TikTok is the newest viral video app to capture the attention of the younger, mainly Gen Z, demographic. With its quick rise to popularity, there are a lot of questions marketers have about this platform. We will dive into how TikTok came to be and how the platform operates.
Image source: https://www.tiktok.com/en
TikTok originated from parent company ByteDance out of China. It was first known as Douyin in 2016. TikTok merged with musical.ly in 2018 to bring us the app that we know today. Late last year, TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion downloads, making it the third-most-downloaded app outside of gaming in 2019.
Image Source: https://www.bytedance.com/en/
TikTok has drawn comparisons to the previous short-form video app, Vine. TikToks can be up to 15 seconds long. However, you can string together multiple clips for up to 60 seconds in length. Be prepared for loud and bold content on the platform as soon as you log in.
Creating an account is easy. Download the app from the Google Play or App Store and then tap the Profile tab to sign-up via your email address, phone number, or other social account. One thing to note is that by default, TikTok accounts are public, if you want to make your account private you will need to adjust the settings by going to the three dots in the top corner of your profile.
After your account is setup, your feed will default to the “For You” stream. This is a stream of content served up based on algorithms similar to Instagram’s Explore page. The other feed option is the “Following” feed for those you have accounts you have selected to see their content.
You can choose to interact with TikToks in a variety of
ways. The heart indicates liking a video. The speech bubble allows you to
comment and the arrow pointing to the right enables you to share a video.
To create a TikTok, the plus button at the bottom of your
screen will open your camera. You can choose to add the music before or after
you record a video.
Source: Hurricanes TikTok
After you recorded your video, it is time to add the
effects. The Effects are on the left side to browse. Effects categories include
trending, interactive, beauty, funny, animal and more.
On the right
side of the recording screen is a Beauty button and Filters. Filters help guide
you based on if your content is portrait, landscape, food or trying to set a
Finally, one of the most important features is the timer. This will allow you to film videos without continuously holding down the record button.
Now that you are up to speed on what TikTok is, you might be questioning if it is right for your brand. For additional insight on who is using the platform, brand watch-outs, best practices and ways to activate influencers, join us for our “What Marketers Need to Know about TikTok” webinar on March 24th at 1PM ET. Sign-up here or using the form below: