Tik Tok App: What Is It And Why

For some, TikTok has already become an excellent platform for promoting their content, advertising, making money, and just for fun. Like any social platform, TikTok has its characteristics and “chips”. We will try to tell you about them.

What is it?

TikTok is a social network and video maker all rolled into one.

The peculiarity of the application is in a fairly simple video editor, which, nevertheless, gives users many interesting options (add stickers, activate special effects, use filters, and so on).

The maximum video length is 60 seconds. But, as a rule, videos from 10 to 15 seconds are the most popular.

Users can “react” to the video by capturing their reactions while watching or using the “duet” format (shooting side-by-side video along with existing content). Duet videos are often used in challenges and competitions. Users can also interact with the content, like the video, leave comments, and send messages to other users in the app.

TikTok is designed to promote short video content, so when you log in, the recommended video will start playing immediately – always with sound. You can also follow other users to keep up with their updates or use the search function to find videos on a specific topic.

The application is not intended only for individual users. Some media companies use app ads to create shorter “shows”, many celebrities run channels on TikTok, and brands run ads, actively participate in challenges and create their own.

History of creation

TikTok appeared in 2016. True, then the social network was called “Douyin” and was launched in China. An international version of the app was later released. TikTok and Doyin are the same application, but they are now running on separate servers. This is due to the censorship restrictions in force in China.

At the beginning of 2019, TikTok began to actively develop cooperation with advertisers. The first ad appeared in January 2019. Currently, several formats are available for advertisers (video when opening the application, video in the feed, branded stickers, hashtag challenges, and so on).

TikTok audience

The app is available in over 150 countries in 75 languages. As noted on the official website, so far, TikTok is popular among Generation Z and millennials. However, at the same time, “TikTok is a place where everyone feels welcome and can always join.”

In Russia, in the summer of 2020, the monthly number of active users of the application reached 20.2 million people. Most often, the social network is used by people aged 25 to 34 years (25.2%) and from 35 to 44 years old (19.6%). 45 minutes is the average time a Russian user spends on the application.

An interesting trend emerged during the pandemic. First, TikTok has passed the 2 million download mark. Secondly, the audience of the service is rapidly “maturing”. More than a quarter of users are people over 35 years old.

Registering and setting up a profile

TikTok is available on the App Store or Google Play. You can also log into your account from the desktop version. After downloading the application, you can create a new account or use your existing Facebook, VK, or Google accounts to log in.

The account can be made private. In this case, other users will not be able to find it in the recommendations and watch your videos. In the settings, you can also specify how long you are willing to spend in the application: 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

How to use the app

On the main page, you will immediately be greeted by a video feed. The more videos you watch, the more likely the algorithms will select videos that will be of interest to you. During registration, you can indicate your interests yourself:

The interesting section contains videos with the most popular hashtags at the moment:

To add a video, you must click on the plus. You can download the finished video or record it in real time. In this section, you can also add special effects (filters, masks, stickers, and so on).

As for the reactions, here, as in other social networks, there are TikTok hearts and reposts. Videos can also be saved to your device. All notifications and correspondence with other users will be stored in the “Inbox” section. In the “Me” section, you can change your profile settings, watch your videos, videos that you like, your subscriptions and TikTok fans, and other information.

Content creation

Video is the main and the only format in TikTok. TikTok videos are vertical. You can apply various filters, stickers, animations, masks, and other special effects to your videos. One of the users’ favorite video formats is the creation of videos with lip-syncing (singing to music or “dubbing” an excerpt from some other video, movie, and so on).

Another thing that is hard to imagine TikTok without is hashtag challenges. The main task is to repeat what was done in the watched video, shoot it on camera, and publish it.

In addition to the video, you can also upload a video in the edit format. What is it? Edith is a video made up of photos or images. They appear one after another in turn (in most cases to music). Small videos lasting a few seconds can also be inserted into the edit. Usually, these are clippings from films, TV series, or amateur videos.

What’s popular on TikTok

Trends change at the speed of light. They are asked by both bloggers themselves and well-known brands. You can track trends on the start page of the application. Most of all, animals, magic tricks, challenges, dances, and humor fall into TikTok trends.

As for useful content, popular among viewers are everyday life hacks, do-with-me formats (for example, one-minute tutorial videos on makeup and hairstyles), recipes, workouts, and so on.

Since the application is directly related to music, dances from clips of popular music artists quickly fall into TikTok. Here you can remember the dance from the clip Skibidi of the Little Big group.

