What makes TikTok Tick.

4 min readApr 23, 2023
photo: Ivan Samkov on pexels

The Sunday feed.

The app TikTok has just reached more than 3.5 billion downloads. It seems that people are using TikTok for about 1.5 hours a day.

The Brand which has a logo in the form of a musical note is actually inspired from its parent company called Douyin.

So let us have a look at what makes TikTok so popular:

1: Insane Challenges

Some of the challenges on TikTok are insanely stupid and dangerous. However, this is exactly what the teenager is looking for. They want fun and excitement in their lives.

2: Superior Algorithm

The algorithm of TikTok is far superior than those of other social media channels. It minutely studies each and every move of the user thereby designing a perfect behavioral pattern which the user follows more than 99% of the time.

3 Bypassing Followers

TikTok promises its users that you do not need thousands of followers to become famous. What you need is a mind-blowing idea or a challenge that people can relate to and start using it on rampant basis.

4: Excellent Engagement

The average engagement levels on YouTube is around 1.3% whereas that for TikTok is as high as 18%. This means that for every post that is put up on TikTok there are chances that 18 out of 100 people watching the post will involve actively with the post.

5: Exclusive Content

TikTok has 46 secret emojis that can only be used if you are using the app. It also has some secret filters which cannot be found on other social media platforms.

6: Simplicity

Apart from being realistic in nature, TikTok is also very simple to use. This makes it very popular with the younger generation.

7: Creative Catalyst

TikTok helps you to be innovative by allowing you to edit and colour your content according to your likes and dislikes. It also helps you by improving the dynamics of the video by providing a huge library of free to use music.

8: Variety

It is believed that because of the short nature of the videos, in less than about 3 minutes people can watch almost 30 to 50 different videos. This gives the variety that the young generation with extremely low attention span is looking for.

One of the reasons why a lot of countries have started to fear TikTok is because according to the rules of the Chinese government, it can access the personal data of all the users of TikTok if they want to.

This has made a government in lot of other countries extremely uncomfortable because they have a feeling that this is one of the legitimate ways in which China can spy upon its citizen.

Some countries like India and Pakistan have completely banned the app and it’s no longer operational in these countries.

The Indian government banned the app for the purposes of security whereas the Pakistani government thought that most of the content that was uploaded on this was immoral in nature.

The other countries like Australia, US, UK and other countries in the European Union have still not come up with a clear picture as to how they should be dealing with this app.

One of the things that they have done is to ban the use of the app on all government gadgets whether it is phones used by the government employees or other electronic gadgets like computers laptops used for official purposes.

While there are lot of talks in the government circles to have stricter restrictions on this app, the government does not want to directly irk the younger generation by imposing a total ban as they think that it has become one of the integral social media platforms of this demographic group.

But one thing can be said for sure that it is just a race against time before which a lot of governments in many countries are going to impose stricter sanctions on the use of this app specially in the light of China becoming more and more aggressive with Taiwan.

To conclude, it is very difficult for someone as an individual to comment whether the action taken by the government is correct or incorrect because the individual will never have the holistic picture of what threats are faced by the country as seen by the government.

However, as marketers and heavy users of social media platforms, we can definitely learn the reasons behind the success of this app.

John Khalkho: CEO — Dolores Education