Today we are going to explain what TikTok is, where it comes from and what it offers. We are talking about an Asian social network based on sharing music videos, and that is achieving incredible results in recent months. In fact, this past October it has managed to surpass Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in number of downloads, confirming itself as one of the surprises of the year.
We are going to start by explaining what this new social network is, who is behind it and how it has managed to become so strong. Then, we will briefly explain to you and so that you can understand what you can do with it so that you know how to differentiate it from other alternatives such as Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube, even if it drinks from concepts that these three great alternatives have.
What is TikTok
The original name of the app is Douyin which means “shake the music” in Chinese. This name comes in handy, since it is a social network based on sharing small music clips . However, outside of China it is called TikTok, and you can find it available for both iOS and Android.
The application was launched in September 2016, it only took 200 days to develop, so it seems that they had quite clear ideas. Its growth has also had a spectacular speed, because if according to Chinese portals, last February the partner network had a total of 66 million daily active users, in October 2018 other sources suggest that it has already exceeded the 130 million barrier of users.
Regarding its operation, TikTok allows you to create, edit and upload 1-minute music videos, being able to apply various effects and add a musical background. It also has some Artificial Intelligence features, and includes eye-catching special effects, filters, and augmented reality features.
All this is offered in a simple way, and with easy-to-use editing options so that everyone can make fun videos without having great editing skills. In addition, the application includes other functions such as the possibility of sending messages, voting, friend lists and of course a system of followers and followed. Very Instagram-like, but focused on videos.
Who is behind TikTok
Behind the application is the Chinese technology company Bytedance, whose most popular product is the Toutiao news aggregator, which is based on AI and has about 120 million users in China. It is also an aggregator splattered by controversy due to the censorship imposed on its content when the Chinese government requests it.
Bytedance is also the company that bought Musical.ly for 1,000 million dollars in November 2017, and between both platforms they add a total of 150 million monthly active users worldwide, with 10 billion video views every day.
After the acquisition, Bytedance spent several months treating both applications almost twins as a single unit, until in August 2018 it killed musical.ly to merge it with TikTok, which has been one of the main reasons that it has grown so so dizzying in recent months, going in a quarter from 100 million to 130 million users.
What can you do with Tik Tok
If you have ever used Musical.ly, you already know what you can do with TikTok, since both applications have always been similar, and after merging the options that both could have have been unified. In short, you can think of this social network as a kind of Instagram dedicated to small music videos, although it is also used to make all kinds of compositions, memes and jokes.
The application has a main screen where you watch popular videos or those of people you follow, being able to slide up or down to go through videos. There is also a browse page where you can search for clips and users, or browse hashtags that may interest you. When you watch a video, it is displayed in full screen, with a series of icons on the right with which you can follow the user, like, comment or share the clip.
The application has a main screen where you will directly see a selection of all kinds of content. Also, as if it were Instagram, it has a second category of searches in which you can perform searches by hand or automatically see the results of the main hashtags that are available.
In the center you also have the button where you can access the main protagonist of the application, its video recording and editing tool. You can record your videos with several takes, since the app only records while you hold down the corresponding button. Of course, before you start recording the video you will have several options for filters and effects with which to control them.
When editing the video, you can select takes or phases in which to add other types of effects on your own. For example, you have a series of filters in the style of Instagram, as well as different types of effects to manipulate the videos. The editor will mark the different areas in which you have edited the video with different colors.
Beyond videos, the content publishing mode also lets you create scrollable videos from a series of photos of your choice. In addition, the application also includes a section in which you can send messages to other users, as you can also do in Instaram, and even edit your profile and the data you say about yourself.