TikTok: from brand change to mass success

What can be done in fifteen seconds? If the first answer that comes to mind is very little, then you have never used TikTok . Because with videos of only fifteen seconds TikTok has conquered millions of people. Everyone talks about her, everyone knows her. It is the phenomenon of the moment, it is powerful, young and captivating and is probably one of the most famous short video applications in the world. It is also a sponsor of the European football championships. And these are data that should not be underestimated, because it is the first time this has happened with an application that comes from a country in Asia.

The story of TikTok

TikTok is an application that allows you to create and share short videos. Its strength is twofold, it lies in the simplicity with which you can create fun content and in the fact that it is an inclusive social network in which you never feel alone, not even just registered. From the moment the account is created, you enter a world in which new content is continually presented to which you can respond and with which you can interact even without following anyone.

The story of the birth of TikTok is very different from what we are used to. It is not one of those stories that tells of the lucky intuition of some newly graduated and penniless boy. It is not the story of how an idea gradually takes shape, develops and achieves success. TikTok is more the story of the merger of two successful applications, Musical.ly and Douyin , which have become one product. But let’s start from the beginning.

Musical.ly was launched in 2014 by two Chinese entrepreneurs, Alex Zhu and Louis Yang. It is an application that allows you to post short lip-sync videos, where hit songs are mimed. In a short time it becomes very famous, especially for the karaoke performances, from where many new talents emerge. In 2016, following the wave of global social success, in China, the leading company in the tech sector, ByteDance, launched a new application on the market, a short video social network, Douyin. Also in this case it is an instant download success.

ByteDance senses the possible business and decides to expand abroad using a new name, TikTok. Meanwhile, Musical.ly is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and ByteDance decides to acquire it, we are in November 2017. In August 2018, the two applications are merged with the aim of creating a single large community of creators. Nearly one hundred million accounts on musical.ly are automatically ported to TikTok, the era of global expansion has begun. The growth is unstoppable, in 2019 there will be 614 million downloads and 13 million videos published per day, numbers destined to rise again during the middle of 2020, we are talking about two billion downloads and 800 million active users, when the forced closure caused by the pandemic has led the Chinese social network to grow exponentially.

From this moment on, success is unstoppable and this is being discussed even in the great palaces of power. Countries such as India, the USA, but also Great Britain and Australia, have doubts about its transparency. The main problems would concern the security of sensitive data and the fact that these data can somehow be exploited by the Chinese government for espionage actions. Faced with these accusations, TikTok has always been willing to show the transparency of its work.

The success of TikTok

It’s easy to explain the success of TikTok, the application is fun . Once you open the program you are completely captured. Video after video you begin to understand how it works and you risk staying glued to the screen even for hours. TikTok is pure entertainment. And despite being considered the application of the very young, the age of those who use social media is growing more and more. And as a result, of course, marketing opportunities on TikTok multiply.

Becoming creative is very easy on TikTok. You can edit videos, use filters, sounds and special effects. Anyone can turn into a good video maker and become popular here, it’s much easier than on other social networks.

The algorithm is so powerful , that it is capable, better than others, of quickly understanding what the user is looking for, what his tastes are and what he might like, based on previous contents . It is not necessary to look for something. The algorithm confronts users with what they might like in a continuous stream of short videos. Its use is irresistible. Seeing is believing.

Monica Curreli

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