Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Tiktok
Image Source: AFP via The Jakarta Post
If you haven’t heard the word “TikTok” lately, you might be living under a rock (or, you might just not talk to many people under the age of 25). TikTok, a short-form video app, is the one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with over 500 million active users worldwide, many of them falling into the Gen Y or Z age groups. I fell down a rabbit hole recently, watching these short videos for hours on end. The addictive app seems to have become a viral sensation overnight for teens and high schoolers, but most adults know nothing about it. So, what has caused TikTok’s meteoric rise to success?
TikTok was launched in 2017 by a Chinese company called ByteDance. In 2018, TikTok merged with Musical.ly, a popular lip-syncing app, to become the app it is today — a mish mosh of viral dance trends, punchlines, thirst traps, cute animals, bizarre humor and lip-syncing. Reminiscent of Vine, it offers short-form content that is easily digestible, but it also offers in-app editing tools and filters, the ability to add music and sound bites, and to “duet” with preexisting TikToks on a split screen.
TikTok was the third most downloaded app in Q1 2019 with 188 million new users, up 70% from a year prior. Part of TikTok’s exponential growth can be attributed to ByteDance’s smart marketing tactics, placing advertisements virtually everywhere its younger demographic spends time, including on competing apps like Snapchat and YouTube. The eye-catching bright colors and popular music appeal to the target audience. The company has intentionally focused on Gen Z users, with 41% of TikTok users between the ages of 16-24. The app has garnered so much hype for allowing teens to express their creativity in 15-60 second tidbits.
In essence, the rise of TikTok is due to the creativity of its users. Gen Z has latched on to the app because of the “trendiness” of viral dances and quick funny videos. It even has its own subculture of memes. TikTok continues to be an avenue of self-expression for young people and a great source of entertainment, and we marketers, particularly those who cater to the Gen Z crowd, will benefit from paying attention.
Posted by Kristin