If you haven’t heard of Tik Tok you’re either over the age of 50 or have been living under a rock, because it’s taken over social media across the globe.
Vine meets Gen Z app TikTok has taken social media by storm, and what many people don’t know is that the app has already been around for almost four years. The platform was started in 2016 and soon afterward merged with the popular lip syncing app Musical.ly in 2017, after it was taken over by ByteDance (the world’s most valuable start up). That same year, the platform saw an official rebranding and international launch, quickly becoming the social media phenomenon we never saw coming. Much like Vine before it, the app allows users to make short videos that they can post to their online profile.
Since TikTok was made available for use around the globe, the site’s growth has been astonishing, with more than 500 million users downloading and signing up to the app in 2019, bringing the total number of users to 1.5 billion, according to Sensor Tower. To compare, that’s almost one fifth of the world’s population using Tik Tok, whereas arguably the most popular social media site before it, Instagram, reports only 1 billion users worldwide. TikTok’s rapid growth could, in part, be attributed to it having quickly become a trend, and, not one’s to ever sleep on the latest and greatest thing, it would seem that many of TikTok’s users are of the millenial and Gen Z generations, with The Business of Apps finding that 66% of the app’s users are under 30.
As TikTok’s influence has rapidly grown, so has it’s revenue, with SensorTower finding it’s lifetime user spend to have reached “US$175 million worldwide across the App Store and Google Play”. This global revenue is said to have been made up predominantly by users in China, where the service is widely popular, with Chinese users having spent a reported US$84.5 million on the app, or 48.3% of it’s [total] revenue”. Following China, the U.S. generates the second largest revenue with a US$62.4 million, making up 35.7%.
The site has also proven extremely successful for those of the influencer persuasion, with the app’s most followed profile, user Loren Gray, having garnered 37.6 million followers. While it’s hard to believe that someone posting short clips lip syncing famous quotes from movies or random voice overs could attract such a following, we also once believed it wouldn’t be possible for individuals to make a living by posting pictures on Instagram, so go figure. However, as with many fast-appearing and rapidly successful trends, the question arises: will the hype last? SensorTower reports that TikTok has already begun to feel the pressure, seeing a slowdown in growth in recent months.
As of today, the TikTok app is made up of a mixture of everyday individuals, ‘stars’ and internet celebrities, however the app is starting to see it’s fair share of paid content and advertising as businesses have caught wind of it’s popularity and marketing potential.
If you’re thinking of jumping on board the TikTok movement, why not try the app for yourself and see what all the fuss is about!