Imagery via Charlie D’Amelio



The rise of TikTok isn’t just a success story of a tech company.

It’s also the messenger of a new, digitally selective generations of users that are socially conscious and differ from previous generations in terms of their habits and tendencies.

Understanding this app is very crucial to foresee the driving force of future trends. The app released in 2016 after the main company Byte Dance bought the app, quickly grew.  The platform has over 800 million active users and downloaded 1,5 billion of times in more than 150 countries!

What is the difference of TikTok then?

One of the major differences between TikTok and Instagram is that TikTok users’ main page doesn’t consist of their followed accounts but random content. This content is displayed on the page “For You” that is based on the videos you watched and liked via some algorithms no one exactly knows how it works. So, in this app, you have the ultimate personalised broadcast full of infinite video streams.

Contrary to Instagram which has less density of age distribution, TikTok has a smaller range of users, all users’ 66% is under 30 and, 60% of the app’s monthly users are in the age between 16 to 24. What this means for TikTok is that its content is more targeted and focused. TikTok users are also the ones who produce content. Usually, millennials prefers to consume whereas, Gen Z prefers to create content. So, unlike Facebook and Instagram, TikTok presents opportunities to be yourself and creative to Gen Z.

In this app, users prefer to share posts that will reflect themselves the way they are, not what other users will want to see and, TikTok’s most distinguishing feature is this. The app defines itself as “Capturing and sharing the world’s creativity, knowledge and precious moments directly from your phone. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator and encourages users to share their passions and creative expressions through their videos.”

Most simply, TikTok conquered Gen Z’s heart via “democratizing” being viral. In the last six months, content creators on the platform has shown an incredible growth. The biggest example is 15 years old Charlie D’Amelio. Charlie D’Amelio -who is a high schooler usually sharing short dance routines in her bedroom- gained 100 million followers and more than 8 billion likes after joining the app last spring. Though this app -which lets you speak through a creative lens in terms of content- got recognition with dance videos, it also gets incredibly high interactions from sixty seconds vlogs, music, scientific and even politic videos. While consuming already followed accounts in the apps like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, the situation in TikTok is a bit different. “For You” page consists of some viral videos and the rest is local content that has much fewer interactions or views. This platform allows everyone equally, to be discovered, instead of prioritizing only the ones with a large audience. It wouldn’t be expected otherwise from China anyway.

In times where social media become a source of stress and anxiety for many people, TikTok wreck the balance in social media with offering a place where people can be free. Gen Z ruled TikTok and, it transformed into a platform where being authentic and yourself is celebrated. Who knows, maybe we’ll throw pyjama parties with Kourtney Kardashian like Addison Rae someday, thanks to this app which was born as an answer to our question: “what should I watch?”

Cover imagery via Charli D’Amelio