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May 3rd, 2023

A powerhouse of a platform.

In part one of this series, we take a look at how the exponential rise in popularity of TikTok has started to outperform the freshly formed giant of Meta, before exploring its influence on society and a plethora of features that are unique to the platform.

TikTok Outperforms Meta

TikTok has become a global phenomenon with over 1 billion active users worldwide, making it one of the most influential social media platforms today. Figures suggest that ‘the average American is spending 90 minutes a day on TikTok’ which is more than Facebook and Instagram combined’! But what has led to its success?

A PLATFORM FOR EVERYONE

 TikTok really is for everyone! With the app delivering tailored content to each unique user, whether your interests lie in fashion, gaming, music, sports, beauty, travel, gardening, ASMR or finances, you’ll easily be hooked for hours! Not only is this type of content available to you when you search and explore content on the app, but it is also delivered straight to you via your ‘For You’ page which presents an endless line of videos selected by its algorithm – learning users’ content tastes and preferences with every second they scroll, pause and watch. You don’t tell TikTok what you want to see, TikTok tells you!

 

SOHPISTICATED AND LEADING-EDGE FEATURES

On top of its highly intuitive algorithm and countless hours’ worth of tailored content for endless scrolling, TikTok’s new feature launches have been no less than exceptional including its offer of superior, hyper-realistic AR filters, including “Teenage Look” and “Bold Glamour”, which are indistinguishable from reality, albeit a bit unhealthy to users’ self-esteem. Not to mentioned TikTok’s ‘Stitch’ filter which allows users to interact with each other in what is arguably a more human way, contributing to the conversation by ‘adding’ their videos to other users’ videos. This feature is transforming the way we approach commenting, collaborating, discussing, and debating on social media platforms – replacing the voices of unidentifiable trolls and keyboard warriors with those who are unashamed to be seen.

“IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM”

Meta has been sure to introduce a number of features to its platforms that mimic TikTok’s video sharing model, such as with its IG and Facebook Reels, in an attempt to respond to the trend and usage reports suggesting that 82% of global internet traffic is video streaming and downloads (Cisco), and swipe some of TikTok’s success! More recently, Google has also followed suit with the addition of its ‘Shorts’ feature encouraging creators to upload smaller, bite-sized content to the platform. Despite attempts to add similar features, IG only reported a 22.9% growth in users in 2021 compared to a growth-rate of 43% for TikTok (Genie Goals). And with TikTok being the favourite among younger generations with 25% of TikTok’s users being 10-19 years old compared to IG’s biggest user group being 28-24 years old at 30.8% (Statista), it suggests that it is a battle of branding and image rather than one of form and function.

How influential is TikTok?

We identify four key areas this powerhouse of a platform has taken by storm.

 

1) POP CULTURE

TikTok has become a driving force in popular culture, with its viral challenges, dances, and trends. It has helped to launch the careers of numerous creators and influencers, and has also influenced fashion, music, and other aspects of pop culture.

2) ENTERTAINMENT

TikTok is a major source of entertainment for many users, offering short-form videos that are easy to consume and share. It has become a go-to platform for funny and relatable content, as well as a source of news and information.

3) SOCIAL ISSUES

TikTok has also played a role in raising awareness of social issues and promoting activism. Users have used the platform to share their perspectives on a wide range of topics, from politics to social justice, and have also used it to organize protests and other forms of activism.

4) MARKETING AND ADVERTISING

TikTok has become an important platform for marketing and advertising, especially among younger audiences. Brands have used the platform to promote their products and services, and many have partnered with popular creators to reach a wider audience.

In May, we explore why you should be leveraging TikTok throughout your entire marketing operations, both online and offline.

Part One: TikTok: Under The Spotlight (You are here)

Part Two: Two things to watch out for as a B2C marketer

Part Three: How to beat the algorithm & win on TikTok

Part Four: Leveraging TikTok Offline: A New Era Of “Phygital”

 

Let’s talk.

We understand the importance of responding to the future of retail and keeping up-to-date with the latest social and digital trends to create best-in-class brand experiences and customer journeys.

Every trend has an opposite, a counterpart that is its antithesis, and these ‘design dualities’ is precisely what our latest insight report explores. Delving into these dualities is not merely about style; it’s decoding the unspoken conversation of fractured communities, seeking pathways for bridge building through forms that reflect our division. Request the report!