Prior to 2020, think of social media and names like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat would be to mind. So how did a small Chinese company like Tiktok end up being the fastest growing social media platform?
Tiktok seems to be the perfect social media platform for teenagers. It’s simple to use, instantly shows you videos after you’ve installed the app prior to creating an account and is fun to use with your friends. In sleepover with two of your best friends? Take out your phone and start dancing to the same beat as celebrities and share it with the world!
What makes Tiktok different from other social media platforms
It’s awfully similar to Vine with it short form video content. You can share longer videos but most are under 10-seconds. That says a lot about human attention spans…
But why did Tiktok succeed while Vine was shut down by Twitter? No one really knows. Some say that Twitter’s management didn’t understand the social media space and did a poor job of growing Vine. Some say that Twitter wanted to squash Vine to ensure that Twitter had less competition in the social media industry.
On the other hand, other say that Tiktok is a completely new social media platform because of its huge reliance on machine learning models as its algorithm. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, Tiktok actively promotes new channels and Tiktoks from brand new accounts. It shows a small subset of people videos from brand new accounts and give new accounts a fair chance at growing. (Instagram has avoided doing this so as to give businesses a reason to spend more on Instagram and social media marketing. Ironically, companies are now allocating more of their digital marketing ad spend to Tiktok and companies like Shein and Fashion Nova has blown up on Tiktok by focusing on Tiktok marketing.)
Another reason is that Tiktok chose to focus on dancing and music. You can make a Tiktok about anything — tutorials, a home showing and anything that can be done in a couple of seconds.
But Tiktok focused on dancing and music and this helped to attract a lot of musicians and fans onto the platform. Musicians and celebrities were able to react to people’s dances on Tiktok and this helped to further build a network effect that attracted even more users onto the platform.
You can see how much people love dancing and creating Tiktoks yourself. Watch Shakira and Jimmy Fallon making a Tiktok live on his show.