In addition to Instagram, there is another platform that is mainly used by under 20s: TikTok. But what exactly is TikTok? TECHNOLOGY BUTTON explains the app.
TikTok is a Chinese video platform for Android and iOS that was founded at the end of September 2016. With it, users can record short, self-made videos and, if desired, add music from known songs or film scenes. Many users use the app to create creative and funny videos, often dancing or moving their lips in sync with the songs / scenes. The videos are usually limited to a length of 10 seconds. However, TikTok is more than just a video platform: Since users can share their videos with others, it is also a social network. TikTok, or DouYin, as it is called in China, is similar to the social media platform Instagram.
Also read: Is TikTok a danger to children?
Who are the users of TikTok?
With an estimated 45.8 million downloads, TikTok was the most frequently downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018. At the beginning, the video app was particularly popular in China and Asian countries. Around 14 percent of Chinese cell phone users have installed the app. However, there are also some countries that have permanently or at least temporarily blacklisted the platform. In Indonesia and India, for example, TikTok was temporarily banned because of fear of immoral or pornographic content. For this very reason, Pakistan even blocked the app permanently on October 9, 2020. The US was also considering a ban, but for different reasons. The government under Donald Trump saw the Chinese app as an opportunity for operators to spy on users in the USA. A ban on the app was madehowever, declared inadmissible by a court .
Meanwhile, TikTok is also becoming more and more popular in Europe and the USA. The fact that the app is mostly used by teenagers posed a problem for TikTok 2019. In the USA, the operators had to pay a fine of 5.7 million US dollars due to insufficient protection of minors and data protection. Sending and receiving private messages via the app is now only allowed to people aged 16 and over.
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What alternative is there?
One of TikTok’s biggest competitors was Musical.ly, which was much better known in western countries. In late 2017, TikTok bought Musical.ly for over $ 1 billion, including the app’s 200 million users. Musical.ly had essentially the same functionality as TikTok, but was founded two years earlier. In the meantime, Musical.ly has moved to TikTok.
The app summarized
- TikTok is the Instagram for music and videos.
- The app is free, but like all other social networks, users can earn money through sponsorship. There is also a live function where fans can donate money to their TikTok stars – a principle that has also made the streaming platform Twitch great.
- By the end of 2017, the Musical.ly app was better known in this country. TikTok bought the competitor for more than one billion US dollars, and later Musical.ly was integrated into TikTok.