Started in 2016, Owned by Byte Dance. Launched as Douyin in China and introduced to the overseas market as Tik Tok one year later. In Tik Tok, you can capture and share small moments from your life. You can also use various gestures, features, and stickers, as well as participate in in-app challenges. In short, it is a creative app. A layman with a basic smartphone and decent speed internet can use it to create and share professional-looking 15-second music/mimic videos featuring themselves, something which connects with a huge population of India influenced by Bollywood and Television shows.
Globally, TikTok has far crossed 1.1 billion installs and in the first quarter of 2019, it emerged as the third most installed app in the world, ranking behind only Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, the analysis showed. Tik Tok has a community of 500 million active users in Asia as on August 2018. The country now accounts for about 40% of the app’s 500 million users, according to the analytics firm Similar Web on January 2019.
So many Chinese apps in India targets Tier-2 and Tier-3 areas, semi-urban towns which aspire to compete with its cities – the urban audience is using more established players like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook. Critics contemplate most of the user of this app are new to the internet.
TikTok is spawning a parallel line of businesses in the form of training classes, meet-ups, and workshops that promise to teach users how to become influencers and gain popularity on the fast-growing social media platform. These professional classes train people to make TikTok videos, edit them and offer tips on how to best push their content so that it goes viral.
One such training shop recently opened in Delhi which charges between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 per month for weekly classes, some of which are hosted by TikTok influencers themselves. Having launched a month ago, these classes already have an intake of 10 attendees per session. “Our classes include theory and practical sessions. A case study says, almost 90% of the content that you make on TikTok doesn’t become viral and by joining these classes you can exactly learn how to do that,” a representative at Celebrity Face told ET.
There is a huge audience on Tik Tok, which makes numerous content and community but they aren’t the only things contributing to TikTok’s growth.
While Vine may have introduced the concept of short-form video, TikTok made video editing incredibly simple. For creating these videos you don’t need any expertise. The app does it for you with a range of effects. You can compare it with Instagram — in a way that Instagram won’t be able to reproduce, having already aligned its community with influencers and advertisers.
TikTok’s sizable user base is due not only to its growth in Western markets but because of its traction in emerging Asian markets.
This made TikTok rank No. 4 worldwide across iOS and Android, combined. According to a study, it is most-downloaded apps of 2018. On iOS also, it got the most downloads of the year.
The revenue is starting to arrive, as well.
Worldwide, users spent $6 million tipping their favorite live streamers, a 253 percent year-over-year jump from December 2017’s total of $1.7 million, Sensor Tower estimates. Initially, Tik Tok wasn’t providing live streaming as a default — it added the feature after shutting down Musical.ly’s live streaming app, Live.ly.
Above: full-screen ad in TikTok when the app is first launched
Above: Recent ad on Tik Tok
TikTok is also starting to test in-app advertising and is being eyed by agencies as a result. If you are using Tik Tok, you may see a full-page ad but the company has not launched it officially.
These Creative apps can also be misused. People can create and upload adult content. While this happens on nearly every social media platform, TikTok’s model appears to be more susceptible, policy experts think. TikTok, unlike what is being argued in different segments, is not just a platform company. Actually, minors are not able to use it properly which are ultimately hurting them.
TikTok also got banned in India it was attributed to the presence of pornographic content on the platform that posed cyber threats to children. In its defense, TikTok owner Bytedance suggested that it has been flagging offensive content on its platform using smarter algorithms since July 2018. Bytedance also argued that TikTok wasn’t offending the constitutional provisions and judiciary imposing an interim ban makes no sense. The ban was removed last week and the government requested the tech giants to bring back the app online.
The apps did some changes to respond to these controversies. They have recently appointed Sandhya Sharma, formerly with MasterCard, as its public policy director and says they are considering further hires to tackle the problem. TikTok on Friday said as part of its commitment towards providing a positive in-app environment for its users in India, it had removed over six million videos that have violated its “Community Guidelines”.TikTok also said it has stopped allowing users below 13 years to login and create an account on the platform.
“Unfortunately, social media has been an unsafe space and a platform like this (TikTok) which draws children in, and therefore possible predators needs to be used with care.
By all the actions the creators of the app are taking, it will be beneficial for its future. Whenever some controversies come up the concerned party should come forward and try to solve the issue.
This app has topped 1 billion downloads. Here comes the new internet, folks. It’s big, dominated by emerging markets, mobile, video, meme-ified, and goes viral both online and offline. So you should start paying attention to TikTok. And get benefitted by its huge user base for your business.
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