Since it hit the market back in 2016, TikTok has grown immensely as a platform. In terms of raw numbers, it is right there at the top with other major social media and content-sharing players like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. With 3.5 billion downloads and over 1 billion active users, it’s one of the most popular new apps today.
Each and every TikTok user spends an average of 46 minutes per day on the app. That’s quite a number for a platform that promotes short-form videos that don’t go past 60 seconds in length. However, based on current trends, it’s projected to increase even more in the upcoming years. No matter how we look at it, for an app that’s barely seven years old, that level of growth is massive.
But why is TikTok so big? What makes this platform continue to grow in popularity so rapidly, even today? Well, there are multiple answers to those questions. In order to help our curious readers out, we’re here to list the ten most likely reasons behind this TikTok boom.
TikTok is a massive app, and it’s no stranger to huge brands and commercialized content. However, unlike a lot of other platforms, it’s also home to content creators such as Zahra, Team2Moms, OurFire, megsreadsbooks__, and revishaan. These are just a few of many users on the platform that have become popular by just being themselves.
Most people who spend time on TikTok claim that they prefer its content creators due to how authentic they are. Out of all the social media apps, TikTok has the biggest percentage of users who are just everyday people going about their lives. The level of authenticity on the app is incredibly high, much higher than what TikTok’s competitors are putting out.
Potential for Fame
Nearly everyone today has heard of Khabane Lame or Addison Rae. They are a staple of TikTok, and they regularly rake up millions of views on their content. But more importantly, they present an example of people making it big on the platform.
Similarly to YouTube, TikTok provides an excellent opportunity for anyone to become famous. And considering the net worth of the top ten TikTokers alone (excluding prominent actors like Will Smith and The Rock, as well as official company accounts), it’s no wonder why so many people want to reach TikTok fame.
If we were to poll the majority of TikTok users, they would claim that TikTok offers content that they simply can’t find on other platforms. Granted, TikTok also offers creator-owned videos, advertising, and new trends, as do Facebook, YouTube, and others. However, they differ in presentation.
If we take a cursory look over the most popular YouTubers today, their videos seem overproduced and even a little corporate. On the other hand, TikTok content is unfiltered and provides a sense of realism and amateurish charm. Only on TikTok can a random teenager become popular overnight by simply imitating a dance or remixing a couple of sound clips together.
Every modern platform has an active user base that constantly contributes to its growth. TikTok is no different in that regard, but with a slight difference. Namely, when TikTokers interact, their collaboration feels a bit more intimate and personal than interactions on other popular platforms.
Lots of TikTok’s features directly promote collaboration between users, such as Duets and Stitch. Users are encouraged to remix, share, and participate in videos other than their own. And with such combinations, new trends arise almost daily.
Appeal to Short Attention Spans
Modern internet users have a short attention span. In fact, humans, in general, have seen a drop in general focus from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015.
With that in mind, short-form comedic videos are perfect for a modern audience. They give us that burst of dopamine, and we can easily consume them before going about our business. And since they are so short, these videos are perfect for binge-watching or binge-listening. In other words, we can enjoy dozens of videos and still spend less than an hour on TikTok.
Use of Copyrighted Music
Content creators on different platforms know what a nightmare it could be to find the right soundtrack for their videos. In fact, even humming a song can get us a copyright strike on YouTube.
But that’s not the case with TikTok. Considering the brevity of videos, users can take any section of any song and implement it into their video. What’s more, many TikTok trends actually helped boost the popularity of certain songs. If anything, music production companies stand to benefit from TikTokers remixing parts of their tunes and sharing them with billions of followers online.
Constant Flow of New Trends
TikTok has become famous for its unique line of trends. Every month, a new range of these funny, catchy, and viral videos leads to an increase in engagement across the platform. And considering how unpredictable and creative TikTokers are, we can never know what comes next.
Major publications have written detailed articles on how sophisticated TikTok’s algorithm is. In fact, it might be one of the “smartest” bits of software used by social media today.
Unlike YouTube or Twitter, TikTok will not just throw different content at us and see what sticks. Instead, its algorithm will pay close attention to which videos we watch multiple times and which ones we merely skim over. According to the data it collects, the algorithm will promote content tailor-made for us on our For You page.
TikTok’s user interface is incredibly simple. Anyone, from teenagers to seniors, can use an array of video editing tools to create content on the platform. The app itself has native, built-in tools powerful enough to improve any video we post. However, the entire charm of TikTok is that you don’t really need polished videos to make a viral post. All you need is some creativity and a lot of energy.
Nearly all major brands have TikTok accounts, and for a good reason. Millennials and Zoomers almost overwhelmingly buy merchandise from brands they follow on the app. In fact, the TikTok Shop feature was tailor-made for brands to advertise their products and services on the platform, and with rousing success. It’s like a miniature, entertaining, and viral version of Amazon at our fingertips.