How TikTok became so popular?
As you may know, TikTok is by ByteDance, a Chinese company. The brand is widely known as an umbrella company as it created and expanded numerous popular apps in China. The company is worth up to $75 billion. Thus, it makes this one of the most valuable companies in the world.
To further implement into the market, in 2016, the company launched Douyin app in China. Unlike the rest of the world, such an app wasn’t something unheard of. However, within the first year, the app has 100 million active users and up to 1 billion views every day.
As the company saw such a success in China, in 2017, they decided that it’s time to expand outside of the country. Under the new name, TikTok becomes increasingly popular in Asian markets such as Japan. However, while the company was growing increasingly popular, so was Muical.ly.
One difference between the apps was that Musical.ly was becoming popular in American and European markets. Whereas TikTok only in Asia. The idea was similar; the videos were 15-seconds long with lip-syncing. Alex Zhu and Louis Yang, the founders of Musical.ly, wanted the app to be about 15-seconds long educational videos. The idea failed, the app remained.
In the summer of 2015, Musical.ly became the No.1 most downloaded app in the app store. The other app, Vine, was coming to an end. In autumn of 2016, Vine closed, and those with popular accounts moved to Musical.ly.
Once ByteDance understood the potential of Musical.ly, they have decided to buy out the competition. So, in autumn of 2017, they purchased the app with $1 billion. They didn’t merge the two apps. Instead, TikTok was on the Asian market and Musical.ly in the United States.
Nonetheless, this all changed as in the summer of 2018, ByteDance announced that they are shutting down Musical.ly. People didn’t have to worry about their accounts as their profiles automatically transferred to TikTok. Nobody understood why they didn’t leave the two apps separate until success shortly hit.
Within a few months, TikTok had 6 million installs in a single month. In 2019, it became so popular that the company had to employ people in the US to keep up with the continuous growth. Currently, there are over 400 employees in Los Angeles.
How did the app gain so much momentum?
Artists saw the potential the app had on their careers. For example, Lil Nas X “Old Town Road” gained popularity on TikTok first. Then, it quickly becomes on top of the Billboard charts. Furthermore, users could soon become stars and influential with no previous experience. You can take a look at Loren Gray; the star was first famous on Musical.ly. After her account transferred to TikTok, she became unstoppable.
After a few saw the potential, many started to realize that it’s much easier to become known on TikTok than other social media platforms. If you are creative enough, you still have time to become an influencer.
Once it had enough downloads in the US, the app started to become famous in other markets such as the UK or India. Worldwide, TikTok had around 1.5 billion downloads.
The idea of short videos is appealing to the younger generation. There are numerous niches so the youngers can either use it for educational or entertainment purposes. Many users show their talents at makeup or acting. Others are creating videos with their cool cats and dogs. Whatever you find the most entertaining, you will find it on TikTok.
Numerous influencers decided to be active on TikTok. Famous actors such as Will Smith and entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuck share videos for their relevant demographic.
Not only people have a username on the app. You can also see famous brands such as Nike and Samsung active on this social media platform.
Currently, there is no way that you can capitalize on popularity directly from the app. Nonetheless, brands invest in popular accounts to advertise their products and services. Also, many place their YouTube profile links in the bio. As long as people continue to post engaging content for their followers, the app has a great future ahead of them.
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