Why It’s Time to Pay Closer Attention to TikTok

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Up until recently, you may have only given a second’s thought to lip-syncing app TikTok if you were below the age of 15. Due to a dramatic increase in usage and favor over the past two years, however, more and more marketers are now looking to it as the next big trend. So, what exactly is TikTok? And what are the stats that see this age-specific app leading its field in the coming year? Read on to find out.

TikTok, used primarily as a lip-syncing app, is akin to Vine in its format. Users are able to film themselves voicing the lyrics to their favorite songs, or more popularly, acting out trendy memes. These videos then get picked up, remixed, or redone by other users, creating a vast sharing cycle.

The Chinese app has seen a lot of growth since acquiring its US counterpart Musical.ly back in fall of 2017 for a whopping $800 million. Adding to its success are the low levels of celebrities currently using the app. In a time when Instagram and even Snapchat have become oversaturated with sponsored influencers, TikTok maintains an authentic space.

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More recently, the app has become known for its “cringey” content (due mainly to the user demographic being young teens). In a dynamic shift that proves the “any publicity is good publicity” mentality, however, this seems to have only added to its popularity and trendiness. Furthermore, with Twitter being reduced more and more to political posts and celebrity spats, and Instagram to influencer marketing alone, TikTok offers its users some good old-fashioned escapism.

While the app is still in relative infancy, concerns of users’ inability to disable comments or set accounts to private have raised some concern amongst parents. As the app evolves, this is sure to be one of it’s growing pains. Even with these issues, TikTok is continuing its upward swing, ranking in the top five downloads cross-category for 2018. Furthermore, it’s seen amazing traction in emerging markets such as its native China and even India.

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On the money end of things, the app saw users worldwide tipping their favorite live streamers a combined $6 million last year, proof that there is marketing potential. With the app beginning to test advertising spots, said potential is sure to take off within the year. All these stats considered, it’s not too early for marketers to start taking notice of TikTok. With its parent app ByteDance coming in at 500 million monthly users last year, TikTok is one of the apps with the most untapped potential of this upcoming marketing season.

TRENDSMaria Vasbotten