How social media has enabled the rise of Tik Tok

Nandita Kaushal  |  November 27, 2019

 How social media has enabled the rise of Tik Tok

The success of the Tik Tok app can be attributed to an excellent social media marketing campaign which has attracted huge audiences. Filled with entertaining short videos of people lip-syncing songs, performing comic skits and delivering their best content, the Tik Tok app has managed to capture the attention of many.  

Having a monopoly within the digital world is no easy task. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have dominated this space for a long time leaving little room for other social media outlets. Yet, Tik Tok has captured the attention of young people causing the number of users to grow rapidly each day. The recipe for the success and popularity of the app lies in its presentation and choice of platform. 

This blog encapsulates the intriguing story of the Tik Tok app and what makes it so popular with its users.

Story of a small yet impactful app 

Tik Tok videos are currently trending across the world and they have captured the attention of social media users. Prior to being called Tik Tok, the app went by the name, Musical.ly, which was launched to the public in 2014. The brainchild behind this social media app was Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang of Shanghai. It didn’t take long for it to find a strong user base and within a year Musical.ly was already a top-ranking app in the iTunes chart. The reason for its immense popularity in such a short period of time was simple. The app was easy to use and featured short karaoke videos. People could use it to show their talent or just make small entertaining clips that could be viewed by millions with minimal effort. 

The year 2017 revolutionised Musical.ly. It was re-launched and still exists as a crowd favourite. However, before that, a new version of Musical.ly, called Douyin, was introduced in the market by a Chinese tech company: Bytedance. Understanding that the app had potential among the millennial generation, Bytedance merged Musical.ly and Douyin and hence, Tik Tok was born. Standing tall among giants like YouTube and Snapchat, the Tik Tok app has carved out a niche for itself. 

A visual platform for all

Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and what better place to achieve this than on a trending platform. Consumption of visual content is both effortless and has a global appeal for all members of society. In the recent past, we have seen the rise of YouTube celebrities that have created prominent careers simply by sharing regular videos. This includes Lily Singh who gained popularity on social media before becoming an A-list Hollywood celebrity.

While YouTube requires a bit more strategy and consistent work, Tik Tok is simpler and has an easier interface. It feeds the growing thirst for entertaining visuals that the new-gen thrives on. Moreover, it gives them a platform where they can showcase their creative talent to the world.

The Tik Tok platform also caters to many communities meaning you can find videos on music, art, fashion and more on it. These are short clips that are purely for entertainment purposes. Just like YouTube, TikTok has its share of megastars and the reigning favourite is Loren Gray who has over 31 million followers. The social media app itself has a total of 524 million users currently and the numbers are rising rapidly. This only proves that enticing visual content and social media together make for a great digital recipe.

Millennials and social media trends 

Millennial culture is shrouded in the rapid consumption of content. Therefore,  the only way to grab the attention of this generation is through the latest trends. Tik Tok not only provides its audience with a space to flaunt their creative talents, but also ropes them in with trending videos that are watched and then recreated. These trends range from lip-syncing the latest chartbuster to mimicking a famous meme on the internet. You would be surprised at how the small time frame of 15 seconds can be put to good use on TikTok. 

Millennials worry about being left out and social media platforms such as Tik Tok help them feel included by giving them easy access to a space where they can be seen and appreciated. The Tik Tok app has largely a young user base that share a common interest and engage with each other through response videos or through collaborations. Each day these young people are finding new ways to consume this interesting platform and its offerings. 

Visual communication, when combined with social media, has a powerful impact. For those interested in pursuing a career in the media, the BA in Business Communications offered by University Canada West can help you get started out in the industry.

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