TikTok is a new video-sharing app that is revolutionizing social media. Just recently, the app earned the title of the world’s most downloaded iPhone app. The platform is a space where users can share 15-second video clips to the backdrop of music. Most of the content published on the platform is scripted and comical.
Bytedance, which is TikTok’s parent company, positions themselves as “one of the first companies to launch mobile-first products powered by machine learning technology.” This Chinese company is now considered to be one of the world’s most valued private technology firms, boasting a worth of $75 million.
TikTok has become so popular because they make it easy for communities of people to engage with each other. It is a platform where people can be their relatable selves and make people laugh.
The app was born when the apps Douyin and Musical.ly were merged and rebranded as TikTok. Now, it has significantly more downloads than Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. Over half a billion people are accessing the platform daily.
But, how does that translate to revenue for Bytedance? Since TikTok does not advertise on the platform, their primary source of income is in-app purchases. Users can buy digital currency to give to content creators. This currency is called “coins” and they run from 100 for $0.99 to 10,000 for $99.00. When content creators receive coins from their fans, they can exchange them for digital gifts.
In February, users spent $5.5 million globally, which is an increase of 243% from last year. The expansion of TikTok is expected to continue, so it makes sense that Bytedance is eager to keep investing money into the app.
People love the platform for its uniqueness and the creative freedom it gives its users. Bytedance recognizes the recent demand for the app and knows that it can be a significant source of income for them.
The CEO of Bytedance is Zhang Yiming. He is a 35-year-old entrepreneur who has founded many other ventures including a real estate search portal. He once was the Director of Technology at Kuxun, China’s most prominent transportation and travel search engine. He was later acquired by TripAdvisor.
He is expected to have a net worth of $6.8 billion, which people can assume is due partly to TikTok’s success. This seven-year startup is now a force to be reckoned with in the social media industry. With Zhang at the helm, the growth is projected to continue.
At heart, Bytedance was founded as and remains a tech company. TikTok uses the company’s AI technologies in a variety of ways including facial recognition for filters and the recommendation algorithm in the “For You” feed. TikTok wouldn’t be possible without AI.
While the app runs on AI technology, the hype comes from the shocking and relatable content found on the app. TikTok even seems to be churning their own internet-famous celebrities, all of who are making the app more successful by being regular content creators.
How TikTok is Different from Other Platforms
TikTok is much different from other social platforms because of how lighthearted it is. The creators on TikTok spare no expense to create the most viral-worthy skits. With other social platforms, posts take much less time. There’s a certain production quality to TikTok’s that doesn’t exist on other apps.
It’s this kind of creativity and innovation that earned Bytedance the $75 billion valuation. It’s obvious why the company is eager to continue investing in the app and expanding its reach.
Another interesting part of TikTok is the lack of domination by micro-influencers. There’s a fair share of TikTok celebrities, but the number remains far fewer than the amount on Instagram or Twitter. What makes the app so great is that no one has less of a chance of being seen or heard. Every day, the main feed is filled with new and exciting faces.
Since the app is so popular among the younger generation, there is some talk of young kids setting up social accounts without parental consent. Luckily, the app’s main feed isn’t full of content that is worrisome to most parents. However, there is some discomfort surrounded around the fact that it’s quite easy for kids to set up an account without telling their parents.
Another issue that could prove challenging for TikTok is their difficulty to handle content filtering and takedowns, as well as privacy protection and security issues. Because of how large the user base is, it can be difficult for their team to manage all of the content successfully and ensure there isn’t anything harmful on the platform.
Where Does it Go from Here?
TikTok is becoming so popular because their method encouraging user content creation is so different from other apps. They give app users so many different tools to play with that allow people to create something truly unique.
TikTok is a major sensation that appeals to the masses. The app is known and loved worldwide.
Bytedance, the company behind TikTok, is eager to expand their share of overseas markets. Like other Chinese companies, they have been trying hard to grow outside of China.
The app is one of many international products by Bytedance. The company is reportedly entering other industries as well. In March, a subsidiary of Bytedance launched Lark, a workspace management and productivity tool. They are also working on a music streaming service.
Regardless of how many new ventures the company takes on, TikTok is sure to remain one of their priorities because of its huge success and potential for growth. The app is exponentially popular in the younger generation, and people really seem to be warming up to the app after a period of distrust.
There used to be a time when TikTok’s were seen as cringe-worthy, but people are beginning to see the value in the content posted on the app. Because of that, people are finding a new outlet to express themselves and make people laugh.