What is Tik Tok? Everything You Need to Know about the App

Harshita Agrawal

Harshita Agrawal is the Founder at eSocMedia. She is a social media and influencer marketing specialist who spends most of her time behind the screen. She's also an avid reader and a travel enthusiast.

Are you hearing all these young people talking a lot about Tik Tok and you certainly definitely have no idea what Tik Tok is? Well, you’re not the only one. Tik Tok is the app that became the most downloaded one in the App Store for the fifth consecutive quarter. And, in a while, you will know why. 

What is Tik Tok?

Tik Tok is a social media app that lets you create videos up to 60 seconds long with sound bites and filters right from your phone. Does it sound like a usual Instagram or Snapchat story? Well, let’s just say that Tik Tok videos are far more interesting and fun compared to the videos you watch on other social media platforms.

As Instagram is the image-sharing platform, Tik Tok is the video-sharing platform. Tik Tok users can create, share, or watch videos on the platform that are shared by everyone. Many Tik Tok videos are lip-syncing, acting, or comedy videos that are created with the use of Tik Tok filters and sound bites. Another interesting feature of the app is the ability to duet with someone on the app itself.  

Who’s behind the Tik Tok App?

Tik Tok is owned by ByteDance, a Shanghai-based company. When Tik Tok was launched, it was primarily famous in Asia with more than 300 million user base. In August 2018, ByteDance acquired Musical.ly for $1 billion and merged it’s worldwide customers with the Tik Tok user base. Since then, Tik Tok has been rebranded as a global lip-syncing, video-sharing app and has more than 500 million monthly active users and 1.2 billion app installs worldwide. 

Who’s using Tik Tok?

It should not be surprising that 41% of the Tik Tok users are aged between 16 and 24. Still a head-scratcher amongst adults, Tik Tok can be primarily called as the app of the teens. When it comes to gender usage, it’s fairly equal with 56% male users and 44% female users. 

Tik Tok is doing fairly well amongst the users worldwide with its presence in 155 countries. American Tik Tok users have grown twice from 2018 and reached 14.3 million users so far. 

How to Use Tik Tok?

Learning Tik Tok is much simpler than other social platforms since the app has a simple interface with a limited number of functionalities for everyone to learn. 

Follow the steps below to start using Tik Tok right away:

  • Download the Tik Tok app from the Play Store or the App Store.
  • Once downloaded, you can login to the app using your phone number, Facebook, Google, Line, Instagram, Twitter, or KakaoTalk.
  • You can browse Tik Tok just by clicking on the “For You” section and looking at all the recommended videos based on your location.
  • You can also follow new accounts by syncing your contacts or searching for username and follow accounts. To follow any Tik Tok account while watching its video, you can just click on the + icon on their profile and you will begin following them. 
  • To look at trending hashtags you can check out Tik Tok’s discovery tab by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. New videos can be also searched here by looking for keywords or hashtags. 
  • To create your own video, click on the + sign, create the video, add the filter, timer, soundtrack and click on the tick sign to post the video. Depending on the length of your video, you can select 15 seconds or 60 seconds from the bottom menu. 
  • Existing video from your gallery can be uploaded and edited to be shared on Tik Tok. Click on the upload icon at the bottom left to add content from your gallery. 

How is Tik Tok relevant for businesses?

Some brands are still trying to figure out how to use Tik Tok to promote their businesses while brands like Chipotle have used Tik Tok to their favor and set an example. 

Chipotle started a #GuacDance challenge on Tik Tok asking fans to create avocado-themed dance videos inspired by the Guacamole song. The challenge became a big hit with 250,000 video submissions and 430 million views. It helped Chipotle to increase their avocado sales by 68% on the National Avocado day. 

Hence, if brands can start right, Tik Tok can be a great platform to reach Gen Z and other young users. It’s still not too late to begin marketing on Tik Tok, so get ahead and get going.


Tik Tok is a great fun video-sharing app that can be used by anyone to share engaging videos. New users can find the app overwhelming while parents need to be slightly conscious of what their kids are sharing on the platform. Lack of restrictions on the platform makes it a creative yet less regulated platform for young users. Brands can use the app as an opportunity to tap young users who are fleeing from social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. 

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