TikTok serves as a social network platform where users share videos covering a wide range of categories, from lip-syncing to comedic skits to viral challenges. But even if you’ve never heard of the app, it’s worth getting to know it. TikTok has over 1.5 billion all-time downloads, and its popularity and influence have only continued to spread.
The TikTok app allows you to make and share short videos. The videos use portrait orientation instead of square like on Snapchat or Instagram, but you can navigate through videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed, not by tapping or swiping side to side.
Video creators have all sorts of tools at their disposal: filters as on Snapchat (and later, everyone else) and the ability to search for sounds to score your video. Users can also engage with other users through “response” videos or by means of “duets”. Users can duplicate videos and add themselves alongside.
People usually describe TikTok as a “lip-syncing” app, which makes it sound like it’s some online karaoke experience. But a closer comparison would be Vine, Twitter’s still sorely missed short-form video app whose content lives on as YouTube compilations.
While it’s true that TikTok is home to some standard lip-syncing, it’s better known for its act-out memes backed by music and other sound clips, which get endlessly reproduced and remixed among its young users.
Just like these trending videos.
These memes-as-videos reference things familiar to Gen Z, like gaming culture. They come in the form of standalone videos, reactions, duets, mirrors/clones, and more.
Here comes the new Internet, folks. It’s big, dominated by emerging markets, mobile, video, meme-ified, and goes viral both online and off.
So, if you haven’t been paying attention to TikTok, you may want to get started.