TikTok – What is it and should you use it?

It must seem that there is a new social network coming out of the woodwork every other week, and you’d almost be right. The latest in the ever-growing list of social media is TikTok.

TikTok is a combined force of social media companies when Musical.ly merged with TikTok to create the now incredibly popular service.

A focus on music with short videos

Back in 2013 Twitter Labs made another short video platform, Vine, and it gave rise to a major new internet celebrity. People like Thomas Sanders, Jerome Jarre, Nicholas Megalis, the Paul brothers and many more. It was shut down in 2017.

TikTok is essentially the continuation of this. With the demise of its main competition, the creators have no doubt seen a way to make their app more popular. TikTok differs from Vine because it focuses more on music to create original content instead of comedy skits, which is what Vine eventually turned into.

Is it good for business?

At the moment, I’m not sure. Vine was great and was used by a lot of businesses (although most times not effectively), because it was a great platform for original content. I don’t see how TikTok could be used with the same effectiveness.

There are many complications with using TikTok, especially when it comes to using copyrighted music in a commercial setting. It’s likely okay for personal use, as a parody, but I can’t say the same liberty would be given to a company.

You could potentially use it as a non-business promotional tool, with small, funny, videos that just serve to give brand awareness and help you gain a following online. But I’d recommend not using it as a product promotional tool, like Facebook or Twitter.

What other video platforms can you use?

There is now a market full of video platforms, Facebook is working on integrating it’s YouTube competitor platform into it’s website, Periscope is baked into Twitter and short “Vine” style videos still exist on Twitter’s platform (videos under a certain length still loop).

Outside of that YouTube is still the king of videos and Vimeo is still coming up quite close behind it and I’d recommend using both of these platforms for a mix of their player capability and their community to grow your video and brand recognition.

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