A personal account by Neil.

A few weeks ago whilst listening to FiveLive during the school run (we take it in turns to control the radio dial) my son became excited at the feature that was flagging up the popularity of Social Media app Tik Tok.  He did it again that evening so I decided to to download it and see what it’s all about.   It’s September 2019 and it’s already been downloaded somewhere between 500 million to 1 Billion times.   Fairly popular then!

First Impressions – it’s all video.

So the videos that popped up on my timeline seemed to involve a lot of fun dancing to popular music (when I say popular I’m NOT referring to the ‘Royalty Free’ variety but the ‘Real Deal’).  There are lot’s of pranks, lot’s of scenes that are acted out and usually quite amusing – they’re certainly all short  in length which is of course the rule of the day.  There is also content that’s been created by lot’s of adults too, users who aren’t just my kids age which also surprised me.   I’ve also noticed product placements and adverts.

Stand Out Features

It’s easy to see the comparison between what Instagram has done for photographs and what Tik Tok is doing for Video.   Allowing creative video to be made very quickly by use of filters, clever editing effects and Music.   That’s the striking thing about it.  All this music, that’s available to place onto your video – there’s nothing I couldn’t find when I searched through its huge, vast archive.

Gary Veynerchuck put it perfectly when he said recently ‘Tik Tok is not about Kids dancing behind music, it’s about why the music default allows people to create.  Things that happen with the kids, eventually happens with the elders.  I’m fascinated by the fact that music accompanying is helping people create, who would be too insecure to create otherwise.’

He’s right about what happens with the elders.  How many ageing parents are on Facebook these days?   Lot’s I would guess.   How about the part about how music is helping people create who otherwise would be too insecure to do otherwise?   I think he might have a point.   I’m not one who’s frightened to talk to camera but for users who are…. your videos can look amazing, stand out, and sound great too!

Conclusion

If I was selling toys or a venue used by children, If I had a game or activity to promote – I would 100% be all over this.   Not advertising obviously as there are strict rules against that, but storytelling instead right?  

If I was anyone else, I’d take a look and see what it’s about.  The features that it uses I’m certain will be adapted by other networks.  Remember when Facebook (who own Instagram) wanted to buy SnapChat as it was all about the video filters and their unique story telling?  Then SnapChat refused to sell, but Instagram rolled our their own version pretty much overnight.    The same I’d imagine is bound to be adopted by the other video ‘Story’ platforms.  Based purely on the success story Tik Tok has made for itself so far.   Maybe Tik Tok will be able to fix it’s target demographics or separate some of the content that a seven year old might find hilarious, over what someone his Dad’s age might prefer to see?  I certainly hope so!

Also remember that early adopters always benefit.  

One thing for sure is that there’s no shortage of people using it.  People of whatever age (let’s be honest here, they  have youth on their side) are currently hooked and liking and following other users on it too – in their droves!    

I create ’Facebook Stories’ on my own personal account.  When I shared one on Tik Tok it raked over 126,000 views within a week along with 10,600 likes.   (All of which are organic btw)

At least take a look especially if you are actively using Social Media frequently for your business. Video storytelling is going to develop and change, and theres a strong possibly Tik Tok is showing everyone how to do it.  It’s the youth after all who make or break these apps that are based around creative content.  99% of the time at least.

Written in September 2019.  Dare I say an article that will age very swiftly.

Reference Tik Tok video from Gary Vee.

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