Let's Talk About TikTok

January 3, 2023


What is TikTok?

If you haven’t heard of TikTok, we’re not sure where you’ve been, but we’ll start with a bit of history.

TikTok is an iOS and Android media app that can be used for creating and sharing short-form videos. It was initially launched as Douyin in September 2016 in China. The following year, in 2017, the app was launched by Chinese-based ByteDance for markets outside of China. Now, TikTok is owned by ByteDance and has an estimated 100 million users in the United States with over a billion monthly active users worldwide. Two-thirds of U.S. teenagers use TikTok, making it second in popularity only to YouTube, according to the Pew Research Center.

What helps TikTok stand out among the competition is that it’s more of an entertainment platform instead of a lifestyle platform. Its mission is to “inspire creativity and bring joy” as the leading destination for short-form mobile video.

However, in 2022, Congress has actively pursued and placed bans on TikTok users in the U.S. among concerns that the popular Chinese-owned video app poses a national security risk, while some believe restricting consumers from using the app raises First Amendment concerns. (The New York Times, 2022)

Here are a fewew observations and comments about TikTok and its fate:

  1. TikTok's success can be attributed to short videos of less than a minute. It's about the attention span of the human mind before it gets distracted. So, it’svideo completion rates are high.

  2. Its growth during and pre-Covid can be attributed to its focus on music and entertainment. It has generally avoided the trap of getting into controversial topic categories. The content is light-hearted, features are designed to stir creativity, and musical elements add to the mood.

  3. TikTok's algorithm does a great job at recommendations - they succeed at this  by knowing your interests, video completion rates and also what you decide not to watch and skip.

  4. TikTok has spawned new competitors like Triller, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, and others with similar features. Will this sustain an advantage for them as these platforms copy each other's cool features? To be seen.

  1. TikTok's key advantage for marketers is Gen Z and Millennial reach.  A key observation is that many of TikTok videos are multi-person compared to videos on YouTube and Instagram. Families are creating content together and dancing to the tunes together. TikTok should focus on more ways to create multi-person content.

  2. Their ad and video analytics tool is still a work in progress and has a ways to grow. 
  1. The future of TikTok in the U.S. could be bleak unless they make some changes. At least 14 states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices and a ban of TikTok on all of them is up for a vote. A separate bill was introduced in Congress to ban the app for everyone in the United States. Also, Indiana’s attorney general has sued TikTok, accusing the company of being deceptive about the security and privacy risks the app poses.

Regardless of political or security concerns, TikTok has consistently stood out among competitors because it’s more of an entertainment platform instead of a lifestyle platform. Its mission is to “inspire creativity and bring joy” as the leading destination for short-form mobile video.

Given its wild growth in popularity, Vyrill recently announced an integration with TikTok. Our customers can now seamlessly add TikTok videos for analysis and publishing to any product page, website, or marketing campaign. Get in touch to learn more!

 About the Author

Katy boasts two decades in B2B technology & services, spearheading growth and brand evolution. A former Adobe marketing maven for 9 years, she’s since built growth teams for 5 tech startups that have all been acquired. With a stellar record in operational excellence and creating demand, she excels at leading successful cross-functional initiatives that enable companies to scale up.

Join thousands of people who get our video marketing, commerce, and SEO tips each month
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.