticed that TikTokers tell stories in two or three second intervals. It’s interesting to see how they’ve created natural jump cuts just by starting and stopping their camera and how it has kept people engaged. After noticing that I created a video like the one below, it got me thinking outside of the box and forced me to try something new (something we all need every once in awhile).