Updated: Jun 27
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media app created to share and consume 15-60 second videos worldwide. The app with the current name and format was launched in 2018 quickly gaining large viewership (1). The format of consuming content at such a fast rate with an algorithm designed to fit the consumers' interests was a success that was bound to happen. With success[na1l there are always pros and cons, and TikTok is no exception to that concept.
Over the course of the last few years, TikTok’s[na2] viewership has grown tremendously resulting in the app having over a billion active monthly users (2). A large viewership can be used to an advantage when promoting a product, advertising a show, movie or business or informing viewers from an educational standpoint on developing new hobbies/skills. Part of the app's success should be given to the pandemic when viewership was at a steady incline resulting in the app being the second most downloaded of that year (2). New trends came to light, random snacks were selling out at grocery stores that were never noticed before, and regular kids making videos at home rose to fame on the app as the app itself gained momentum.
Fast distribution of Content
One of the reasons TikTok became the phenomenon that it did is because of the amount of content that was being consumed and distributed on a daily basis. Over 167 million TikTok’s videos are viewed every minute, and an average user spends about 850 minutes per month on the app (2). Users took advantage of the high consumption rate by entertaining, putting out music, advertising their business, recipes, etc. to gain traction on the app. Followers and views are valuable on any social media app, but the way content is distributed on TikTok, views equal money not just to a person with status but to any average viewer that is putting out content that is being well received. Charlie D’ Amelio who began posting TikTok’s in 2019 earned $17 million dollars on TikTok in 2021 alone (2).
Shorter attention span
The way the app is designed gives viewers the ability to seamlessly swipe up or down on a video if they are done watching it or just simply want to move onto the next. Users have the ability to move onto the next video if it does not grab their attention. The average length of a TikTok can be anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds on the actual app and in recent times been updated to 3 minutes. That gives the viewers the ability to scroll through hundreds of videos an hour without having to watch or retain any of the content they are scrolling through if it does not grasp their attention.
Quality of Content
If the average TikTok length is 15-60 seconds that is a very short length of time to grasp the viewers' attention not to mention properly execute whatever point the video was set out to make. This gives people the opportunity to view more content in comparison to other social media platforms but the content has to be able to grasp the attention of the viewer to have them watch the entirety of the TikTok and actually retain any of the information. The videos have to be innovative and to the point from the very beginning in order for the viewer to stay locked in and not move on to the next. This requires creators to put in more effort and censor the kind of videos that are being put out.
1. Dsouza, D. (2021, July 22). What Is TikTok? Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/what-is-tiktok-4588933
2. Geyser, W. (2019, January 11). TikTok Statistics – 63 TikTok Stats You Need to Know [2022 Update]. Influencer Marketing Hub. https://influencermarketinghub.com/tiktok-stats/#toc-62