How to get into recommendations

Here are some tips to help you manage your channel:

Create creative, lightweight, and humorous content. Even though in December 2019 TikTok launched a special section “Univer”, where educational videos are collected, most users come to the application for entertainment. For older audiences, there are two magic “ingredients” that usually make TikTok content go viral: pets and children.

Post regularly. You can’t disappear for a long time. If YouTube viewers are ready to wait for new videos for several days (or even weeks), then most channels try to upload videos every day (sometimes not one at a time).

Use popular music. Firstly, the compositions from the TOP attract the attention of the audience. Secondly, under each popular song, there is a list of videos in which it was used.

Participate in challenges. The TikTok audience eagerly picks up new challenges. Before shooting their own, they can watch the already released videos for inspiration.

Capture reactions and responses to videos. This format is still well-received by viewers. Pick one of the most popular videos and record your reaction to it.

How to make money on TikTok

On August 6, 2020, Forbes released its first ranking of TikTok’s Highest-Paid Stars. Each of the participants in this rating earned more than $ 1 million.

There are several options for how a blogger can profit from a channel:

advertising of goods and services of various brands;

advertising of other channels;

monetization of live broadcasts (viewers can transfer the TikTok internal currency to you during the broadcast);

placement of affiliate links;

support for challenges launched by brands;

promotion of music tracks (performers can ask to add a track to the video for a fee).

You can make money on TikTok without running your channel:

Writing scripts for videos. Brands are increasingly looking at TikTok as one of the platforms for promoting their products and services. If you have experience with the platform and experience in scripting videos, then you can collaborate as a freelance professional.

Shooting and editing video. In the application, you can easily edit a video shot on a regular smartphone. However, popular bloggers and big brands invest not only in the idea but also in the quality of the video. For the videos to come out regularly, specialists are needed who can quickly shoot and edit.

Setting up advertising. TikTok can run targeted ads through the TikTok Ads Manager. If you have already worked with the platform and know the basics of SMM and targeting, you can offer your services for launching ads.

Application analogs

The success of TikTok has made many developers and even large advertising platforms think about creating their applications with similar functionality.

From the latest news – this is the launch of an analog of the program from Facebook. To win back users on Instagram, a new feature has appeared – Reels. It allows you to record 15-second clips, add music to them, and apply various effects. Facebook has previously tested a similar app, Lasso. However, it closed in July 2020 shortly before the launch of Reels.

So far, the function works in 50 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, and the USA. For Russian users, Reels is not available as Instagram does not have music rights here.

Nevertheless, it is possible to watch videos created in Reels, but without music. You can upload a video to stories, to a feed, and also share it with a wider audience. Reel videos are collected in a separate section, where videos from different users are collected. On the user profile page

The followers also have a separate Reels tab, where all the videos they have shot are visible.

As for the main content, just like TikTok, Reels are mostly dance and comedy videos. The official TikTok Twitter page has already joked about the similarity of the platforms (“well … looks familiar”).

VKontakte also keeps up with trends. In June 2020, the social network introduced a new feature – “Clips”. This is an endless tape with vertical videos no more than a minute in length. One of the key features of “Clips” is control using AR mechanics. You can start recording a video or turn on an effect using special gestures.

After the video is published, friends and subscribers will be the first to see the videos. Further promotion will be provided by a special recommendation platform. It will take into account various signals about the interests of users, their interactions, subscriptions, and favorite content formats.

With the help of this, algorithms will be able to show each user only those clips that will be of interest to him. Viewers can leave their comments and communicate with the authors of videos. Now the “Clips” function is already available to all users.

The new feature was a response not only to the popularity of TikTok but also to the growing interest in vertical video in general. As noted by VKontakte, more than 114 million stories are published monthly by 9 million authors, and all stories on the platform collect more than 7.6 billion views from 42 million viewers.

Another competitor of TikTok is the Likee app. Here you can also create and publish videos, use additional effects, add music, and chat with other users. If the audience of TikTok is gradually “growing up”, then Likee is still the most popular mainly among children and adolescents.

Likee was developed by the Singapore-based company Bigo and launched in July 2017. In the first year of its existence, Likee entered the TOP of Google Play entertainment apps. And at the end of 2019, Like already had over 80 million active users.


TikTok is a relatively new social network that provides creative opportunities for both users and brands. To successfully advance here, you need to remember a few things:

Emphasize humor and entertainment.

Do not transfer content from other social networks, as they differ significantly.

Keep your finger on the pulse and keep abreast of the latest events, “chips” and trends.

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