What is TikTok?
It is an iOS and Android media app that can be used for creating and sharing short videos. It was initially launched as Douyin in September 2016, in China. The following year, in 2017, the app was launched by ByteDance for markets outside of China. TikTok and Douyin both use the same software, but maintain separate networks in order to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. What helps TikTok stand out among the competition is that it’s more of an entertainment platform, instead of a lifestyle platform. Their mission is to “capture and present the world
TikTok today has 800 million active users worldwide (Datareportal, 2020) and has over 2Billion+ downloads on app stores. That makes TikTok 9th in terms of social network sites, ahead of better-known sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Few observations and comments about Tiktok and its fate.
- TikTok’s success can be attributed to short videos of less than a minute. It’s about the attention span of the human mind before it gets distracted. Thus video completion rates are high.
- Its growth during and pre-Covid can be attributed to its focus on music and entertainment. It has generally avoided the trap of getting into controversial topic categories. The content is light-hearted, features are designed to stir creativity, are multi-person, and music element adds the mood.
- TikTok’s algorithm does a great job at recommendations and this is their key to success based on your interests, video completion rates, and also what you decide not to watch and skip.
- TikTok has spawned new competitors like Triller, Instagram Reels, and others with similar features. Will this sustain advantage for them as these platforms copy each other’s cool features? To be seen.
- Tiktok has begun addressing privacy concerns and its decision to host data in the U.S. with his new partnership should alleviate the concerns. If you are worried about TikTok privacy, then you should be more worried about Facebook. Facebook could probably create a fake accurate profile with your persona and an avatar, given the data that they have already amassed about you.
- TikTok’s key advantage for marketers is GenZ and Millennial reach. A key observation is that many of Tiktok videos are multi-person compared to videos on Youtube and Instagram. Families are creating content together and dancing to the tunes together. Tiktok should focus on ways to create multi-person content.
- Their ad and video analytics tool is still a work in progress and has ways to grow. They grew faster than their business product did.
Finally, we hope to get an opportunity to integrate and partner with Tiktok. As with other platforms, we wish to help brands and retailers go deeper with understanding and leveraging Tiktok content and platform for their brand, category, and vertical to grow their business.
CEO & Co-Founder of Vyrill Inc.
Vyrill has trained machines to watch millions of videos on social media and web, and videos captured directly from customers to help brand marketers increase revenue and find new customers by leveraging user generated video such as video reviews, feedback, unboxing, how to videos etc for insights, demand-generation, licensing and content marketing.
With 70% more growth in video content and 50% to 500% growth in online sales in some categories due to Covid and with over 85% of consumers mentioning that videos influence their purchase decisions, user generated video has become essential to grow brand revenue and growth. Vyrill is developing the industry’s first video ranking and video reviewing system for commerce.