What Is TikTok and How Does It Work?

These days you hear a lot of people talking about Tiktok. Some asking what is TikTok, how does it work, Others asking if its worth spending your time on, and finally: what’s the ultimate time to post on TikTok? Today, lets address all these questions and find out what tiktok really is and how it works.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, on any topic. It is a creative and trend-driven social media app for creating, sharing, and watching short video clips.

Set up by the company Bytedance, it has gathered a staggering 689 million monthly users. For both independent content creators, businesses, and brands since its launch in 2017. which is considered one of the most valuable startups in the world. And did we mention that this beloved app is THE place for trending memes and humor in general? There’s simply no good reason not to hang out there.

TikTok is a great platform to promote their work, products, personalities, and ideas in creative ways to a global audience. TikTok maintains a separate app for the Chinese market, known as Duyin, which has over 300 million active monthly users. The new app’s logo is a combination of the Musical.ly and Duyin logos.

Some reasons to explain TikTok’s popularity, especially among young people, are the common celebrity sightings, the super-smart algorithm, and the focus on localized content, like nationwide contests and such.

However, the biggest USP with TikTok is how easy it is to create, share and take part of creative content globally. For those that haven’t tried out the social media giant yet, we might also add a note about just how addictive it is… Once you’ve started flipping through your For You page, there’s no turning back.

Since its launch, the TikTok app’s popularity has been growing tremendously. In October 2018, it was the most-downloaded photo and video app in the Apple store, globally. The app reportedly has amassed over 500 million monthly active users, the US being the most popular countrywhere it has been downloaded over 80 million times.

Some of the key reasons behind the TikTok app’s surge in popularity are:

• Celebrity Endorsements

The app is liked and used by several celebrities, such as Jimmy Fallon, who helped drive the app’s popularity. The app has paid partnerships with several celebrities, in various regions, who promote the app to local audiences.

The Tik Tok app also has celebrity partnerships in other regions. When it launched in Japan, the app roped in celebrities like Kinoshita Yukina, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and Watanabe Naomi. In Thailand, TikTok collaborated with social media celebrity Kaykai Salaider, and in India with Aashika Bhatia.

Celebrity partnerships have been a key tactic in TikTok’s geographical expansion strategy. The app uses celebrities and influencers to drive buzz around the platform and generate viral content.

These celebrities not only post content on TikTok but also promote TikTok on other social media channels. For example, in the post below, Indian celebrity, Aashika Bhatia, promoted the TikTok app on Instagram.

• Localised Content

Another key driving factor in TikTok app’s popularity is the fact that despite being a global app, it has a strong focus on localised content. The app often runs local contests and challenges and captures on local trends through the use of localised hashtags.

TikTok runs the “1 million audition” contest across several countries, separately. For each contest, participants are given themes to create videos and then the top video creators are awarded. This contest not only leads to the creation of thousands of local videos, for each country where it is held but also helps TikTok creators gain recognition and followers.

One such contest held in Russia in September 2018 gained 31,000 video entries and millions of views from TikTok users. Thus, it helped promote the app in the country.

The app also uses local trending hashtags to suggest topics for content creation to its users. This helps the app capitalise on local trends and generate viral content for the platform. For example, “Seaweed Dance” was a fun video type that went viral in China. Tens of thousands of TikTok users created a video on this theme.

TikTok also sends personalised recommendations to each of its users. This ensures that TikTok users are always updated on the latest trending videos and are never out of ideas for video creation.

Using these techniques, TikTok has been able to pull off localisation on a global scale.

• Easy Content Creation, Sharing, and Viewing

The TikTop app has simplified video creation and sharing and taken it to the next level. All users have to do is record anything and everything from their daily routines and post it instantly. Due to the short format, neither the video-creation nor the watching process takes much time or effort.

Additionally, this short-form video content is played as soon as a user opens the app. The videos start playing one-by-one and a viewer gets lost in a sea of fun, entertaining, addictive video content. Due to this addictive nature of the type of content, it is very easy for people to keep watching random videos for hours.


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How to use TikTok

Using Tiktok is one of the easiest ways when it comes to social media. Unlike other sophisticated platforms, you can simply start  off by signing up for an account, either with your email address or by connecting to a third-party provider like Facebook. If you don’t create an account, you cannot post anything yourself, just watch.

Speaking of watching, the app is divided into two main feeds. The default is For You, an algorithmically generated stream of videos that will be right up your alley. If you swipe left, you’ll find the other one – Following – which features uploads from people you choose to follow. Don’t want to see a certain kind of TikTok in your feed? Hard press on the video to reveal a Not Interested button.

Now, if you want to create and upload content yourself, here’s how you do it:

How to upload content on TikTok

  1. ​​Tap + at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Upload content from your device or use the TikTok camera.
  3. Add sounds, effects, filters, or other features.
  4. Start your video by pressing the record button.
  5. Record your content.
  6. Tap the checkmark.
  7. Make additional edits.
  8. Post your video!

​​TikToks can, as mentioned, be up to 15 seconds long, but you can also connect multiple clips together for up to ten minutes in total. You can also upload longer videos that have been recorded outside the app itself.

How to duet on TikTok

Once you’ve mastered regular TikToks, why not try experimenting with duets? Duetting on TikTok means the screen will get split in half and let you use the same sound as another creator – simultaneously. To make a duet, tap the share button on the original video, and then hit Duet.

What is the best time to post on TikTok?

According to a large study made by Influencer Marketing Hub, the times listed below are the best times to post when it comes to TikTok. These times are all in EST, and the bolded ones offer an even higher level of engagement, according to the study:

  • Monday: 6 AM, 10 AM, 10 PM
  • Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, 9 AM
  • Wednesday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 11 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM, 12 PM, 7 PM
  • Friday: 5 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM
  • Saturday: 11 AM, 7 PM, 8 PM
  • Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 4 PM

How was the study conducted? Well, they analyzed over 100,000 posts to find the highest engagement rates, so there must be some truth to it. However, there are several factors you have to take into account when deciding on a time to post.


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How to go live on TikTok

First off, to even be allowed to go live on TikTok, you must:

  • Be 16 years old or older
  • Have at least 1,000 followers

Once you’ve ticked those boxes, this is how you go live:

1. Open your TikTok app.

2. Tap the plus sign (the Create button) at the bottom of the screen.

3. At the bottom, swipe to LIVE.

4. Select an image and enter a title for your live stream.

5. When you’re ready, hit the GO LIVE button.

Now, let’s go create some entertaining and very addictive TikTok content, shall we?!

The Future of TikTok

The current popularity of the TikTok app is astonishing but still does not guarantee that it will ever reach the levels achieved by other social networks like Instagram and YouTube. Vine was an extremely popular video-sharing platform back in the day, but it is completely out of the picture now. And there are many other apps that quickly rose to fame and then disappeared.

To maintain its current popularity, TikTok will have to keep innovating and finding new ways to engage their user base. They will also have to make the platform more marketing-friendly for brands in order to establish the app as a social network that is going to stay.

With more brands looking to TikTok to further expand their social media marketing reach, TikTok is on the right track. If it is able to capitalise on brand engagements, it is sure to grow further and may even be able to compete with other social media platforms.