What is TikTok?
A popular app for short, mobile-formatted videos, TikTok allows users to edit footage with a multitude of filters. From fast-forwarded footage to music overlays, TikTok is a channel that showcases today’s originality, allowing everyone and anyone to be a creator.
TikTok users can record 15-second videos in the app and share them with followers via groups and general feeds. TikTok also allows users to react to friends’ videos, a feature that was undoubtedly influenced by Facebook’s Reacts concept, the feature that allows users to like, love, laugh, cry or be angry at posts in feeds.
How Much Has TikTok Grown?
TikTok, the international version of Douyin, a Chinese video app, grew by 30 million U.S. users after its parent company ByteDance bought Musical.ly and incorporated it into TikTok this past August. eMarketer noted downloads were up 25% in the U.S. during the period immediately after the merger.
Some consumers are skeptical of the app’s popularity, believing much of TikTok’s success is due to Musical.ly users who were switched over to TikTok as part of the merger. But the app has naturally grown in popularity, partly thanks to Jimmy Fallon, who encouraged fans to use the app for viewer challenges.
Where Is the Monetization in TikTok?
While Douyin encourages paid video ads, TikTok doesn’t yet allow advertisers on the app. But TikTok does currently allow for in-app spending, where users can buy emoji packs and other digital features. eMarketer reported spending within the TikTok app amounted to $3.5 million between October 2017 and October 2018. While TikTok doesn’t leverage any in-app advertising, the nature of TikTok encourages influencers to showcase brands’ products for payment, a different revenue stream.
In November 2018, TikTok surpassed downloads for Messenger, Facebook and Instagram but stayed trailing behind WhatsApp. While consumers seem to love TikTok right now, we wonder if their adoration will stay consistent, or if TikTok, like Vine, will be kicked aside for the next video app.