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What is Tik Tok and Why is It So Addictive?

Brian is a graduate in Information Technology & Computer Science. He loves exploring the exciting opportunities that technology has to offer

Aside from face-to-face communication, modern day technology helps tremendously to facilitate day-to-day interaction among fellow community members

Aside from face-to-face communication, modern day technology helps tremendously to facilitate day-to-day interaction among fellow community members

Communication in the 21st Century

Human beings love and crave social interactions with its fellow counterpart. It is a critical aspect of the human psychological needs which plays an essential role to our well-being. Just like the saying “No man is an island” implies, we cannot expect to be truly self-sufficient on our own. We survive by depending on company and comfort offered by others around us. In fact, those that excel at social interactions often find themselves among the very few top performers in life. These types of people usually thrive in the community as a result of their ability to engage and communicate the value they have to offer when interacting with others.

So, how has social interaction changed for us in the 21st century? Aside from the good old face-to-face communication, we now have a multitude of options to connect with others online, without even having to leave the house. One particular online platform that is making its way into the mainstream changing the way people interact, share ideas and socialise is Tik Tok. The social media application was first officially released in China on September 2016. It was then made available to the international market a year later and its presence now has reached over 155 countries. The application is accessible in 75 languages to cater to a diverse group of users.

How to Access Tik Tok?

The Tik Tok app works on both Apple and Android phones as well as tablets, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store directly. For those that prefer a larger screen for comfortable browsing can consider accessing the application through Mac, PC, or even a desktop. This form of browsing however does fall short compared to using a mobile device as some features may not be present.

A Community of Creators in the Virtual Realm

You may not be an early adopter just like the billions who are already on Tik Tok, but it’s never too late to get acquainted with it now. Tik Tok is ideally considered a platform for self-expression where users can create, share, and discover short video clips that are meant to entertain, engage, inspire, and on certain occasions, even educate its viewers. Users can shoot a 15 to 60 second clip using the application, showcasing oneself performing a song, a dance, a skit, or just plainly speaking into the camera sharing nuggets of wisdom unknown to others. If you have a content that requires longer screen time, then just simply record on your camera and upload it on the platform.

Tutorial on how to Use Tik Tok on Mac or PC

Tik Tok users are considered a community and any content uploaded on the platform is accessible by all its community members for their viewing pleasure. You can follow other users on Tik Tok if you like the content that they share and be updated whenever they post a new content. Interactions take place either via comments on an uploaded video or you can even drop a direct message to the person you are following on the platform.

Tik Tok Mania

Statistics shows that this social media platform is really blowing up and slowly gaining popularity among users from various demographics. Tik Tok has now amassed over a billion users as at June 2021 and it took them only five years to get to this point! A secondary source pointed out that the number of the app downloads came to about two billion and this was recorded in early July 2021 with roughly 689 million monthly active users.

The interesting part about TikTok is that 90% of its users visit the app more than once a day and can expect to spend at least 52 minutes per day on it. According to another research on kids’ application usage, younger users below the age of 15 may spend up to 80 minutes per day on the app alone. This is comparable to the average streaming time kids actually spend on other mediums such as YouTube. So, what is so appealing about this app that users can’t get enough of it?

The platform with the quirky name captured the hearts of many quite quickly, with a few actually finding stardom and made a name for themselves through Tik Tok. Quite a number of people who have a loyal following are also known to be cashing in on the platform. So, how does Tik Tok stand out from all the other social media platforms in the market?

How Cool is Tik Tok?

A distinctive feature of Tik Tok that makes it a fun and interactive medium is that it allows users to experiment with ‘duets’. The ‘duets’ are sessions where you as a user cum content creator can connect virtually with another user to perform simultaneously. The amazing part about this is that you could be from different continents and may not even know the other person, but common interest brought you together. This feature definitely sets Tik Tok apart from other social networks in the sense that your connections are built based on your preferred content, as opposed to establishing connections with people whom you may already know in real life. Tik Tok accomplishes this through its systematic algorithmic discovery function that allows it to show you more content that you already like and are consciously seeking out.

