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TikTok is the destination for short-form mobile videos. TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. The app was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android for markets outside of China. ByteDance had previously launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016. TikTok and Douyin are similar, but run on separate servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. It is popular in Asia, the United States, and other parts of the world. TikTok is not available in China, and its servers are based in countries where the app is available.
TikTok was the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to achieve this. As of 2018, it is available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China. In 2019, TikTok was announced to be the 7th most downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2016 to 2019.
- September 2016; 3 years ago
- 14.3.4 / 23 December 2019
- iOS, Android, Fire OS
- 308.3 MB (iOS)
- 80.19 MB (Android)
- 79.7 MB (Fire OS)
- 40 languages
- Video sharing
- Increase 787 (Global, December 2019)
Are There Any Age Restrictions?
TikTok has a minimum user age of 13 years-old.
In Ireland the Digital Age of Consent has been set at 16 years-old. For children under that age consent must be given by the parent or guardian of the child.
How Does TikTok Work?
Now that you know a bit about TikTok’s background, it’s time to learn more about the app itself. With TikTok, you can post wacky 15-second videos for the entire community of musers to see. You also have the option of linking these videos together into your story, which can last up to 60 seconds.
Either way, you have a very short timeframe for your videos, but it’s still not as limiting as Vine’s six-second maximum. Unlike Vine, you can upload videos directly from your phone, instead of having to record them directly in the app.
Like most other apps and social networks, users can follow other users, like and comment on other users’ videos. Teens can send emjoi’s to their favourite singer on Tik Tok/ Musical.ly.
Users can select the song they wish to use in their video first, then record themselves miming along to the music. Alternatively, users can record their video first and then select a song. The app has lots of ways to add more fun to user’s videos, for example, there are options to shoot in slow-mo, time lapse, fast forward, filters, effects or even play the song backward etc. Once users are happy with their video, they can post it to their followers and share it on other social networks for example; Messenger, Vine, WhatsApp etc. There is also a duet feature which allows you to connect with another user and lipsync together.
The search tool allows users to view other videos. Users can also view content under the trending hashtags and submit videos using these hashtags (similar to how Instagram works). The hashtags are also used to submit videos for challenges – for example; #Lipsncychallenge, #Comedychallenge, etc.
How Does Tik Tok Make Money?
As you will agree with me, how Tik Tok generate money is still quite unclear. It is a new application and its monetization strategy is still rather complicated at its best. This, however, does not mean that Tik Tok is not generating money at all. It doesn’t make sense at all considering how much ByteDance paid to have ownership of the application.
CrunchBase reports that the application generates up to a million dollars every year. While is it true that Tik Tok is currently focusing on popularity and growth, monetizing it influences its long-term success. As at now, Tik Tok gets money through the in-app purchases mostly in terms of coins. This starts from 100 for $0.99 reaching 10,000 for $99.99.
By this, users who mostly consume content could issue coins to the creators who have churned out great content that amuse them, just an appreciation or compensation framework. They offer them coins in the exchange of digitals gifts. Reports by Sensor Tower have it that users globally spend up to $3.5 million a month for such in-app purchase. Meanwhile, it is not clear how the platform itself earn from this. All we know is that they could deduct some percentage if they deem appropriate.
As Tik Tok is still at its infancy, they have not revealed much about their future app monetization strategy. We, however, have a few strategies that we expect to work particularly well for Tik Tok and help them generate income for the company. These are the possible ways:
Advertising avenues that generate targeted ads. This, in turn, generates revenues. YouTube earn from this strategy and its working for them. Tik Tok could implement the same and we know it is going to work for them as well.
Content creators can monetize their contents and earn from it. In the long run, the platform can deduct some percentage out of it. This is the one critical step for the future penetration of the app among its users. It will be a win-win strategy where both the owner and the users will have something to take home.
The other way of generating money is by the subscription model for the original. The platform could assemble the best of the short video contents for this.
Note that these strategies have not been implemented by Tik Tok yet, but they could be viable strategies for them to monetize the now globally popular social media application.
Tik Tok Growth Plan
The growth of Tik Tok has been quite impressive that Facebook recognized it. By 2018, hardly 2 years after its official launch, the application already had a whopping 500 million users. The rise has led Facebook into thinking of developing a similar application, Lasso to counter the massive growth and penetration.
The current penetration of Tik Tok makes it quite natural for us to think that it is unstoppable. Even if Facebook will develop a similar application and take it off the ground, it will not challenge Tik Tok. Of course, the application will be taken in some quotas but will not become an equal replacement for Tik Tok.
Tik Tok is hugely popular among the youth. They are the type that churns out creative short videos and shares among their peers. What we have noted is that Tik Tok is focusing on winning more youth into using the application. They seem to target their ads on youth in different channels on the web. They do so on YouTube, Facebook, and even Google.
As you might have noted, Tik Tok is more determined on penetration and growth than on making money out of the application, as at now. This is quite logical for them. In a world where social media is dominated by a few players, penetrating though it could be a pain staking experience.
Features of Tik Tok App
The TikTok mobile app allows users to create a short video of themselves which often feature music in the background, can be sped up, slowed down or edited with a filter.
To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, edit with a filter and record a 15-second video with speed adjustments before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms.
The app’s “react” feature allows users to film their reaction to a specific video, over which it is placed in a small window that is movable around the screen.
The app allows users to set their accounts as “private”. Such accounts’ content remains visible to TikTok, but is blocked from TikTok users who the account holder has not authorized to view their content.
The “for you” page on TikTok is a feed of recommended videos to users based on their previous actions on the app, consisting of what kind of content they liked. Users can only be featured on the “for you” page if they are 16 or over per TikTok policy.
Users can also add videos, hashtags, filters, and sounds to their “saved” section. This section is visible only to the user on their profile allowing them to refer back to any video, hashtag, filter, or sound they’ve previously saved.
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