The End of Vine and The Rise of TikTok
Twitter discontinued Vine on January 17th, 2017, and fans of the lighthearted micro-video app mourned the end of the service. However, TikTok was there to fill the gap and has been dominating the 13-24 demographic.
In fact, from December 2017 to December 2018, the app added 75 million new users worldwide across the App Store and Google Play. This represents year-over-year growth of 275%. It’s time for marketers to give the app some serious consideration in 2019.
What Is TikTok?
In a nutshell, TikTok is an app designed for creating 15-second videos. The origin story starts with Musical.ly, which launched in 2014 and gained a dedicated user base. In November 2017, Musical.ly was acquired by ByteDance, who owned TikTok, a similar app that launched in China in 2016. In August 2018, Musical.ly and TikTok were merged to form the TikTok app we know today.
TikTok’s younger user base tends to create musical micro-videos that feature dancing, lip-syncing, and comedic sketches, and the app actively promotes off-app sharing of these clips by making it easy to download export and email mp4 files and share links to friends. TikTok is like Vine, but better.
What Should Marketers Do With TikTok?
Easy: Create engaging video content! Just like with Vine (RIP) and YouTube, you’ll want to tell stories, make people laugh, and have fun. Unlike other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, TikTok’s users expect content to be upbeat, entertaining, and silly, so don’t be afraid to goof around a bit when creating your own TikTok videos.
TikTok recently launched its first in-app ad units, providing a unique opportunity for marketers to get in on the ground floor of this trendy app.
Should I Be Using TikTok?
Maybe. If you’re considering playing with video in 2019, and you’re marketing your brand toward a younger audience, definitely. Many brands are still kicking themselves that they didn’t jump on to the Instagram and Snapchat trains when they first left the station. According to App Annie’s data on the most-downloaded apps of 2018, TikTok ranked No. 4 worldwide across iOS and Android, so it’s absolutely worth experimenting with.
TikTok’s interactive features alone should catch any serious marketer’s attention:
- Users can contribute to a video that they like by placing their own 15 second video reply alongside it by uploading a “Duet,” which encourages positive interaction from followers.
- Even if videos exported from TikTok feature a watermark, the ability to easily download and share your clips to other platforms makes it that much easier for you and your fans to upload content to other social media platforms.
- TikTok sports a range of creative tools to edit and customize videos, such as animated lip-synching heads, color-changing options, filters, and stickers. You don’t have to be a professional videographer to create on this channel.
TechCrunch called TikTok, “the Instagram for the mobile video age.” We’re listening and paying close attention to how the app evolves and develops. We encourage you to play with these various effects to see which ones convey your brand’s personality.
Have you used TikTok for your brand? Tell us how in the comments!