Since its launch in 2016 and emergence in the U.S. market in 2018, the TikTok video platform has exploded in popularity. Despite attracting threats of a ban and controversy from American politicians due to national security concerns, TikTok continues its unstoppable surge in users.
The platform allows users to record short videos, which can then be tagged with hashtags to help users connect with topics they find interesting. TikTok’s building video editor—complete with music, graphics, text overlays and sounds—makes it easy for users to create clips.
The number of TikTok users went from 54.7 million in January 2018 to 1.53 billion as of early 2023. So, what is the special sauce that makes us all get lost in watching TikTok? Here are 10 reasons why TikTok has become explosively popular.
1: Dance challenges
TikTok routinely has dance challenge videos that feature users attempting to replicate a choreographed dance routine, often to a popular song. These videos tend to bring in a large following as users put their own spin on things. Unique ways to participate include distinct costumes and settings. These challenges provide a fun way for users to be a part of a worldwide phenomenon from the comfort of their own homes.
2: TikTok learns your interests
TikTok’s algorithm learns users’ interests based on the content they’ve viewed and recommends videos on similar topics. The app does this through one of its main pages, the For You page, which displays a video tailored to the user’s interests. Users can swipe up and down on the screen to see more videos suggested for them based on content they’ve interacted with before. These customized feeds can keep users engaged and fascinated with entertaining content.
3: We have short attention spans perfect for TikTok videos
Humanity’s attention span has decreased over time as we become increasingly fed digital content that competes for our focus. Research found that the average attention span had gone down by 33% from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015. TikTok videos are often short, with optimal length between 21 and 34 seconds and general advice saying to keep it short. At most, a TikTok video can only be 10 minutes long. This ensures that users miss less content than if they sat through, for example, an hour-long documentary or a 30-minute YouTube or TV show episode.
4: There’s something for everyone
While it helps that TikTok learns your interests, that only works well enough if there’s a great enough variety of content to cover a large swath of interests, some of which can be quite niche. This can help users feel connected to others who might share interests of theirs that no one else they know have. Whether it’s a fandom for an obscure anime series or adult coloring books, TikTok probably has it covered.
5: A focus on quality content
TikTok is designed to reward quality content by prioritizing it for viewers to find. Among users, 79% consider content on TikTok to be unique from what they’d find in other places. This feeling of uniqueness helps users feel more engaged than scrolling through endlessly unappealing content that makes them want to log off.
6: Users find content on the platform relatable
TikTok contains a variety of content that users find relatable. Whether it’s about everyday experiences that many people share or users posting short videos about their experiences in today’s job market, relatable content draws users in by creating a feeling of shared life experiences.
7: Creating a reputation as a different type of platform
One of TikTok’s own executives staked the app out as an “entertainment platform” rather than social media such as Facebook or Twitter. TikTok’s content is based on the short-form videos it specializes in. There aren’t status updates that users can post for only their friends to see like on other platforms. This focus on doing what TikTok is best at has helped it achieve great success.
8: TikTok’s editing platform is easy to use
No special equipment is needed to edit videos on TikTok. The editing platform is built right into the app. No special editing is needed beforehand on a separate platform. All of the needed graphics, clipping, sound effects, music and automatic transcription in stylish fonts desired are right in the app’s editor. This makes it possible to post a new TikTok video within minutes with minimal effort.
9: TikTok makes it easy to learn about things to do
TikTok’s content includes short clips of experiences and places both near and far. Whether users want an inside look at new restaurants nearby or ideas to plan a trip abroad, they can get a look at new experiences with minimal time commitment before deciding whether to check them out in person.
10: The ability to embrace creativity
With TikTok’s variety of options to create and edit videos, users can make something like no one has before. The endless combinations available provide a chance for self-expression at no cost through video and broadcast to the public in a way that very few other platforms can match.
There you have it, some of the reasons that TikTok continues to capture the imagination and attention of its users. If you wondering if the platform is a good fit for your business, marketing companies can help you make that evaluation. At AZ Media Maven, we offer these quick tips:
- Check the demographics of TikTok’s users against those of your target audience. If they’re a match, you can explore it further.
- See what your competitors are doing. Do they have TikTok accounts? Are they successful? Can you replicate similar content?
- Do you want sales or followers? Having a ton of followers builds brand awareness, which is exciting and may lead to sales. However, if your 100,000 followers all live in another country, that might not be benefit your bottom line.
If you need help in making a decision about what platforms work best, our team at AZ Media Maven can help with a strategic public relations and marketing plan. Schedule a consultation to learn more.
AZ Media Maven is based in Laveen, AZ, a suburban village in the greater Phoenix area. Owner Rose Tring has more than 30 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer, many of those years in business news. She created AZ Media Maven in 2012 to help other business owners succeed by effectively telling their stories through public relations and social media. Reach AZ Media Maven at email@example.com or call (602) 373-8371.