Today we’re going to explain what TikTok is, where it comes from and what it offers. We’re talking about an Asian social network based on sharing music videos, and which is achieving incredible results in the last few months. In fact, this past October it has managed to surpass Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in the number of downloads, confirming itself as one of the surprises of the year.

Let’s start by explaining what this new social network is, who is behind it and how it has managed to become so strong. Afterwards, we will briefly explain to you what you can do with it so that you can differentiate it from other alternatives such as Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube even though it drinks from concepts that have these three great alternatives.

What is TikTok

The original name of the application is Douyin which means “to shake the music” in Chinese. This name suits it, as it is a social network based on sharing small music clips. However, outside China it is called TikTok, and you can find it available for both iOS and Android.

The application was launched in September 2016, it took only 200 days to develop, so it seems they had their ideas pretty clear. Its growth has also had a spectacular speed, because if according to Chinese portals, last February the partner network had a total of 66 million active users daily, in October 2018 other sources indicate that it has already exceeded the barrier of 130 million users.

As for its operation, buy tiktok likes to create, edit and upload music videos of 1 minute, being able to apply several effects and add a musical background. It also has some Artificial Intelligence functions, and includes eye-catching special effects, filters, and augmented reality features.

All this is offered in a simple way, and with easy to use editing options so that everyone can make fun videos without having a great deal of editing knowledge. In addition, the application includes other functions such as the ability to send messages, voting, friends lists and of course a system of followers and followers. Very Instagram-like, but video-centric.

Who’s behind TikTok

Behind the application is the Chinese technology company Bytedance, whose most popular product is the AI-based news aggregator Toutiao, which has about 120 million users in China. It is also a news aggregator that has been plagued by controversy due to the censorship imposed on its content when requested by the Chinese government.

Bytedance is also the company that bought Musical.ly for $1 billion in November 2017, and between the two platforms they have a total of 150 million active users per month worldwide, with 10 billion video views per day.

After the acquisition, Bytedance spent several months treating both almost twin applications as a single unit, until in August 2018 it killed musical.ly to merge it with TikTok, which has been one of the main reasons it has grown so rapidly in recent months, going from 100 million to 130 million users in one quarter.

What you can do with Tik Tok

If you’ve ever used Musical.ly, you know what you can do with TikTok, as both applications have always been similar, and after merging, the options they both may have were unified. In short, you can think of this social network as a kind of Instagram dedicated to small music videos, although it is also used to make all kinds of compositions, memes and jokes.

The application has a main screen where you can watch popular videos or videos of people you follow, and you can slide up or down to switch between videos. There is also a browsing page where you can search for clips and users, or browse through hashtags that may interest you. When you watch a video, it is displayed in full screen, with a series of icons on the right that you can follow the user, give like, comment or share the clip.

The application has a main screen where you can directly see a selection of all kinds of content. Also, like Instagram, it has a second category of searches where you can search by hand or automatically see the results of the main hashtags that are available.

In the center you also have a button where you can access the application’s main protagonist, its video recording and editing tool. You can record your videos with multiple takes, since the app only records while you hold down the corresponding button. But before you start recording your video, you’ll have several options for filters and effects with which to control them.

Lena S. O'Reilly

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