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I don’t understand how TikTok got popular.

If my friend showed up one day and told me he has a billion-dollar idea that is basically an Instagram ripoff but only with videos.
I would have laughed at him.

I don’t understand why TikTok is famous because you can literally do the same thing on Instagram.

I have a few questions regarding this.

What did they do to get kids to use their app as opposed to Instagram?

Do people on it make money?

Things to do on TikTok seems very limited compared to Instagram.

People on TikTok seem to have more followers than on Instagram.
Why?

It seems really interesting that it became the number one downloaded app.



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17 replies on “I don’t understand how TikTok got popular.”

Instagram is a rip off of a bunch of other sites too. Twitter came from Facebook which came from Myspace which came from others.

I think it’s a crapshoot. Something’s become big because big names get attached or just the younger generation spreads it faster. It’s not about who did it first, it even best. It’s who did it last and stays.

I man tiktok is basically just vine but with longer videos.

Two reasons I can think of:

1. It’s Chinese. They have a limited selection of apps so Tik Tok more or less became their Instagram.

2. It wasn’t always called TikTok but actually began as musical.ly. The core feature being the music/lip syncing videos you can make with it. Imagine Vine but only for amateur music videos. In terms of social engagement it functions like Instagram but the core feature revolves around music instead of just photo sharing which is huge considering the Kpop wave that is overwhelming global youth culture right now.

Attention whores with attention spans too short for Youtube, and people who like to watch attention whores with attention spans too short for Youtube. That’s my summary of why it’s popular.

TikTok as you know it wasn’t always called TikTok.

It started as a lip-syncing app called Musicaly and that’s where it first started to blow up. Users would create videos here and post them on Instagram, etc.

Eventually it become large enough to rebrand as it’s own social media and renamed TikTok. So while it seemingly came out of nowhere, it was here for a long time before, and it had a unique value prop.

Went from dubsmash to musically to tiktok took a generation. Probably branching off vine type platforms

I would gently suggest that you might not understand it at all if you think the experience is the same on Instagram. Have you actually tried it out?

People have more followers on tiktok because the algorithm is more beginner friendly. You pick a niche and use the right hashtags and Tiktok will show your video to a few people as a test, if they like the video (measured by liking, commenting and watch time) tiktok will continue to promote your video to more people.

It’s quite addictive really. If you’re running a business that appeals to youth, it could be used for very effective marketing.

everything is a copied from multiple sources. If you did something that’s unseen or uncopied there typically needs to be some awareness and heavy marketing to get people to understand what this new things does and why they want it.

Tiktok caters to a specific group. Its original crowd, and current crowd are often people under 16, often closer to 13. I think Tiktok bought musically which is where their initial user base was from. They made Tiktok better by also adding in other features. I notice it’s somewhat similar to vine . And they also have these dances that catch on. At least that is what I am seeing pop up on these late night shows and popular media.

Instagram is more catered to 20-30 year olds, and for professionals that use instagram for marketing others products or modeling, from what I gathered. Musically and tiktok is more suited for kids, and now I think the audience is a bit older. Kids often have nothing important to do anyways, so they will spend time trying to get some recognition with friends or strangers from tiktok. They don’t feel in control and the centre of attention in instagram. It’s not interactive and like an activity in instagram. Instagram people probably need more creativity and important things to share to engage. Tiktok is repeating dance moves others have done. It’s really hard to mess this up. So it’s what these kids want to use.

Quick shortcut to save you 10 years:
‘Big’ apps like this are backed by a bucket load of marketing money. The companies spending the money are usually backed by large investments from various funds. These funds are extremely incestuous and keep refinancing entrepreneurs who have a history of giving the investors a profitable exit.

That being said, TikTok is actually pretty awesome for video editing and effects. I still haven’t seen anything on mobile that comes close.

I thought TikTok is more structured where people/companies make a video and people try to copy it. Makes sense it’s so popular because it gives you something to do when you’re bored and kids like it because it’s a challenge they can’t lose. Great for the participation generation.

Instagram and everything else doesn’t give directions but allows you to post whatever. I don’t really get Instagram since it’s just photos and everything does it already.

I don’t understand Tiktok at all. As far as I can tell you can’t search for videos. Instead you get suggested videos that you might like. Or do I just don’t know wtf I’m doing?

It’s a terrible app that everybody hates yet at the same time is loved by its users and very popular.

It’s a tricky one.

Well it’s a spyware app created by/for the Chinese government so I guess they definitely had a big advertising budget.

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