Unlimited access to trending clips
TikTok is a free app for uploading and sharing 15-second videos available on Android, iOS, and Fire. The app (formerly known as Musical.ly or Musically) has over 500 million downloads and is used as a popular social media app for sharing trendy videos and keeping tabs on your friends. Especially popular with the younger generation, downloading and using this video sharing app is easy, features millions of videos, and the number is only growing.
Watch, create, and share
TikTok is a quick way to access and create media to be shared with others. Users can easily sink hours of time watching endless videos about whatever subject they choose. These videos can be funny, serious or maybe you just want to lip-sync to popular music. TikTok's huge following and intuitive accessibility ensure that your video gets to the viewers quickly and easily.
TikTok is a simple platform that opens a world of interactivity, and as with any social media giant like Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook, you get what you give. If you and your friends use TikTok to make videos frequently, you'll see a ton of mileage from this app. TikTok's controls are logical and familiar, and most users find 15 seconds just long enough for a quick laugh.
True to its Musical.ly roots, TikTok has the rights to a slew of pop music. Users can embed pop songs into recordings they make and can pull from a catalog spanning thousands of tracks. TikTok stays on top of the trending game by keeping this list of accessible music frequently updated, granting access to a music library with a wide variety of selections.
Sign up to get started
Since TikTok is a mobile app, signup requires either a phone number, email address, or an account on Facebook or Instagram. Right off the bat, you're diving headfirst into the app and you'll immediately have access to millions of short videos. You can filter by creator, category (music, comedy, animals, and sports being among the most popular) or search by relevant tags.
Half the fun of the app is connecting with friends by exchanging profile links, which is done simply by using your phone or social media contacts and followers to quickly locate other friends using the app. For those who are more introverted, creating and sharing your own videos is never required. On the contrary, many TikTok users simply use the app as a way to find and follow content creators rather than making videos of their own.
Most of TikTok's rampant success is owed to watching and recording lip-syncing videos of popular music or sound bytes. Recognizable song lyrics translate especially well within the limited time constraint, and editing in your choice of effects, filters, and music makes every video feel unique and fresh. On the receiving end users can like, comment, follow, or even sing duets, making for a fast-paced interactive experience.
TikTok is immediately easy to use
No matter your level of technical expertise, the mobile controls for TikTok are intuitive and apparent, particularly if you're familiar with Android apps; TikTok was modeled off them to begin with. Videos can be made with a simple button press, and there's a wide range of filters and effects. Cut, crop, or merge with ease. Other features include:
TikTok for kids
The biggest concern about TikTok is whether it's safe for families. Since the main demographic is kids and teenagers, having access to unlimited video content can be dangerous. In 2019 TikTok fought legal battles with federal regulators who charged the app with violating children's privacy law. Anyone can post anything, and content your child chooses to post does not have to be reviewed or edited before it hits the internet.
Since TikTok typically garners younger users these common issues are amplified. TikTok is not a breeding ground for evil as some parents assert, but it is just as susceptible to cyberbullying, insensitive commenting, hate threats, or sexually suggestive content as other social apps like Facebook, Snapchat, or WhatsApp. The main difference is the demographic, not the content, but that still makes the problem worse.
Set your TikTok account to private
If you're concerned about the content at your child's disposal, you can change privacy settings as a way to set your account to private. These tools are located on a user's profile page and by selecting the ellipsis icon. Toggle your profile to a private account, and take it further by selecting who can send or receive profile links and direct messages.
Deleting a TikTok video
Another safety feature of TikTok is the option to remove videos. To do this, access your profile and select the video you wish to delete. Tap the ellipsis (...) icon in the bottom-right and click the trash can to delete it. This will completely erase the video from your profile. The caveat is that TikTok does allow users to download videos, so others may still have it.
Social media evolved
Like it or hate it, TikTok represents a big step in how we create, consume, and share content on social media. The influence of Vine has pervaded even though that app itself has been discontinued. The rise of short, potent content holds a formidable place alongside veteran video platforms like YouTube, and its impact on amateur content creators is increasingly evident.
TikTok has spawned celebrities such as Baby Ariel or Jacob Sartorius, the latter of whom has over 20 million followers at the time of writing this article. The top content creators of 2019 were nearly all ordinary teenagers who've since risen to TikTok fame, and easy access to their content coupled with the possibility of being the next TikTok celebrity is a hard draw for young teens to resist.
The future of TikTok
TikTok's biggest battle is still against parents who think the app is dangerous for their kids. As such, the newest changes to TikTok (aside from performance tweaks) are adjustments to bolster the app's security and privacy. TikTok's continued success will largely depend on how well the app can strike this tough balance between quantity of content and safety of viewing for children.
How TikTok will perform in the new decade is hard to say (remember how popular Vine was back in 2013), but the app has made bold strides on the social media landscape, and marketing pioneers would do well to study its success story. Quick access to short entertainment is taking the social media crown, and TikTok will undoubtedly challenge and inspire many new apps to follow in its footsteps.