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TikTok: Brand Goldmine or Brand Landmine?

TikTok is a social media app, popularised in China, which allows users to upload short videos of up to 15 seconds. This enables people to create really fun videos, with a music

soundtrack in the background to lip sync to. TikTok has been in the news recently since it became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018,

surpassing even well-established apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Is it the next big thing? This is the question on many people’s minds; TikTok currently has 500 million users, so this begs the question, “Is this something that I should be doing?”

Celebrities are embracing TikTok

A lot of celebrities are flocking to it, from Jimmy Fallon to Tony Hawk. The thank u, next challenge, based on Ariana Grande’s song, was also hugely popular on TikTok.

When you have a bunch of influencers and celebrities who settle on a platform, that really creates something with long-term value.

The fall of Vine and rise of TikTok

The counter to this was actually what decimated Vine, because Vine was insanely popular and was the app that a bunch of people used, until they started to ignore their

influencers. There was a big exposé story about how Vine influencers were asking them to do some kind of partnership, which would get them paid to create content on the

platform. Vine refused to, causing the influencers to leave. Eventually, this led to Vine shutting down because all those powerful users stopped using the platform. The fact

that TikTok have taken such a proactive stance in getting these celebrities and influencers and especially homegrown influencers, is really a big step in building this long-term value.

TikTok’s uniqueness

The other advantage is that it has clever features which are not available on other apps like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or even Snapchat. The fact that TikTok merged

with Musical.ly also contributed to this, as TikTok on its own would work just like Vine, but Musical.ly focuses on the musical aspect. One unique feature is the reaction one,

where you can react to your friends' videos, using virtual reality-esque filters. TikTok also takes care of your wellbeing, alerting you when you are spending too much time on

the app. TikTok also has a feature called Duets, where two clips can be played simultaneously on the same screen. You can Duet with anybody who has the feature turned on.

However, uniqueness is not necessarily a good thing. The downside to this is that it has one sole feature which can get you in, so it’s very easy to get bored. They would need

to increase the number of features so that you could stay on the app for longer. That’s a big hurdle they have to jump if they are envisaging being a really big social media player.

Final verdict

The answer to, “Is it going to last?” is… I don’t know. You don’t know either. If your friend tells you they know, they are lying, because nobody actually knows. These are

just the two sides of the argument for which you yourselves can make up your mind on whether or not TikTok is going to last and be more than just a source for compilation videos. What do you think? Is TikTok going to be the next big thing?

Alexandra Fechete

Writer

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