• The Hype Project

WTF is TikTok and why should you be on it!

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

It's the closest thing we have to Vine; you could call it Instagram for the mobile video age.

No matter how you describe it, the app is taking the digital world by storm, and marketers are taking note! Since the app launched in 2016, TikTok's user base has grown to include more than 500 million people. It's also just passed the one billion-downloads mark.

But is TikTok as big a deal as it seems? Is TikTok a good fit for your brand?

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a "destination for short-form mobile videos," but of course it comes with all the trappings of a social media community, too.

Video creators can share vertical, looping videos between 15 and 60 seconds in length. An extensive editing toolkit, with an array of filters and effects, and a massive music library (backed by EMI), lets users tune and score their content to witty and comedic effect.

Key TikTok stats:

In February 2019, TikTok exceeded one billion installs from the App Store and Google Play. Valued at $80+ billion, TikTok's parent company Bytedance surpassed Uber to become the world's most valuable start-up.By November 2018, the TikTok app was downloaded nearly 80 million times in just the United States.

How does TikTok work?

From TikTok's algorithm to duets and hashtag challenges, there are many facets of the TikTok platform worth knowing. Here's a point-by-point summary of the main things you can do on TikTok.


Watching and creating videos are central to the TikTok experience. Videos and slideshows can be uploaded or created in-app with stop and start recording, timers, and other effects.


TikTok's extensive music library and integration with Apple Music is where the app edges out all other social platforms.

Creators can add, remix, save, and discover songs and sounds via playlists, videos, and more. According to Genius, TikTok plays a significant role in helping tracks climb the charts.

Video editing

During post creation, users can apply visual filters, time effects, split screens, transitions, stickers, GIFs, emoji, and other effects.


TikTok users can follow accounts that they like, and give hearts, comments or shares on videos they enjoy. Videos, hashtags, sounds, and effects can are added to a user's Favorites section.

The TikTok algorithm

Like most social media platforms, TikTok is all about user-generated content. But unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites, TikTok revolves less around people you follow, and more around introducing users to new content.

Fed by its algorithm, the TikTok "For You" feed shows users content it thinks they will like and makes adjustments based on their behaviour over time.

TikTok demographics

Tik Tok is especially popular with teenagers, and according to Global Web Index, 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old. Within the 16-24-year-old age range, the app has demographic od 60% female and 40%, male

Should brands pay attention to TikTok?

If Gen Z is a target demographic and your brand is not on TikTok, you may be missing out. But even if your brand targets a different age range, teenagers tend to be ahead of the curve with spotting what's cool before it's cool. And they probably don't say cool...

Advertising on TikTok

The list of brands on TikTok already includes Nike, Fenty Beauty, and Apple Music. And While TikTok has yet to unveil advertiser options formally, it has been testing in-app ads as early as January 2019. Some brands have been getting around this by doing sponsored challenges (e.g. The Masked Singer Australia) which are surely organised by TikTok is some capacity but is not yet available to all.

That's your crash course!

We will continue to put out some blogs around Tik Tok and the way it develops in Australia.

If you have Tik Tok questions, and you want some quick answers, contact us via DM on any platform or email us at brand@thehypeproject.com.au

Catch you on the next one.

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