Written by Patrick Dugan | Social Media Coordinator at Periscope
TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the nation and projected to become the #1 app for teens in the foreseeable future. Offering entertaining content, user-friendly creation tools and exposure to viral social trends, the platform is an open playground for self-expression and a source for emerging trends. It isn’t an evolution of social media, but rather a user-friendly video hub that actively fills the empty space Vine left behind. Here’s a deep dive into the viral app and what it means for marketers:
TikTok, owned by the China-based company ByteDance, expanded to the United States in August, 2018 — purchasing Musical.ly and consolidating the two apps. TikTok now boasts 500 million monthly active users, compared to Twitter’s 326 million and Snapchat's 186 million active users, according to CNBC Tech.
TikTok relies on everyday people to create entertaining content, which explains its incredibly user-friendly nature. Not only are the editing and creation tools on TikTok easy to use, but it is also highly compatible with other platforms, welcoming users to react to friends' videos, comment and reply, and share to groups using Instagram, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp or text message.
In late January, TikTok announced it was testing ad units in several markets. While users were allowed to easily skip the ads by hitting a button at the top-right corner of their screen, TikTok appears to be developing a workaround: Digiday reported the app has been busy pitching U.K. agencies with four different ad products and measurement tools.
Video content continues to eclipse social media networks, and TikTok enables Gen Z to play with video consumption, concepting and production. We should be looking at TikTok's content as a predictor of what is engaging video on social networks, and learn from the audience's refreshing take on the format.