October 25, 2019
Excuse me, Tik what?
TikTok – the popular app attracting Gen Z’ers and focused on inspiring creativity and bringing joy – is the newest social media app making a buzz. After a couple buy-outs and mergers, TikTok has made its way to the ninth spot for top social media sites base on monthly users, ahead of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat. That’s no small feat for this 15-second, continuously looping video sharing app which has marketers, Millennials, and even Millennial marketers wondering what it’s all about. Will this app evolve and mature over time to be an appropriate platform most brands can align with? Or is it more of a “this too shall pass” situation, just like the late Vine?
So it’s like Vine 2.0, right?
There are many reasons which contribute to Vine’s demise: they didn’t adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape fast enough and competitors, like Instagram, were offering more freedom than a restrictive 6-second video clip. Snapchat exploded on the scene giving its users up to 10-seconds of self-destructing images and video. It’s also been reported a lack of unity and leadership on the vision also led to Vine’s demise. A sad day for Millennials, regardless of their Vine activity at the time.
However, TikTok seems to have a more promising future. It was built for Gen Z’ers and platform demographics show they’re exactly who’s eating up a daily dosage of TikToks. A report from summer 2019 shows of TikTok’s 500 million users, 41% are between 16 and 24 years of age. Just to put it in perspective, it took Instagram six years to obtain the same monthly active users as TikTok. Nowadays, there’s no question as to whether Instagram should be a part of a marketer’s social media strategy, so it’s no wonder why so many have TikTok on their radar.
These stats give us hope that TikTok will stick around, but as tech and audience needs continue to change, it all comes down to adaptability, speed, and listening. TikTok must stick to the foundation of the app — inspiring creativity and bringing joy. If they stay true to their core values, while adapting and acting on audience behaviors and industry shifts, they’ll have a bright future.
What does TikTok mean for me though?
With TikTok being so new and having such a specific audience, there currently aren’t a lot of brands jumping on this band wagon yet. But just as other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat have all evolved significantly over time from where they began, it’s likely that TikTok will do the same.
As the app continues to grow, marketers aiming to forge meaningful relationships through the usage of uniquely-raw and creative video will flock to the app even more. With influencer partnerships, hashtag challenges, and a laid-back culture and vibe, TikTok gives brands a landscape for showing their less-polished, more-human side and connecting with a younger audience that they may not be fully tapping into.
Even if you aren’t ready to start TikTok-ing (we’re sure that will be a phrase used soon enough), it’s a good idea for marketers to familiarize themselves with the app and stay tuned to the latest updates, trends and insights around it to ensure you’re staying one step ahead of the game.