We present you our second installment of predictions for 2020, analyzing a social network that has risen like foam in 2018 among teenagers: Tik-Tok.
How has it evolved since its origins? What is the secret of its success? What possibilities do you have for advertising? Just read on…
1. The origins of a social network with a lot of rhythm
It all started in 2016. The Chinese start-up ByteDance launched that year the Douyin application for the Chinese market, and its western counterpart TikTok, with identical features and functionality.
This is an application in which users can publish “Vine style” videos of 15 seconds normally (maximum 60 seconds) that are characterized by the lip-sync, or playback traditionally known.
They are contents with a high degree of creativity, dynamic transitions and striking visual and sound effects. This has been an ideal breeding ground to welcome a target that has been pushing strongly in other social networks: the adolescent and pre-adolescent audience (13-16 years).
When it was launched in 2016, TikTok’s growth was progressive and even slow compared to the current trend. But there was a decisive turning point.
The developer of TikTok, ByteDance, surprised with the decision to acquire the Musical.ly application for 800 million dollars.
It was an app that already had some roots in the market, especially in this very young target. The maneuver was quite ambitious, as Tik-Tok is functionally very similar to the old Musical.ly. And in this way, it went on to occupy its old space in the market. The rest is history.
Already in 2018, TikTok has been the most downloaded application in the USA, and among the five most downloaded in Europe, surpassing the very popular Instagram and Whatsapp.
There are 800 million downloads in a single year, and the trend in 2019 is expected to be the same or even higher. The number of users ‘hooked’ to this network already exceeds 500 million worldwide.
2. The secret of its success
A fundamental key is that TikTok offers very attractive audiovisual contents. This is the application with the lowest average age.
The most common user prototype is between 13 and 16 years old (the minimum legal age is 13), and there are also more girls than boys. 60% of users are under 24 years old, and 75% are under 30. Record numbers for the earliness of a target on a social network.
Apart from the already mentioned audiovisual dynamism (lip-sync, musical effects…), other factors that make this application attractive are the animal filters and the “confessional point” of the short videos (concepts “borrowed” from Snapchat and Instagram respectively), the “democratization of the videoclip” (possibility that anyone can teach everyone different skills, such as dance choreographies, parkour…) and, above all, the personalization of the content.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, TikTok selects personalized contents according to your geographical area and previous references of previously seen contents.
This, together with the fact that the clips are passed automatically without the need to select them, and that the application occupies all the space on the screen, makes TikTok a direct competitor of conventional television in the target of teenagers and pre-teens.
3. In search of a wider target
Despite this, TikTok is not just for teenagers. In the United States, under the guidance of Jimmy Fallon, this application has become popular thanks to different challenges that the American presenter was proposing.
Examples include #TumbleweedChallenge (to be recorded in TikTok by croquetting on the floor while western music is playing), or #SharpieChallenge (to throw a marker in the air and paint a mustache into which it falls).
All challenges proposed by Jimmy Fallon and focused directly on a more adult target, which seeks a more leisure related to challenges and jokes. TikTok is associated with “zero sense of ridicule”, a carefree application…
Its success is also evident in the time of use made by the users of this network. Without going any further, in China users spend up to 31 minutes in a row on average using the application, and 13 minutes in the United States.
4. Advertising possibilities?
Currently, TikTok is free of advertising. Although it has not yet been introduced in its contents, there are already important brands that have shown interest in this possibility.
And the idea of the promoters of this network is to “open the ban” to attract investments and start monetizing the platform. It has all the ingredients for success: 500 million users and exponential growth for years to come, a well-defined target but with possibilities for other age segments, new entertainment concepts, personalized contents according to geographical area, and influencers typical of the TikTok application: the so-called Tik-Tokers (also known as Musers).
This seems to be an important line of brands that want to use in the future advertising this platform. Time will tell, but for the moment these first referents are already emerging, such as the twins Twinmelody (Paula and Aitana Etxeberría), also known on YouTube.
In addition to being advertising tools on their own, these Tik-Tokers are beginning to have great importance in the dynamization of the platform.
Many users imitate their behavior within the community and thus further increase their influence on future users. This is something that can also happen in any social network, but TikTok is as young as its users and has a lot of life ahead of it. Now it’s time to monetize to get the most out of it.
We predict a fruitful future for this social network. We’ll see in 2020…