If you’re a ‘Millennial’ or a ‘Generation X,’ I’m sure you’ve already heard of the application called “TikTok.” It’s an app for making and sharing short videos. There’s a high possibility that you might be the other section of humans who don’t know about this app or who tried it and immediately deleted it from your phone out of confusion.
TikTok is considered as an invigorating outlier in the social media universe that is sincerely fun to use.
If you see a strange video with a disarming watermark that reads TikTok, congratulations on not missing out on what the world has explored and exploded over. You can navigate through the videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed. Video creators can use filters on their videos or even engage with other users by sending response videos by means of a ‘duet.’ Unexpectedly, hashtags also play an important role but sadly, it’s not productive like the earlier days of Twitter. It is used for challenges, or jokes or repeating certain formats.
TikTok’s parent company ‘ByteDance’ was recently valued at more than $75 billion. After initially merging with Musical.ly, it carried forward some of its DNA after Musical.ly shut down.
But what is so unique about TikTok?
It is free for everyone and very user-friendly with a wide range of prompts and reasons it provides. Selection can be made from a wide range of sounds, popular songs, short instants from TV shows and YouTube videos. Doesn’t this sound like a fun playground for all?
It’s been a while since a new social app got huge enough. Reportedly, TikTok has 500 million users and it’s going stronger by the minute. TikTok videos can be hard to watch but it can be charming as well. It can make us all cringe extremely with funny, funny content.
Almost like the greatest hits of compilations, TikTok is a very different app that people have used before. It looks friend feed centric, you can follow and unfollow people and the similarity between the other social media apps like Instagram, Vine or Snapchat is present. But there’s one difference; TikTok is more machine than man and this futuristic app has a message for us all.
Keeping Twitter’s assertiveness and Instagram’s obvious algorithmic recommendations have become very noticeable. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not working. We often do spend more time with the apps as they’ve become more confident, and less personally human, even as we’ve complained.
TikTok is just doing to you what you told it to do
TikTok seems to have directly jumped to the top of these inferences. Here’s an example to prove that. When you open the app: you see a page called “For You.” It’s an algorithmic feed built on videos you’ve interacted or watched before.
It never runs out of material. It is not unless you train it to be, full of people you know, or things you’ve explicitly told if you want to see. It’s full of things that you seem to have demonstrated you want to watch, no matter what you actually say you want to watch.
The pool of Content is huge but almost all of it is Meaningless.
TikTok is known to encourage its users to jump from audience to audience, trend to trend, creating a sort of simulated temporary friend groups, who get together to share their content. Feedback is instant and recurrently abundant; Motivation is constant. There is a unique sense that you’re using something that’s expanding in every direction. They’re so addictive that watching too many in a row can make you feel like your brain might freeze.
Why Do People Spend Hours on TikTok?
It’s Machines. Instead of human editors, it relies heavily on AI to curate and create customized streams of user content that is tailored to each of its readers.
At first glance, you might not be sure why you’re seeing whatever you’re seeing. It managed to do what everyone had earlier tried to solve with regards to Engagement. And how do you get people to engage? You show them things, and let a powerful AI take notes about it. After sending daily notifications, you tell them what to do. Algorithmically speaking, you fake it till you make it
TikTok might seem disorienting so you could choose to sit this one out. But it has a way of sneaking back into your life. For example, Facebook was so paranoid of Snapchat’s popularity that its appealing product ‘Instagram’ remade its image and copied concepts of Snapchat, killing the demand drastically. Even if you skipped Twitter, your news diet was still rewired by it. Your President can talk to you through it.
TikTok questions the predominance of individual connections and friend networks. It blatantly embraces central control rather than pretending it doesn’t have it. TikTok’s real impact is yet to be decided. Or maybe it has already been decided and we just don’t know it yet. Either way, here is a TikTok compilation