Is TikTok the next big thing?

Social MediaCategory
6 min read
Selina Bieber

As you’re scrolling through social media, you can surely notice the outbreak of 15-seconds video of mostly teenagers lip syncing, doing challenges or simply performing short sketches. These short videos are mostly made by an app called TikTok, it’s a new social media app that feels like a cross between Vine and Snapchat, and it’s here to make social media more engaging and fun.

With 500 million active users worldwide, TikTok is considered one of the fastest growing social media platforms.

If you haven’t heard of that social media platform, or you’re interested to know the reason behind its growing popularity and our future predictions for it keep reading.

What is TikTok?

Let’s start with the origin of the app: Do you remember It was a popular video streaming and sharing app, with over 100 million users. It allowed users to make funny or entertaining videos, then sharing these videos on social media platforms like Instagram, further driving the app’s popularity. However, in August 2018, the app was taken over by a Chinese company ByteDance and its users were moved to Tik Tok. All of the content and accounts that were present on were automatically transferred to TikTok.

So, TikTok has basically the same idea as, it’s an app for making and sharing short videos. It can be used across iOS and Android devices. The videos are tall, and you navigate through them by scrolling up and down, like a feed. Just like other social media platforms; users can follow each other, like and comment on each other’s content too.

Through the app users can shoot, edit, and share 15-second videos filled with filters, music, animation and special effects. Users can also benefit from the video editing and shooting tools available like filters and the ability to search for sounds to score your video. Users are also strongly encouraged to engage with other users, through “response” videos or by means of “duets” — users can duplicate videos and add themselves alongside. The platform is its first of kind to use facial recognition for its filters and filling user’s feed with highly customized recommendations.

 So, who uses this app?

According to Globalwebindex, 41% of TikTok users in 2019 are aged between 16 and 24.

This makes it a great tool for businesses too. So, if these demographics are your target audience your business can use it for campaigns; as you can optimize your campaigns to be CPC, CPM or CPC. Moreover, within its advertising platform is the ability to precisely target your customers with custom audience and conversion events, and track performance in real time.

tiktok video iphone

Since its launch, the TikTok app’s popularity has been growing tremendously.

The app reportedly is the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store in Q1 2019, with 33 million downloads in a single quarter.

But what is the reason behind the app’s growing popularity? Below are some of the key reasons behind the app’s popularity:

1. Easy content creation and sharing

TikTok has simplified video creation and sharing, that means you don’t need to be a pro content creator to create videos using the app. All what you have to do is record anything, anywhere and post it instantly. Also, as the videos are short, creating and watching them takes no time and effort.

Once you open the app, the videos start playing one-by-one, which makes it very easy for users to keep watching random videos for hours.

2. Localized content

TikTok has been using different techniques to pull off localization on a global scale; like:

  • Local contests: The app often runs local contests and challenges and captures on local trends through the use of localized hashtags. Like the campaign #CreateForGood that was launched in Eid Al Adha by regional celebrities and influencers. The campaign rose awareness about those who suffer from hearing or speech impairment.
  • Local trending hashtags: The app uses local trending hashtags to suggest topics for content creation to its users. This helps the app capitalize on local trends and generate viral content for the platform. Like launching #TikTokCares campaign in Saudi Arabia and across MENA to educate people about the precautions they need to take during the searing Arabian summer.
  • Personalized recommendations: The app sends recommendations to each of its users. This ensures that TikTok users are always updated on the latest trending videos and are never out of ideas for new videos.

3. Fun challenges

If you use social media, then you’ve surely heard of the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, known as Kiki do you love me which is a dance based on Drake’s song. On TikTok users at any given time, can peruse at least five different challenges that are trending on the app.

This challenge and many more others - like the #idolchallenge that asks fans to dance to the new BTS song “Idol - give the app its edge. Making users always pursuing new challenges and creating fresh content and watching others’ content.

4.  Celebrity endorsements

The app isn’t only for teenagers, it’s also liked and used by several celebrities. The names are so many including Jimmy Fallon - who helped drive the app’s popularity -, Liza Koshy, Nick Jonas, the Kardashians and Cardi B. The app has paid partnerships with several celebrities, in various regions, who promote the app to local audiences.

The Future of the app in the Middle East

tiktok logo

As, the app’s user base grow day by day, some say that Tiktok will become a crucial part of a business's marketing strategy in 2020.

In the MENA region, Tiktok’s users in Saudi Arabia alone have reached up to 9.7 million beginning of 2019, which does show that the app is gaining popularity.

Although the app is currently widely popular, this doesn’t guarantee that it will be as successful as Instagram or Facebook. They need to learn the lesson from other apps and platforms who were popular at some point then lost relevance and vanished; like Vine

To maintain its current popularity, TikTok will have to keep innovating and finding new ways to engage their users. They will also have to make the platform more marketing-friendly for brands in order to establish the app as a social network that is going to stay.

More brands are looking to TikTok to further expand their social media marketing reach.  If it is able to capitalize on brand engagements, then it will be on the right track. It can even expand to grow further and maybe even compete with other social media platforms.

Final words

Besides being a fun, entertaining, and addictive app, TikTok has seen a surge in brands using it for social media marketing in the last few months. TikTok has the potential to become the next big marketing and social networking platform.

However, how the creators leverage this potential and maintain the current popularity, is the key for cultivating the app’s success. Are you ready to use TikTok for your business?