TikTok: Trendsetter or Follower?

This Chinese video-editing app and a social media platform is growing rapidly since its launch. It is now a more downloaded application than YouTube, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and WeChat. In 2018, it was the third most downloaded app the world over.

TikTok’s developer is the Chinese corporation ByteDance, which focuses on content making and machine learning. Though TikTok is probably now a flagship development of the company, its primary product is Toutiao, a Chinese content platform.

TikTok stats you should know by now: 155 countries, more than 800 million active users, more than 1.5 billion downloads and more than 1 billion videos are viewed every day. Impressive, right?

Yet, TikTok has not always been known as is now. It used to name Musical.ly and Douyin. The latter was launched back in 2016 and TikTok as we know it today is an international version of Douyin.

That’s all great, but why is TikTok so popular?

Well, here’s why.

Zoomers are a driving force

TikTok is primarily occupied by Zoomers, so the content here is related to the generation. In fact, TikTok is yet another social media channel with its own ecosystem – influencers, creators, channels, and trends. For many TikTok users, the platform is like a teenage TV with plenty of funny trends and challenges. Yet, there are also Millenials and even Boomers within the audience and creators.

Content is the key

TikTok slogan is “Make Every Second Count” and it reflects the content uploaded on the platform – short videos which are yet informative and appealing.

Genres? Pretty much everything, in fact: vines, life hacks, challenges, pranks, dances, workouts, dramas, vanity videos and simple lip-syncing with popular songs at the background.


Quarantine life got me like 😂🤡 #fyp #funny #twerk #husband #wife

♬ original sound – yay4cats

Along with it, there are also many insightful videos on TikTok – recipes, tips, lessons and alike. One thing is basically true: if you start scrolling through TikTok’s content, you will stick to it for a while since the app has a magical ability to make you binge-watch it.

Right place, right time

One of the secrets, why TikTok has garnered such a success, is that the developers created such an appealing app which resonates with Zoomers at the right time. Naturally, there are other social media channels that seem to be interesting for Zoomers – YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are just some to name.

Yet, TikTok is different from the all above in its honesty. Unlike Instagram, TikTok creators don’t tend to upload polished videos showing how cool and privileged they are. On the contrary, TikTokers are not afraid to seem funny and show themselves as they really are.

Everyone can be a creator

On TikTok, literally, everyone can be a creator and an influencer. And all they need for that are just a smartphone and editing tools TikTok possesses. There are so many effects, transitions and trending tracks on TikTok that only your creativity is the limit.

If YouTube content quality standards force creators to use professional cameras, mics, and edit videos in advanced motion editors, TikTok requires only a couple of clicks to make a trending and viral video.

Besides, TikTok harmonically complies vertical videos with different video genres which influences the audience retention in a positive way.

Zoomers are artistic and creative

Representatives of the Gen Z are extremely artistic unlike Millenials and certainly Boomers. Zoomers are a lot more open-minded and talented when it comes to clipping self-presentation. Naturally, they were born and raised in the era of marketing, Internet and advertising.

TikTok gives youngsters an opportunity to present themselves in dances, sketches and lip-syncing pantomime. On the platform, they are free to show their appearance, talents and express themselves creatively. Besides, TikTokers who play better than the others become popular creators or even influencers using TikTok as a social lift for monetising their creativity.

Besides, TikTok allows Zoomers not only show themselves but also get to know other cultures their peers live in.

Outstanding TikTok effects

TikTok is loaded with a plethora of filters, editing features, emoticons, masks and beauty effects that look so attractive for Zoomers. You’ve probably noticed these TikTok videos on other social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. The thing is that TikTok videos look so on point outside TikTok itself and easily go viral due to the effects the platform offers.

Strong competition within China

This short-video format appeared initially in China. And TikTok is not the only short video app there. So one of the reasons why TikTok is so popular around the globe is that the competition within China alone is enormous. Other apps which operate like TikTok are Kuaishow, Huoshan Video, Xigua Video and MeiPai.