BUSINESS

How TikTok Keeps Beating The Competition

Just a couple of years ago, TikTok was nothing more than another social media platform for dancing and singing teenagers. And now, here we are in 2023, with TikTok now arguably the most popular social media app in the world, beating long-existing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

How has this happened? What makes TikTok so competitive?

There are several reasons for the phenomenon that is TikTok. First, it offers ease of use like no other platform. Its easy-to-use video creation tools make it easy for anyone to become a content creator no experience required. For example, it provides a seemingly unending library of licensed music that allows users to soundtrack their clips without fear of breaking any copyright law.

But TikTok doesn’t just rely on its easy-to-use video app as a marketing tool to lure in its users. At the very beginning, it launched a billion-dollar advertising campaign across Instagram and Facebook, effectively recruiting users from these media platforms to its own platform.

And once users signed up, they were simply hooked. The tool in use; the company’s very popular “For You Page” (the FYP).

When a new user opens the app, the FYP is the default screen they see. It has a never-ending stream of short clips culled from the currently popular videos across the service. This fact alone stands TikTok above the competition. A new Facebook or Twitter account is basically blank, no friends and no followers. Meanwhile, TikTok engages and enthralls new users from day one.

As the user scrolls through the FYP, the makeup of videos starts to change until what is presented is almost a prediction of what piques the user’s interest. According to the company, user recommendations are based on a number of factors, including location, language, videos liked or shared by the user, accounts followed, posted comments, and content creation.

TikTok pushes the boundaries of a user’s interests and monitors how users engage with new videos it pushes to their FYP. For example, it might show you some videos about dancing dogs if it thinks you like videos about animals.

More often than not, the recommendations are spectacularly accurate.

So, imagine a social media account that can almost predict what you’d like to watch versus one where you have to do the searching yourself? Which would you choose?

Of course, you’d choose TikTok.

Also, it’s much easier to become popular much more quickly on TikTok than on any other platform. For one, every video posted on TikTok gets served to at least one person on the For You Page. Meanwhile, it is possible to have a video up on YouTube with no view. Not on TikTok, meaning that every user has the chance of global fame.

Other media social platforms have since followed TikTok’s use of short-form videos, thinking it will do the trick and earn them back a large part of the market. We now have Instagram Reels, Pinterest Idea Pins, Snapchat Spotlight, and YouTube Shorts.

Of course, none of them is as versatile or as popular, or as beloved as TikTok.

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Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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