Lessons to learn from the success of TikTok


You must have seen or heard about the popularity of TikTok. It is even under pressure with threats of been banned in some countries. However, TikTok is still a very successful social networking platform and there are lessons we can learn from its rise to prominence.

The story of TikTok is a tale of two halves, the combination of the music-focused social app, Musical.ly and the branded App called Douyin. In 2018, the apps joined together and birthed TikTok. 

TikTok became the most popular and one of the most interesting social media applications from 2018 with a steady rise in popularity up until 2020 where it is still dominating the social media market with an active user base of 800 million worldwide, a 500 million monthly active user base and downloads of over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Videos go viral seemingly every day, but recently, a large chunk of them have been coming straight from a single source: TikTok. The wildly popular micro-vlogging app is all the rage these days, as people from all over the world immerse themselves in the platform both to consume and create content. 

Here are a few reasons Tiktok is becoming a dominant market and a socially coordinated platform to attract a large and uniquely diverse audience. 


The app is not just a social platform; it focuses on showcasing people’s creativity. The app is home to many different niche communities, ranging from music, dance, beauty, sport, fitness, fashion, art, food, and comedy…the list goes on. TikTok perfectly feeds into the entertainment need by giving everybody (brands and audience alike) space to freely express their creativity.


The app is for fun and fun is important in life because it gives at least some artificial joy. Young people who make up a large part of the app’s audience are always hungry for all kinds of FUN. Therefore TikTok gives people the opportunity to be a part of something by championing the concept of “challenge” making a series of creative content and concept-driven videos.


The TikTok community is authentic, the format is limited to 15 seconds and 60 seconds which makes making and watching videos easy, quick and doesn’t require much effort. Content created on the app is not staged or prepped to look perfect which makes videos unique and well crafted. 


Tik Tok is global, with a strong focus on localized content. The app frequently makes use of local trending hashtags to suggest topics for content creation to their users. It’s a strategy that’s had incredible success.

Growth Opportunity

The success rate on TikTok is very high, it allows you the opportunity to grow in numbers at a rapid rate. It has a distinctive algorithm that gets audiences’ interests according to the user’s operation habit and browsing history, so they know what a user is interested in and feeds the user their niche content. Also, if a user’s content is liked, shared and accepted, users can get to a million following or likes overnight. This is also a great opportunity for brands, as brands can craft or push branded content on the app. 

Businesses cannot miss the opportunity to get more exposure to TikTok as audiences on the app are constantly ready to consume content. This means that TikTok is not only the latest app that you need to impress the Generation Z, it is most likely part of the future of social media.

First published in NEXTGEN, a weekly newsletter of SBI Media Group.


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