Tyumen, Russia - January 21, 2020: TikTok and Facebook application on screen Apple iPhone XR

The Newest App on the Playground: What you need to know about TikTok

This article was contributed by Britney Bailey, director of marketing for Growth By Design. 

Attention marketers: there’s a new social media app on the playground, and it’s taking the world by storm! Filling the void left by Vine, which was discontinued in 2016, TikTok launched in early 2018 and has already made quite an impact on how consumers are using social. Created by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, the app allows users to create 10- to 60-second looping videos with musical overlays, sound effects and image filters.

In just two short years, TikTok passed the 800 million monthly active users mark, reaching mostly Gen-Z and millennial audiences. More than half of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 56% being male.

To help make informed decisions about your social media strategy, here are some interesting stats on the app:

  • TikTok was the third-most downloaded app globally as of early 2019 according to a study by Business of Apps
  • The app hit 1 billion downloads by February 2019, beating Instagram and Facebook in app stores according to Business Insider
  • As of late October 2019, TikTok was the Top Free App in the Entertainment section of the Apple App Store
  • Roughly half of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 60% being between 16 and 24
  • The app has 26.5 million monthly active users in the U.S. according to Digiday
  • Average users spend 52 minutes per day on the app
  • 90% of users visit the app more than once per day
  • According to Digiday, TikTok claims the average session is nearly five minutes, which is longer than Snapchat or Instagram’s


Because the app allows videos to be published instantly, it is a great platform for both branded and non-branded content. However, traditional marketing is not a fit. In order to grab users’ attention, marketers must get creative, and flex their comedy muscles. The most popular videos on the app include music, comedic shorts, duets and challenge videos. Some brands that saw early success on the platform include Guess with the #inMyDenimChallenge, Chipolte with the #ChipolteLidFlipChallenge and The Washington Post with their funny newsroom shorts.

If you’re targeting Gen-Z and operating on a limited budget, TikTok might be worth the experiment. Users can easily find company pages, follow or search for posts. Videos can also be optimized with hashtags and keywords, making the search more user friendly than other platforms like Snapchat. However, the app is not ideal for driving website traffic, yet. Because it’s in the experimental stages of development, links on videos are reserved for only certain brands, and this feature is costly. There also aren’t many public statistics on advertising and engagement, yet. As the app aims to grow its advertisement revenue, more information can be expected to become more available.

As you begin brainstorming your TikTok debuts, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Show your sense of humor
  • Take advantage of filters and music
  • Use hashtags to join conversations and respond to challenges to boost engagement
  • Consider using the app to provide an inside look at a day in the life of your office


And most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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