TikTok is a short-form mobile video app that has taken the world of social media by a storm. You have to be living on another planet if you really don’t know about TikTok. It has turned young teenagers into celebrities and is eventually becoming a sensation with people of all age groups. However, people routinely ask is TikTok cringy or a marketing dream?

Initially launched as Douyin in China in 2016, it was launched by ByteDance for foreign users as TikTok in 2017. TikTok’s parent company still maintain separate networks for Douyin and Tiktok to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. Later that year, ByteDance also bought a similar company Musical.ly. Initially, many people thought, it was just another fad but it has grown out to be a lot bigger. 

The value in ‘Is TikTok cringy’

The problem with TikTok is that it is not able to meet the sensibilities of many people. It’s notable that many TikTok videos have gone viral, not limited to TikTok. Instead, they are viral across platforms and on almost all rivaling social networks.

In a recent news, Mark Zuckerberg also admitted that TikTok has left Instagram behind, especially in India. However, users tend to question the kind of content that is being generated on TikTok.

However, one should note that the videos on TikTok are primarily created by the uber-millenial generation. A generation that is far removed from the sensibilities of their predecessors — read you and me.

It becomes inaccurate to judge the content based on what a segment of society thinks is good or not good. In June 2019, TikTok makers said that they have 120 million monthly active customers in India alone. While its immediate competitor Instagram has an estimated 70 million users in India.

A search on YouTube shows hundreds of cringy compilations of TikTok videos.

Want to know is TikTok cringy? Here’s an example.

TikTok’s net worth and revenues

The music video platform has emerged as one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in recent years. It was estimated to be worth $75 billion in 2018 and reportedly made over $7 billion in the first half of this year itself. Some reports have also suggested that the company earned a revenue of $9 million from in-app purchases itself but advertising has continued to be its major source of revenue.

The concept of creating 15-second videos is not new but it has achieved what many of its predecessors like Vine have failed to do. TikTok revived the ecosystem of short video clips and has almost become an addictive social media platform for many of its users. It allows users to create and share 15-second videos with music, filters, and other similar features. Many millennials are widely using it to creatively express themselves while others can’t help binge-watching videos on the platform.

TikTok’s global statistics & increasing popularity

TikTok was downloaded over 660 million times from various app stores in 2018. It has received an average rating of 4.5 Stars by over 43 Lakh users on the Google Play Store itself. Statistics also suggest that TikTok is more popular on Android as compared to iOS devices.

It has over 500 million monthly users worldwide including 26.5 million from the US itself. An average of over 140 million of these monthly users open TikTok on their mobile phones at least once every day and spend almost 52 minutes per day.

The company’s largest user base is based in India, contributing to almost 43 percent of its total users. Another 150 million of its active daily users are based in China, which usually uses its Chinese version, Douyin. Additionally, the company also has a significant number of users in several Asian countries including Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

If we look at its demographics, 66 percent of its users are below 30-years-old. It is particularly more popular among children and teenagers. Therefore, the company also took an initiative recently to ban political advertising in the best interests of its minor audience.

Some of its most trending challenges, #RaindropChallenge, Jimmy Fallon’s #TumbleweedChallenge, and #InMyFeelings challenge had over 685.7 million, 9 million, and 5 million total views respectively. While competing with social media giants like Snapchat and Instagram, its ease of usage helps it to stand out and appeal to a larger audience.

TikTok as a marketing platform

Some people still can’t figure out what is such a big deal about it but as a marketer, you can’t afford to be one of them. After overcoming their initial apprehensions, brands have also started experimenting with the social media tool. But, a considerable number of companies continue to be unsure if TikTok is worth investing their time and money.

Most brands that are using TikTok as a marketing tool have utilized it to increase brand awareness rather than to generate traffic. Furthermore, it can be a great platform to engage young adults. However, it also requires creative strategies designed specifically for the video-sharing platform.

To start with, you can create some original videos or contact top influencers to use your product in their videos. Hashtag challenges can be another fun way to engage audiences and create a chain that somehow involves your product. McDonald’s had also launched #BigMacTikTok challenge in 2018 in Malaysia. It gave users a chance to win big bucks by showing off their dance moves to the Big Mac chant and sharing it with others.

Also Read: Is There a TikTok Smartphone on the Cards?

Mexico-based Chipotle, another popular restaurant chain has also been successful at using TikTok to engage users. The company often posts a variety of videos to highlight its menu items. It has garnered more than 55,000 fans on its TikTok profile. Other brands like the NBA and even The Washington Post and San Diego Zoo are successfully utilizing TikTok to engage audiences.

Even if you might find it strange or annoying personally, it is definitely worth your effort to promote your business. It’s definitely a good idea to increase your online presence before your competitor woos away all your potential customers. Do install and checkout TikTok (if you haven’t done that already) and share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.