The China-based start-up ByteDance became the first to crack the US market with its video production app call TikTok. Though TikTok being the most downloaded mobile application for the year 2018, it is most likely that you along with the majority of the population is still not aware of the existence of the app.
But other digital giants are racking their brains how TikTok has done it? How the video making and sharing app is growing into a social network? All is just a beginner’s luck or did they have a secret formula for their breakthrough that other marketers should learn? What strategy did they use to transform themselves into the World’s most valuable start-up, overshadowing Uber?
Let’s Dig deep to find out where it all started.
What is TikTok and Who it is for?
Despite the major expectations for the tech giants like Alibaba, Baidu and more, ByteDance literally danced its way into the western culture.
TikTok is the latest social networking app where Gen Z thrive to showcase their talent in just 15 seconds. A video production app like this claiming to be a social networking platform of self-produced videos and music may not sound appealing to other generations but 4 million downloads in the October 2018 says otherwise.
The original TikTok, known as Doujin in China, with its 500 million monthly users just in Asia became the most downloaded iOS application at the beginning of 2018. Later in that year, TikTok absorbed the similar app called Musical.ly which had over 100m active users in Western and European countries. The powerful combination helped ByteDance break the record the same year for a most downloaded app for the Android and iOS and be on the top 40 since July 2015.
In addition to music, comedy and dance clips, there are so much more in the TikTok app as it has a piece of everything we have seen before. Some amateur videos are typically funny while exceptional ones are getting millions of likes and shares.
How Muscial.ly Transformed itself?
Zhu with his partner Louis Yang, the genius behind the all-famous Musical.ly app had a major failure even before the launch. The real idea behind the application was short-form educational video courses. But the team realized that it took hours to in curating and recording the short-scripted videos.
With just little hope that’s left, Zhu turned the idea around targeting the young demographics by combining music, video and social networking all in one place, through musical.ly.
With next 30 days, Musical.ly was launched and it had 500 downloads in its first day in July 2014.
After 10 months, the team worked on major design changes that pushed the app to #1 position in the iOS store on July 6th and Musical.ly app has been on the top ever since.As of today, over 10m users are regularly using the app and the same number of new videos daily are being added daily.
What plans did they get for the future of Social Networking?
Recently, Facebook made its debut with Lasso app, another one in the short-form videos category. Since the app is in its initial phases, the Facebook has to put in so much effort in order to fight for No. 1 position with Tiktok. If Facebook making an attempt to take it down, then it is high time for a marketer to explore the possibilities of the emerging platform as TikTok for brands to easily grow their brand awareness exponentially.
Like most of the other social networking apps, Females, 13-24 have highly populated the app with their lip-syncs and comedy clips while there are some who are truly talented enough to get recognized by the Billboard. Yes, teens are really generating numbers in millions and establishing their own brands through 15-second clips. If you have your target audience as female teenagers, then you must start promoting your brand in the newest form of social network, TikTok.
“I think we have these scary moments all the time because you’re never safe. Even if you have tens of millions of users, you have to keep them always engaged…I think it’s better for us to be scared all the time rather than feel content that we built a successful product and now we can lay back.” – Zhu
The future of the TikTok looks promising as Zhu is planning to stay and change the dynamics of social networking in the smartphone age. With Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat running the show, the app is looking for stability even with millions of daily users.