“The kids” love it, which tells me it’s going to be big – especially for marketers and anyone who needs to know how the culture is shifting.
Some of you may remember I wrote about TikTok a few weeks ago. Since then I’ve downloaded the app and scroll through it every couple of days. One of the things I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks is that more users are now incorporating brands into their videos e.g. HP, IKEA, Walt Disney Store. I don’t get the impression they’re paid posts – more like TikTokers trying to send a message to brands that they are open for business.
Also, recently, dogs in costume are MAJOR e.g. dressing up your dog like a panda.
I’m also noticing more TikToks popping up on twitter. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I don’t have a share icon on my home page. Probably a good thing – otherwise, I would be sharing videos like crazy.
Before you decide TikTok is not relevant for you, please keep reading because both from a business perspective as well as just wanting to “stay current,” you need to take a minute to check out this company and its users (70% of whom are under-30).
Here are some highlights:
TikTok is on a hiring binge
- Per LinkedIn, at least 14 people have been hired from Snap. TikTok has 26 open roles on LinkedIn as of April 12, including brand strategy in New York and in San Francisco as well as a head of marketing in Los Angeles.
- They’re also attracting video creators from Snap (apparently, it is easier to monetize content on TikTok).
- Bytedance (parent company of TikTok) has 40,000 employees globally. It has opened offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
Bytedance has made numerous acquisitions since 2017
- Lip-syncing app Musical.ly and Flipagram in 2017.
- Augmented reality company FaceU and payment company UIPay in 2018.
- So far this year, they’ve bought gaming startup Mokun Technology for mini-games and GeoGif for geolocation filters as well as pop up filters and stickers based on current newsworthy events and activities users are doing in videos.
TikTok hit one billion downloads with more than 500 million monthly active users.
Per Business Insider, 663 million of TikTok’s one billion downloads came in 2018, meaning it was downloaded more last year than Instagram, which garnered 444 million new downloads.
Read on below for more new developments including info from Digiday on TikTok’s pitch deck to US agencies.
Per Digiday, TikTok and Snapchat both have young, highly engaged audiences. TikTok compares itself to Snapchat in its pitch deck to U.S. agencies.
- One slide shows how TikTok overtook Snapchat as the most downloaded app in the U.S. in monthly downloads.
- TikTok also pulls App Annie statistics from October 2018 that show while the average session on Snapchat is 80 seconds, TikTok’s average session is 294 seconds (users spend a total of 52 minutes per day on the app).
- TikTok currently offers four ad products: brand takeover, in-feed video,hashtag challenge, branded lenses.
For the uninitiated who want to learn a bit more about the workings of TikTok, I highly suggest you check out this review. It’s from a 24 year old techie who readily admits she’s about 10 years too old to be using the site. But very insightful. You’ll definitely be able to talk to your digital agencies as well as any tweens/teens in your life after you’ve read this.
And finally, here are some of the most popular current trends on TikTok (Source: SocialMediaToday)
- Trendy dance videos – These include the Floss, Rockefeller Street, and the Orange Justice (or Mask Off) dance.
- Nostalgic dance videos – Users will take a popular and/or nostalgic song and do their own original dance to it.
- Lip syncing – Pretty self-explanatory.
- Duets – Users can “duet” on any TikTok, which stitches the original video with their own as a split-screen. Users will generally either react to a video or supplement it.
- Voice dubbing – People will take snippets from movies or TV shows and dub themselves on camera as if they were speaking the lines.
- Cute animals – Cats, dogs, and anything adorable have also found a home here.
- Stop motion – From a toy on a tabletop to someone patiently editing themselves levitating across a yard or snaking up the stairs.
- Weird effects – Like Snapchat, TikTok has its own share of bizarre facial filters.
- Random point-and-shoot – A snippet with little context can lead to hilarious results – take this bear and skunk on someone’s deck as the theme to The Office plays.
- Artists – Many will post time lapse videos of their sketches.
- Transitions – Very clever editing.
- Memes – TikTok even has its own meme videos that simply catch on. Sometimes it’s a song that sees a new light, songs that randomly spur new dance crazes, or ones that have a lead up to a beat drop.
The experts on these things say TikTok’s features surpass Snapchat in their ability to provide creative outlets appealing to their Gen Z users. I am still in awe of all the feats (both physical and technical) that TikTokers are able to pull off. Impressive.
While I don’t know this first-hand, I do sense that TikTok is leagues ahead of its competitors – but that’s not to say that next year some other hot new app won’t come along to steal their thunder.
And finally, TikTok makes me feel that Instagram is definitely for the older crowd just like Facebook is these days.