The evolution of entertainment does not belong to television or movie screens anymore. It belongs on your phones. To be more specific, Tiktok takes the cake — 113 million new slices to be exact.
These staggering numbers were downloaded numbers just last February, weeks before the community quarantine and enhanced community quarantine lockdowns were declared by the national government in the Philippines.
Tiktok is now on the phones of over one billion people and that number is expected to increase in the next few weeks.
As more people get to stay indoors and more TV and movie studios are not able to produce new materials due to the restriction of movements, the masses are looking for alternatives that will keep them sane by escaping from this surreal situation we are all facing.
It is believed that Tiktok is now more popular than any other social media platform, upstaging Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. It is also more widely downloaded than messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber and Messenger.
So, what is Tiktok and how did it become so popular?
According to Brandtastic.com, Tiktok was invented in 2014 and initially named Musical.ly. Users of this app were called “musers” and became widely known for lip-syncing and dancing.
Two years later a company called Douyin was created by a Chinese app development company to compete with Musical.ly. Douyin was then rebranded as Tiktok for global appeal but retained its name for Chinese users.
By 2017, Musical.ly was then purchased by a company called Bytedance and merged all users to Tiktok.
Why is TikTok entertaining?
It’s a short-form entertainment where videos are 15 seconds on average. According to the company, “TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.”
It claimed to have global offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo.
Amateurs are most likely to be randomly sent to your screens but there are influencers who still have more engagement. However, the algorithm of Tiktok will allow more beginners to have followers. Everyone is on equal footing as long as the content is entertaining.
Major brands are also on Tiktok since it has a younger demographic. Some Filipino politicians are also on Tiktok but they are more likely annoying than entertaining.
Can you monetize content on Tiktok?
So far there is no clear algorithm where Tiktok provides monetary rewards to its users. Unlike Youtube and Instagram, there is no clear process on how followers and engagement can earn. Brands will have to directly engage with users in the meantime.
In my opinion, monetizing a platform will “corrupt” the system as users will now focus on endorsements rather than independent content. I hope it stays this way.