TikTok: What Companies should know

TikTok is considered a surprising hit in the digital industry and some even see the next instagram on the horizon. Jan Firsching explains in this article what the TikTok app is all about and how it works. He also points out which possibilities already exist for companies and which first steps make sense.

The development of TikTok

Instagram is undoubtedly the hottest social network at the moment. But Instagram has been around since 2010, and as is common in the digital industry, potential Facebook and Instagram “killers” come and go. Almost every year there are hypes about new social networks, but they usually disappear just as quickly.

But then came TikTok. With the takeover of the app musical.ly plus an enormous marketing offensive, the Chinese video app is currently on everyone’s lips.

TikTok is thereby a purely mobile social network and sets like the announced Stories formats on vertical Kurzvideos. TikTok brings in addition, some characteristics and basic conditions with itself, which could let the App exist for a long time beyond the present Hype phase.

User numbers and target groups

At the end of January 2019, country-specific user figures for TikTok were published for the first time. If you believe the reactions from the industry, many were surprised by the figures.

In Germany, 4.1 million people use TikTok at least once a month. This is a quite remarkable number for such a new offer. For comparison: Snapchat and Pinterest are each about 10 million monthly active users in Germany. However, the two social media giants Instagram (approx. 20 million) and Facebook (32 million) still have a comfortable lead.

The number of active users in Germany is also interesting in a European comparison. Germany also has more active users than Great Britain, Spain, France or Italy. So you could say: Germany is a TikTok country.

In addition to pure user numbers, usage time and user activity are also interesting indicators. And that’s something to be proud of as well: On average, users open the app eight times a day and spend 39 minutes with the short videos.

This applies at least to the young target group, as one might assume. Official statistics on age distribution have not yet been published.

The TikTok feed

If you open TikTok, the first contents will be presented immediately. The app is based on the feed principle, in which the contents are displayed one after the other, but exclusively in the form of vertical videos.

The contents selected here are already the first decisive difference to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter: TikTok automatically selects them. Depending on how the content is interacted with, the future feed fills up.

Of course, TikTok can be followed by other profiles, but this is not absolutely necessary. Even if you don’t follow anyone, there will always be a feed full of short videos.

Of course, this approach influences how content is played out and how many users it reaches. While on Instagram and YouTube the profiles with the most subscribers often enjoy the greatest visibility at the same time, on TikTok individual videos can also achieve extremely high reaches if they are recommended by the algorithm. Read more here about how to buy tiktok likes for further details.

Disadvantage: There is no guarantee for this. Just because a video has worked well doesn’t mean that the next one won’t. For example, one video might have 20,000 interactions and the next only 100. That is quite possible.

With the TikTok feed it is also important how the areas “For you” and “Follow me” differ:

“Follow me” is the classic feed from social networks where you can find content from those profiles you actively follow.

“For you” is the content curated by TikTok and compiled from previous interactions.

What’s important for the back of your mind is that a large part of the reach and interactions on TikTok are created by the algorithm, i.e. an automatic.

Contents on TikTok

The feed is then all about short videos. The short videos can either be created directly on TikTok or uploaded. The videos run in a continuous loop and the use of music plays a very important role here.

Lip Sync” videos were the beginning of muiscal.ly and have helped many accounts to very high reaches: To the Playback of the music one mimt the singing – sometimes more, sometimes less seriously. Meanwhile you can find on TikTok different kinds of videos: Topics such as recipes, animals, sports, comedy and gaming are fixed components of the feed and are enriched with songs from TikTok’s extensive music library.

Since music is a crucial element on TikTok, videos are often backed up with the latest hottest songs to create additional reach and visibility. Even if it is not a lip-sync video.

As you know from Instagram and Snapchat, the videos can also be alienated and embellished with all kinds of filters, stickers and effects. Furthermore there are livestreams, about which all subscribers of the profile are informed.

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