Remember Facebook? Me neither. Today, it’s TikTok that’s taking the Internet by storm. This Chinese-owned app started making waves in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. With nearly 2 billion users (!!!), it’s set to compete with goliaths like Instagram, YouTube, and Google. But why? Why did TikTok become so obscenely popular in such a short time? Well, keep reading to find out!
IT’S EASY TO USE
Any social media platform that wants to reach a broad audience must be easy to use. And, well, if you look at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.. they all fit into that pattern. But the thing about TikTok is that it goes that one extra step. You don’t have to forage through hundreds of various channels/pages/threads to get to your preferred content. All you have to do is… scroll, scroll, and scroll. Sure, there is the like button, the bookmark button, and, of course, the share button, but that’s more or less it. Contrary to most social media platforms, TikTok allows older folks, often less tech-savvy than the younglings, to quickly learn how to use the app and enjoy it to its fullest potential. TikTok doesn’t succumb to the ailment of excess features, and that simplicity is precisely what makes it so fun to use for millions (or rather billions!) all around the globe.
IT’S ADDICTIVE AS HECK
Some people are addicted to cigarettes. Others are addicted to alcohol. There are many harmful habits out there. But one common addiction that’s often overlooked is the addiction to social media. Endlessly clicking/scrolling on your screen is more than just harmless fun. If you don’t manage to control it in time, it can turn into a full-fledged addiction and have a tangibly negative influence on your life.
Now, social media goliaths (or rather the people responsible for these monstrosities) are fully aware that social media can be and often is addictive. And what do they do with that precious knowledge? Well, they fine-tune their platforms to be as soul-suckingly addictive as humanly possible. Not cool.
What about TikTok? Well, it’s the most addictive of them all, and by a long shot at that. The short video format delivers small but constant doses of dopamine, and there’s never really a good reason to stop scrolling. You sit down, open TikTok, watch a “few” videos, and bang, all of a sudden you realize you’ve wasted 3 hours of your time.
So, TikTok’s secret to success lies not only in the number of its users but also in how often and how long said users participate in the endless scrolling experience the app offers.
IT BOASTS A FLAWLESS ALGORITHM
On TikTok, you don’t really get to choose the content you watch (at least on the “For You” page). Does that mean that the stuff that appears on your screen is completely random? Well, no, far from it. TikTok uses a complex algorithm that filters out anything and everything that you’re not into, leaving only the content that fits your personal preferences. Not a fan of pets? You’re never going to see a funny cat TikTok. Are you infatuated with all kinds of handicrafts? Well, TikTok is going to inject tons of DYI videos right into your veins.
But how does it work? Well, using powerful artificial intelligence, TikTok “learns” about you – your personality, your likes and dislikes, and even your deepest darkest secrets. As you scroll and scroll, you’ll start seeing stuff that you didn’t even know you liked, that you didn’t know you needed. In a way, TikTok knows you better than you know yourself. Having that in mind, it’s not so surprising that the app is so darn popular.
IT LETS YOU USE COPYRIGHTED MUSIC
On most platforms, you can’t freely use copyrighted music. If you try, your account might get suspended or even banned. But TikTok is different. This Chinese tech behemoth has signed license agreements with countless artists, making sure that influencers have access to the very best the music world has to offer. Of course, not everything is copyright-free on TikTok. As a user of the app, you’re still spoiled for choice though.
But when it comes to audio, TikTok is more than just popular songs. There are endless viral sound bites created by the community that “TikTokers” can use to make their content more engaging. This liaison between the visual and the auditory is at the heart of TikTok’s rise to fame. What’s more, viral TikTok songs and sound bites often leak to the “outside world” and help the app reach an even broader audience.
IT’S SO EASY TO CREATE YOUR CONTENT
Out of all the social media apps that rely on videos, TikTok is by far the most creator-friendly. The built-in video editing software doesn’t have the same features as professional video editing software such as Adobe After Effects, but if you’re creative enough, you can use it to make complex and fun edits that are bound to get you a bunch of likes. Here’s just one cool example.
TikTok lets anyone and everyone make content, so it’s no surprise that many consider the app a den of cool new original ideas. You don’t need expensive equipment, expert video editing skills, or anything of that sort. All you need is your phone, a good idea, some luck, and voila, you can become TikTok famous in no time. That is if you’re willing to put yourself out there and try!