Is TikTok The Next Big Thing?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last year, you’ve likely heard of TikTok! For those of you who haven’t, TikTok is an app where users create short videos, anywhere from 15-60 seconds, set to music or film dialogue. Put simply, it’s a mix between the already existing lip-sync apps and Vine, previously owned by Twitter before they shut it down.

Owned and operated by a Beijing-based company ByteDance, TikTok had 1.4 billion total installs beyond China before even entering the U.S. market! The company recently merged Musical.ly with its own short video app TikTok as a means of entering the U.S. market. As a result of that merger, TikTok is sitting at the top of the U.S. App Store. More importantly, it also recently surpassed Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in monthly installs for the first time last month.

Like every new shiny and exciting app, it’s easy to say it’s too young, or too immature of a concept to take off!  However, often times, what young people celebrate has a way of becoming the next big thing! The real question is, do the top social media platforms really have anything to worry about? In this article, we’re breaking down the most popular social media platforms and where they currently stand up against TikTok.

Facebook

“It’s almost like the Explore Tab that we have on Instagram,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in leaked audio of him describing TikTok during an all-hands meeting.

Zuckerberg knows TikTok is popular. He’s aware it’s growing in the crucial international markets Facebook and Instagram depend on to keep user counts rising. He also knows his company needs to respond and make improvements to its standalone clone Lasso. Facebook may prove to become a larger competitive threat to TikTok longer term. However, given TikTok’s niche focus on younger users, Facebook needs to stay weary and ensure its home base remains secure before taking on new markets. It is projected by many marketing experts that by 2020, ByteDance will be recognized as a leader in the next era of social media apps.

YouTube

Every year, thousands of influencers, talent agents, industry leaders, and screaming fans hoping to run into their favourite YouTube stars attend VidCon. VidCon was created 10 years ago by YouTubers to highlight the platform’s most popular content creators, and over the past decade, many of them have seen their careers transformed by the event. But this year at the event, the platform everyone is talking about isn’t YouTube—it’s TikTok.

What TikTok can do that YouTube has lost the ability to is allow fresh-faced creators to break through the the competitive space and make a name for themselves. Creators are using TikTok as a place to bring fans with them to YouTube, creating a channel presence there at the same time.

TikTok may be experiencing a short-lived popularity surge, like its predecessors, but its undeniable cultural impact on the industry and young fans is a sign that YouTube will likely undergo a significant change as transitioned TikTok stars start looking to monetize on their platform.

Instagram

It’s still not clear the range of TikTok’s possible success. But its incredible rise to popularity could threaten Instagram over the course of the next few years, including how attractive it is for brands and eventually advertisers. 

TikTok represents a new form of social entertainment that’s extremely different from the life-logging of Instagram where you can simply post a selfie, show a beautiful view or pan around what you’re up to. TikTok videos are curated, storyboarded and much different than Instagram stories.

Snapchat

While Snapchat doesn’t report monthly metrics, the company announced 186 million daily active users in the third quarter — its second straight report of decline. Snapchat has undoubtedly taken notice of Tiktok’s rapid growth. The app has younger audiences addicted through its combination of music, filters, and a format that provides easy access to “challenges.”

It ultimately comes down to whether young mobile users will be convinced which app has the “cool factor”—or whether they’ll get bored and move onto the next hot new app, which competitors like Facebook are working on right now. TikTok is quickly climbing the app download charts, and coming for Snapchat’s users!

Interested in knowing how your business can benefit from using TikTok?

At Kingston Webworks, we pride ourselves on being industry leaders in implementing social media marketing strategies. Our team of marketing experts spend countless hours researching the latest trends in marketing and making them accessible to our clients. Is your business ready to stand out on the most popular marketing platforms? Let our social media specialists take your brand awareness to a whole new level. Contact us today, we’d love to hear from you!