what's up with tiktok?

I hate to break it to you, but TikTok is changing the way social media works — even if you’re avoiding it.


So…What is TikTok? 

If you’re new on the scene (or just over the age of 21) you may not be familiar with TikTok. TikTok is a social media platform for making and sharing short videos. The videos are tall, not square similar to Snapchat or Instagram’s stories, and you navigate through videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed, not by tapping or swiping side to side.

TikTok is, however, a sort of celebration of mayhem.

Most videos are produced in the app because it gives users extensive prompts and tools for executing their videos.

You can select from an enormous range of sounds, from popular song clips to short moments from TV shows, YouTube videos, or other TikToks.

You can join a challenge, shoot a dance meme, or make a joke. Or you can make fun of something that is trending with a parody.

The New York Times put it perfectly when they said, “TikTok assertively answers anyone’s ‘what should I watch’ with a flood. In the same way, the app provides plenty of answers for the paralyzing ‘what should I post.’ The result is an endless unspooling of material that people, many very young, might be too self-conscious to post on Instagram, or that they never would have come up with in the first place without a nudge. It can be hard to watch. It can be charming. It can be very, very funny. It is frequently, in the language widely applied outside the platform, from people on other platforms, extremely ‘cringe.’”

More About Those Built-In Tools

Essentially, TikTok users can shoot videos up to 15 seconds long, but they can also create 60 second videos by combining videos. The real attraction is the suite of native tools in the app.


TikTok puts all sorts of tools at their users’ disposal. With extensive filters, sounds, and the ability to create “duets” where users duplicate videos and add themselves alongside, it’s easy to see the snowball effect happening on TikTok everyday. 

While it’s true that TikTok is home to some standard lip-syncing, it’s actually better known for its act-out memes backed by music and other sound clips, which get endlessly reproduced and remixed among its young users. Hash tags are VERY important on the app, and not only can a meme go viral, so can a sound.

Why Should You Care?

For starters, TikTok now has 800 million monthly active users and that’s only projected to grow. What’s especially noteworthy from a marketing standpoint, is that the average user opens their app eight times and spends an average of 52 minutes on the app every day. 
Hellooo, engagement!

That brings us to this hot take:

Paid ads on TikTok aren’t the answer.

Native content on TikTok has unmatched virality. Paid ads can run on any platform, but TikTok has it’s own vernacular, jokes, and culture. On TikTok, pay to play…doesn’t. This is largely influenced by the age demographic of users. (Check out our blog on Gen Z to learn about getting traction with this group of users.)

The organic reach on TikTok is unprecedented. Are you ready to jump in? Get in touch with us.

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