TikTok is known for its crazy stunts, coordinated dance offs and of course viral challenges. Over the years, the app has taken social media by storm. TikTok is pretty equally divided between those who swear by it and say that it’s the next big thing and those who dismiss it as being just another cyclical new social media platform fad. Then there’s also a third group that deeply hates TikTok. Regardless of which group you fall into, TikTok’s popularity can’t be denied.
Till date, TikTok has over 3.5 billion downloads on App Store and Google Play worldwide. And, it keeps climbing ranks on all the other metrics such as monthly and daily active users. Even though TikTok hasn’t yet reached the same proportions as Facebook, it’s just a matter of time because it’s experiencing phenomenal growth. Facebook lasso, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts are all attempts to compete frontally with TikTok. Yet, TikTok remains at the top.
So, what is this competitive edge that other platforms aren’t able to figure out? In this article we will reveal the secrets behind TikTok’s immense growth and success. So. Let’s dig right in!
1. All Kinds Of Content
A lot of TikTok’s original growth was fueled by the lip-syncing videos but things have changed. These days TikTok is pretty much anything that an app where you post short videos can be. There’s no limitation to the kind of creative content that you find here. Users can create and consume all types of content be it entertaining, informational or educational. So, no matter what the niche and what the purpose, you will find anything and everything on TikTok.
2. Caters To All
As any multi sided platform TikTok offers value propositions to all these customer segments which are the viewers, the creators and advertisers. The app has amazing features to enhance the users experience for all its user segments. Moreover, people from different demographics use the app. Male, female, gender fluids, youngsters, elders, rich or poor – everyone uses TikTok!
3. It’s Cool
TikTok was made popular by teens but there are now all age groups on it. Why? Well, as teens moved to the platform, they made it the new cool thing and so everyone older eventually flocked there as well. By becoming the new “it” app, TikTok attracted more and more users. This surge in interest made the platform more and more popular.
4. Tailored Entertaining Content
So, TikTok is a video-based feed that you scroll to keep watching for hours and hours. But so, it is YouTube and Instagram then why is it more popular? Well, it’s about tailored entertaining content. TikTok is owned by an artificial intelligence company at its core and they create powerful algorithms. The algorithm analyzes each user’s behavior, preferences, and interests, delivering a seamless feed of videos that keeps them hooked for hours. You’re kind of floating in your own content universe. As a result, individuals find themselves spending more time on TikTok, leading to increased user retention and growth.
5. TikTok is Raw
Unlike on Instagram where you usually follow people who polish every single post, hide their flaws or even live fake lives, on TikTok you like and celebrate people for being themselves with their flaws and their cringiness. A lot of TikTok creators don’t take themselves seriously and it turns out that viewers like it because they can relate to them. This makes the app relatable and encourages users to keep coming back for more.
6. Virality Potential
Here’s the thing: by its nature TikTok offers virtually anyone a shot at being discovered and even becoming famous. It’s called organic discovery and it’s very real. On YouTube you need to build an audience for months or years before your new videos start to be picked up by the algorithm. On Instagram and Facebook, it’s even worse. However, on TikTok you’re virtually guaranteed that your video will be seen. A viewer will be watching popular videos that they like and then out of nowhere they’ll see a weird video that has no views, no tags and no comments. Well, this is TikTok’s way to determine if that new video is worth showing to yet more people or not until eventually it reaches the level of popularity that it deserves. This means that if that video is really good it can go viral even if the creator doesn’t have many followers in the first place!
7. Low Entry Barrier
The barrier to entry for creators is extremely low on TikTok. Just like YouTube lowered this barrier from TV levels, TikTok is lowering it down even further. Not only are there now creators becoming famous through TikTok but also musicians, actors, influencers and entrepreneurs. Some of them have managed to make a hit on TikTok first which segued them into traditional media second. A few examples of these TikTok stars are Addison Rae, Zach King and Michael Grey and Riyaz Ali.
8. Low Creativity Barrier
Everyone getting a shot at going viral is not the only advantage for TikTok creators, there’s also the low barrier for creativity. There are of course creative and complex videos on TikTok as well but if you’re not very talented you can just repeat trendy challenges. Basically, do the funny stuff that other people are doing and maybe viewers will find something into it and you’ll start getting followers. This has attracted many users to join the platforms, contributing to its overall popularity.
9. Content Network Effect
A secret ingredient that makes the TikTok machine work is the content network effect. In addition to repeating trendy viral challenges creators can repurpose other creators’ audiences. Let’s say that there’s a video that became popular. You can take its original sound and record your own video on top of it. There are many videos like this on TikTok and eventually these remixes end up snowballing into an infinite amount of content on the platform. This increases the overall value of the content on TikTok faster than on any other platform. Hence, TikTok is 100% about content. The app’s main goal is to be an endless entertainment platform where you can casually watch fun and short enough videos that stimulate our ever-shorter attention span.
10. Updated Features and Tools
TikTok has continued to enhance its features and creative tools. It’s constantly introducing new video editing options, effects, filters, and sound libraries. This commitment to providing cutting-edge tools and features has helped TikTok maintain its reputation as a trendsetter in the social media realm.
TikTok’s unparalleled popularity in 2023 can be attributed to various factors that have allowed it to resonate deeply with its users. Continuous innovation, algorithm refinements, and diverse and inclusive content continue to play an important role in the app’s success. As TikTok continues to evolve and adapt to changing trends and user needs, soon it will grow into an even social media powerhouse.