by Enton Lok
Want to get a quick overview of what TikTok is? Watch this video right now.
TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, is one of the fastest-growing social media today. The Vine alike Chinese-owned social platform allows users to upload 15-second videos onto their own channels. Similar to many other social media, users can follow, like, comment and share other people’s content. The platform now has more than 1.5 billion users, and it ranks after WhatsApp and Messenger as the third most downloaded non-gaming app of the year. It has the highest popularity in China and the United States and trending quickly in India. Besides short vlogs and comedy content, challenges, such as lip-syncing and dancing, are very popular on the app. Here are a few examples:
As shown in the video above, many challenges are corresponding to a specific song. According to Rolling Stone, the platform is impacting pop music. TikTok has “become a staging ground for hits – Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road,’… Ambjay’s ‘Uno,’ Y2k and bbno$’s ‘Lalala,’ and … Lizzo’s ‘Good as Hell’ – before they crash into the mainstream.” Many new artists are looking into launching their next big hit on TikTok prior to anywhere else.
The same phenomenon happened in China as well. All users can upload their audio template to the platform for others to use, so the app and the community have made a few amateur artists gain their popularity before going mainstream. Here is a famous TikTok viral song from China called Learn How to Meow:
The unique features of TikTok and the culture of participating in viral challenges provide huge marketing opportunities for brands. Having an iconic jingle for a marketing campaign is nothing new and now with the help of social media, the right idea can be amplified to a global level. It would be interesting to see how brands are going to emerge onto the platform and what kind of creative campaigns they are going to launch on TikTok.