TikTok has been on anyone and everyone’s radar this last year. The app gained massive popularity after the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 as it offered a place for people to come together and share funny videos. Although it has been around since 2014, when it was originally named Musical.ly, TikTok has shown that it is not getting any less popular and if you work in the digital space, it is best to understand how it works.
New creators on TikTok are seeing follower numbers and engagement that has been otherwise unheard of on other social media apps. A great example is Charli D’Amelio who has become the poster child for TikTok. D’Amelio gained popularity from her viral dancing videos and gained over five million followers in less than a week from creating her account. That level of growth has been scarce on Twitter or Youtube and presents great opportunities for TikTok creators.
Unlike other social media platforms such as Youtube, TikTok has an amazingly simple interface that allows you to edit and upload content in record time. Your grandmother or younger nephew can both use the editing system and create engaging and fun videos. It has become so user friendly that all generations are able to use it and express themselves.
Shorter attention spans
It is no secret that social media has made users want simple and instant gratification from the content they consume, and TikTok has been able to capitalize on this. The short form videos are digestible and easy to understand while creating a sense of community with those you share interests with. TikTok’s longest videos are only three minutes long which means their users could easily scroll through a large amount of posts without getting bored and going to another platform.
Rapid trend cycle
Going hand in hand with the short video format is the rapid trend cycle that TikTok has created. A trending sound on the app can go viral for a week and be old news by the next Tuesday. People are constantly posting clips or making videos to try and replicate a trend but it can easily fall off. The trend cycle keeps users engaged and eager to share with their friends when they see an opportunity to go viral.
Fourth-year public relations student at California State University, Long Beach
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