Tik Tok users comprise diverse demographics from all walks of life. You would be surprised to know that aside from average joes, Tik Tok also has celebrities and professionals leveraging on the platform to grant people like you and me a sneak peek into their lives. Among the celebrities that are active on the platform are David Beckham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alicia Keys, and even Sir Elton John, just to name a few. In doing so, the rich and famous actually gain more from using the platform as they can get paid for endorsements on the platform. Celebrities that have a broad loyal fan base and steady following actually stand a high chance to attract direct partnership with brands to feature on their posts on the platform.

Celebs in Tik Tok

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Cha-ching and the Bling!

The great thing with social media is that its offers limitless advantage for the daring and adventurous. Tik Tok is not a playground for only celebs and influencers. In fact, those who are keen to make a name for themselves through their creative exploits can use the platform as a stepping stone to fame. You never know if you could be the next talk of the town and become an overnight celebrity just by doing what you love! One real life example would be Charlie D’Amelio who achieved viral fame after uploading her video dancing to the song “Lottery (Renegade)” on Tik Tok. Her passion for dancing propelled her to fame without her even having to audition for America’s Got Talent. Her talent and creativity got noticed by the netizens and the next thing you know, the video got shared and re-posted across multiple other platforms and channels. D’Amelio has a whopping 119.7 million followers on Tik Tok, making her the biggest star on the platform at the time of writing. It was reported that she made a whopping $4 million dollars in the first half of year 2020 through sponsored contents and also advertising revenue on Tik Tok.

The Dance Queen of Tik Tok

Becoming famous may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the Tik Tok trend is definitely catching on as more and more people are getting onboard the platform. Although not everyone signs up to post contents, the 689 million active users signal a massive market for product branding through guerrilla marketing efforts. For businesses, this comes as a delight as there is a huge potential market to be tapped into. Some brands with bigger marketing budgets engage celebrities and influencers for product endorsements to enhance their brand awareness. Alternatively, quite a number of entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises are also jumping on the bandwagon by promoting their business on the platform through unique and creative means. Tik Tok is definitely the best way to go in terms of keeping up with digital marketing trend whilst maintaining minimal budget for enormous exposure potential.


In the world of rapid evolution in information and communications technology, Tik Tok represents just a fraction of the ‘magic’ that social media platforms have to offer. Aside from connecting millions of people worldwide, it serves as a platform to encourage creativity and offer recognition for outstanding talent. Another plus side, the platform is also seen as a tool to boost spending and drive economic growth by facilitating brand advertising endeavors and help people find products and services they need easily. Tik Tok has certainly made itself quite useful and relevant to the current market and will perhaps continue to do so for the longest time.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. The content featured is mainly for informational and entertainment purposes only.

© 2021 Athena Chan


Athena Chan (author) from Penang, Malaysia on July 12, 2021:

Hi there, Liz! Hope that all is well at your end and that you are keeping safe and healthy.

Thank you for your feedback, Liz. Glad to know that you find the article useful. It's good to keep up with the trend as there's just so much to learn from what is happening everywhere around us.

Do take care, Liz! :)

Athena Chan (author) from Penang, Malaysia on July 12, 2021:

Thank you for the kind feedback and pleased to know that you find the article interesting and informative, Ms Dora. I myself was on a journey of discovery when I was writing this piece. I learnt quite a number of interesting facts about Tik Tok myself, which I would not have known prior to this.

It would be great for you to be on Tik Tok and find some great entertainment to brighten your day. Just a word of caution; be vigilant when making friends on Tik Tok as you may never know who is behind the screen. Be well and stay safe, Ms Dora. :)

Liz Westwood from UK on July 12, 2021:

This is a detailed and informative review of TikTok. I have learnt a lot from reading this article.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 12, 2021:

Interesting, informative and helpful. Thank you for introducing and explaining this Tik Tok phenomenon so clearly. Yes, you make me want to sign on.

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