TikTok’s Growth as a Social Media Application

With today’s technology, there are a lot of things happening, either improving something or creating something new. It’s the same for TikTok. Did you know that TikTok wasn’t its original name? Let’s dive into the lore behind TikTok and its growth.

The beginning

TikTok was one of the social media apps with the quickest growth after its 2016 introduction. It quickly became a well-known software all around the world because of its vibrant music note-shaped branding.

The Chinese company behind TikTok, ByteDance, initially released the app under the name A.me that let users make and share short films before it was known as TikTok. Three months after its debut, the name was changed to Douyin. In 2017, the business began using the TikTok name to expand Douyin outside of China. Later on in the year, the business bought Musical.ly, a comparable app with headquarters in Shanghai but a real office in the US, more especially in Santa Monica, California. Musical.ly had a well-established user base in the United States and allowed users to record lip-syncing videos. The business bought some of Musical.ly’s features for TikTok and used them to bring the program to Americans.

When TikTok was introduced to the world in 2017, the firm added the name of the program to the existing logo, which had been used when it was known as Douyin. The app’s original name consisted of two words: Tik Tok.

(Image source: Shopify)

In 2018, they redesigned the font and created the TikTok wordmark that’s still being used today.

(Image source: Shopify)

Big firms typically rebrand after a while, but the designers behind TikTok realized that since their present logo has served them well from the start, they don’t need to do so longer.

Expanding in other markets

In 2018, TikTok became accessible in 150 markets and 75 languages. In the first half of 2018, 104 million people downloaded it from the Apple App Store. The downloads rose after they joined Musical.ly in August, and in October 2018 it overtook Musical.ly as the most downloaded app in the United States. Along with Douyin, they reached a billion downloads globally in February 2019, but this does not include downloads made by Android users.

According to media reports, TikTok rose to become the seventh-most downloaded mobile app of the past ten years between 2010 and 2019. It also won the title of most-downloaded app on the Apple Store in 2018 and 2019 over Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. In 2020, TikTok had a lot of noteworthy events, including the conclusion of licensing agreements with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. They had teamed up with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism by April 2021 to advance tourism.

Viral Trends

Using a combination of memes, lip-synced music, and comedy videos that have gone viral since the app’s launch, several social media users have amassed large followings. They gained more fans after introducing the duet feature.

Lil Nas X’s song “Old Town Road,” which has been at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 for the longest time, became one of the biggest singles of 2019 as a result of TikTok. Many musicians were able to reach a larger audience thanks to TikTok, which included international admirers. Fitz and the Tantrums would serve as an illustration of such. Despite not having a tour in Asia, they gained a sizable fanbase in South Korea due to the 2016 release of their single HandClap.

Zico, a Korean R&B and rap musician, shot to the top of the music charts with his single “Any Song” thanks to the #anysongchallenge, which challenges fans to dance to the song’s choreography.

Even while there are many positive trends, some things that are popular with some audiences don’t sit well with others. Holocaust denial is one such instance, which TikTok forbade. There are other conspiracies, though, that gained popularity in the app. If you are familiar with Pizzagate and QAnon, you may be interested to know that in June 2020, the hashtags for each had around 80 million and 50 million views, respectively, on the app. They removed some of those and placed links with accurate information about COVID-19 on videos with tags linked to the pandemic because the platform has also been used to distribute false information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, cosmetic surgery spread like wildfire across the platform. The popularity of some plastic surgeons on TikTok was discussed in an article by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. According to some, plastic surgeons were among the first in the medical industry to use social media, and several of them have been identified as influencers.

When content producers included unique sounds in their videos to depict how their noses appeared before and after having rhinoplasty surgery in 2021, the hashtag #NoseJobCheck became popular. The hashtags #nosejob and #nosejobcheck received 1.6 and 1 billion views, respectively, in January 2021, and 120,000 videos utilized the trend’s audio.

It was claimed that some TikTok influencers received discounted or free operations from some cosmetic surgeons in exchange for promoting the process to their viewers because cosmetic surgery was popular. In spite of TikTok’s ban on cosmetic surgery advertisements, cosmetic surgeons can still reach their audiences through unpaid photo and video posts, thus all good things must come to an end. The hashtags #lipfiller and #plasticsurgery received a combined 26 billion views.

Take a quick look at slingo.com to see which TikTok songs are going viral this 2023.

TikTok Influencer

You can make money from the material you produce when you become a TikTok influencer. As the platform has expanded, it has made it possible for businesses to use influencer marketing to advertise and connect with their target market. Because it chooses material based on user preferences, the AI’s algorithm also contributes to the influencer marketing potential. Although sponsored content is less common on TikTok than it is on other social media apps, marketers and influencers can still earn as much as they would—and possibly even more—than they might on other platforms. “Meme machines” are those who make money via interactions like likes and comments.

Even if you are a well-known influencer on TikTok, a movement termed “de-influencing” was predicted to take off there in 2022. It was a sort of backlash against the TikTok influencers. Producers that took part in this trend produced videos critiquing the goods advertised by influencers and urged their audience not to purchase unnecessary items. Yet, the same makers began endorsing substitute goods and making money from affiliate sales in a similar way to the influencers they were first evaluating.

TikTok as a Business

Shopify, an e-commerce platform, joined TikTok to its collection of social media networks in 2020, enabling online retailers or merchants to market their goods to customers directly on TikTok. This strategy has been adopted by small enterprises to advertise and connect with a larger audience than usual.

TikTok became a platform for sex workers to promote the material that is often offered on that particular site, such as OnlyFans, in addition to being a platform for reaching out to possible customers for your shop. As a user shared a popular song on the platform explaining how it was simpler for him to tell people he was an accountant instead of a pornographic actor, the term “accountant” emerged to refer to adult content producers in 2020. In response, TikTok updated its terms of service to prohibit content that promotes “premium sexual content” and banned a significant number of adult content providers; nevertheless, these artists outsmarted TikTok’s creators by employing a variety of techniques to get around censorship.

Does this make you want to start using TikTok for business or just for fun?