The TikTok takeover

Shauna Power

In a generation where social media dominates everyday life, TikTok has captured the minds of young people worldwide and it’s continued growth is a sign that the social media app is here to stay. 

TikTok was previously known as musical.ly which was a popular video streaming/sharing app, with over 100 million users. In August 2018, the app was taken over by a Chinese company called ByteDance and the apps users were all transferred to Tik Tok.

Similar to Youtube, Tik Tok is an interactive app where you can connect with friends, comment on videos and follow other people. Tik Tok brands itself as a social media video app for creating short lip-sync videos for mainly comedic purposes. Its videos are short-term (15 seconds) and the app offers a wide selection of sounds, song snippets and special effects that users can apply to their videos. 

According to sensor tower,  In Q1 of 2019, Tik Tok was the most-downloaded app in the Apple store, with more than 33 million installs. 

Tik Tok is used by several celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon, who has a partnership with the app. In November 2018 he launched the #tumbleweedchallenge which challenged viewers to video themselves rolling on the ground like a tumbleweed. Since the launch of the tumbleweed challenge, the #tumbleweedchallenge has over 28 million views on Tik Tok, with people re-creating Fallons video with the hope of getting on the Late Late show or going viral. 

‘Tik Tok gives me a break from real life’, said Sarah Doyle (18) , ‘I love how easy it is to use effects and edit’.

For some, Tik Tok is a way to get famous. Doyle makes three Tik Tok’s a day and described the app as ‘addictive and funny’. She said ‘I make videos mainly for fun but also because I want to get famous’.

There is currently no way for people to make money from Tik Tok as they don’t offer any pay or incentives to contributors, however many famous tik tokers use their fanbase and transfer them over to their YouTube and Instagram accounts where there are opportunities to make profit from content.

Although Tik Tok has risen to prominence with the younger generation, it still has it’s critics. 

Tik Tok uses Artificial intelligence algorithms to automatically filter users preferences. This has come under fire as recently social media apps, Facebook in particular, that use the same software have been caught in scandals surrounding the lack of privacy for users data. As a result many parents fear that the platform is not 100% safe.

Tik Tok arrived at the peak of short-term video making on social media platforms and as a result has dominated the market. It solved the users need of having fun whilst being creative in an online community with little effort. However according to some, there are issues within the app. Only time will tell whether this phenomenon is here to stay.

Shauna Power

Image Credit: Wikimedia