By Alyssa Turner
What was once considered a spin-off rendition of Vine that nobody knew what to do with, TikTok grew exponentially during the height of the pandemic and has claimed its rightful throne above all other social media. Sensor Tower just announced in their Q1 2022 report that TikTok has become the 5th app ever to achieve more than 3.5 billion downloads. As if that wasn’t significant enough, in the 4 short months of 2022 thus far, the app has been downloaded over 175 million times. All signs point to continued growth and that means bigger and better opportunities for creators.
With every new form of social media, creators have been getting more and more…well, creative with their content - constantly pushing the limits of how they can entertain their audiences. Some of the best TikTok creators have found their success in the niche markets, targeting an engaged group of individuals with like-minded hobbies and care-abouts. Trying to learn about Microsoft Excel? There’s content for that. Love collecting Beanie Babies? Also content for that. Have a special affinity for growing plants? Yep, you guessed it, content.
But with such a vast population of users on the app, one might ask, is this content actually niche? In part, we can thank TikTok’s algorithm for popularizing what would otherwise fall by the wayside. The algorithm is good. So good, in fact, that we get caught up scrolling for hours on end at times, never without quality entertainment. Personally speaking, TikTok has replaced much of my typical “TV-watching time” as a similar way to wind down and decompress from the day. That’s largely due to the app knowing exactly what I want to watch, which is time much better spent than watching 47 previews on Netflix before I fall asleep without ever managing to select something.
The entertainment factor is largely what’s setting TikTok apart from other social media platforms. This is exactly how Khartoon Weiss, head of global agency and accounts at TikTok, referred to the app during a recent keynote: an entertainment platform. In a way, it’s a bit of a hybrid space - one where highly produced content, viral arguments about the Wizard of Oz, and Charlie Puth’s lengthy album release teases can live in harmony and we’re here for it.
Not only has TikTok become THE hub for short form content, but the way it has driven and built up a strong community amongst creators and followers alike is pretty impressive. Creators are often commenting on each other’s videos, duetting videos with their favorite celebs or peers, and even getting together to collab on content IRL, bringing together their unique audiences and further driving overall engagement. Most of us fans geek out pretty hard when our favorite accounts team up. For me, when @reesewitherspoon duetted @elysemyers in her “Reese’s Toast” recipe, that may have been the ultimate moment.
So, what’s the takeaway, you ask? If you’re a brand, an influencer, an athlete, a public figure, a company, etc., you need to be on TikTok. Too often we hear hesitation about putting content out there for fear of how it will be received. The great thing about this app is that there’s an audience for everything, and in our book, better to try and fail, than not to try at all. You never know what can come out of your content if you never give it a chance. Just ask Emily Zugay and the Detroit Lines.