Using Tik Tok, the N°1 guide for beginners
Check out our guide to using Tik Tok properly. How it works ? How to make yourself known and is it right for you?
To using Tik Tok to your advantage, it’s important to understand the very peculiar mechanics of this app. I am 39 years old, unemployed and depressed, and for me, Tik Tok is as important as a freezer on the North pole. However, one of my nephews, who is not yet 20 years old, suddenly screamed that he didn’t understand anything about Tik Tok.
And I thought to myself, it’s time to dive into this realm of madness and silliness that is Tik Tok and why young people like it so much.
- 1 Brief history of Tik Tok
- 2 Why using Tik Tok?
- 3 Using Tik Tok: Create your account
- 4 Browsing and discovering content on Tik Tok
- 5 Interact with Tik Tok videos
- 6 Using Tik Tok: Publish Your First Video
- 7 Using Tik Tok : Effects and filters on Tik Tok
- 8 Music, Hashtags and Tik Tok Challenges
- 9 The disadvantages of Tik Tok
- 10 Make money or monetize with Tik Tok
Brief history of Tik Tok
Basically, Tik Tok was an app known as Musical.ly that already had video, streaming, and lip sync service. This allows you to learn sign language and share your tastes of music in short 15-second clips. Subsequently, Musical.ly will be bought by ByteDance which will merge it with its own application called Tik Tok.
Tik Tok Statistics
As of this writing, Tik Tok’s statistics are insane:
- 1 billion users per month
- $ 1.9 billion in 2020 (which means he’s already making more money than Twitch)
- $ 425 billion is the capitalization of ByteDance in October 2021, the company that owns Tik Tok
- 65% of Tik Tok users are between 5 and 29 years old
- 60% of users are women
- The three most popular countries using Tik Tok are the United States, United Kingdom and France.
Why using Tik Tok?
You might wonder why using Tik Tok if you’re not a kid who just wants to mess around with music doing silly dances? On the one hand, because it is always important to be in the most popular networks regardless of the message you want to get across. And second, Tik Tok isn’t just used by kids.
It is acclaimed by artists, actors and large companies like Coca Cola, Google or Nike. More and more brands are investing in advertising on Tik Tok because it allows them to reach a young, energetic and dynamic audience. Obviously, it depends on your subscriber numbers, but influencers can make a small jackpot with sponsored content on Tik Tok.
However, your first steps in using Tik Tok will be chaotic and you will wonder, “What the hell is this?” That’s right, Tik Tok was designed to reflect the totally messy mindset of kids. And this app is a mix of Spotify, Twitter, Vine and Twitch in a Timeline where it all comes together and interactions happen at lightning speed.
Using Tik Tok: Create your account
The first thing for using Tik Tok is the headphones. It’s impossible to enjoy the app through the phone’s speakers. Then download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store. You can create your Tik Tok account with your phone number, but also use your Facebook or Google or Twitter account.
If you use your phone number, then you will have an identifier like “user341546” where the digits correspond to your number. Once your account is created, you will still be able to edit your profile to add a bio or change your username. Click on the profile icon located on the lower right side of the screen and click Edit Profile.
Tik Tok is also usable on Desktop, but I strongly recommend against it because it is very limited. You can’t change your profile or anything. You also have an application for Desktop, but it’s not user-friendly. Tik Tok was designed for use on a Smartphone.
Note that by default, all Tik Tok profiles are public. You will be able to change the privacy settings in your profile.
Browsing and discovering content on Tik Tok
The messy, but also very clean look to using Tik Tok is one of the reasons for its success. There are two ways to discover content on Tik Tok. The first is to click on the For You tab which will show you videos and accounts suggested to you by the application’s algorithm.
Everyone who is on Instagram will not see much of differences and they may wonder why Tik Tok is so successful when frankly the principle is the same as on all social networks.
In fact, the big difference is in this Tik Tok algorithm. Complete strangers have generated millions of views in a few days. We are no longer in traditional networks where we have to patiently build our community. One of your video goes viral and you hit the jackpot.
Discovering Tik Tok content becomes quite addicting. Because we go from one video to another and we realize that 3 hours have passed. The second way to discover content is to simply subscribe to Tik Tokers that you like. The For You feed will adapt accordingly.
Interact with Tik Tok videos
In a Tik Tok video, you have three ways to interact with it. The first is to click on the heart to put a Like (Double tap on the video does the same), the second is for commenting and the third is for sharing on external networks. You can share on Facebook, Twitter, Facebook or just copy the link.
You will also have a small musical note icon on the video. This indicates the song which used for the video. Because yes, Tik Tok is mainly used for music videos. Music is crucial to using Tik Tok, as other creators can include your music in their video which allows many artists to blow up their counters.
If you don’t like a certain kind of video, like a vegan girl telling you you’re a murderer for eating steak, then you can hold a long tap on the video and choose Not Interested.
Using Tik Tok: Publish Your First Video
Have you seen dozens of Tik Tok videos, are you inundated, exhilarated or desperate by the Tik Tok dancers and you want to do the same? This is your first video for using Tik Tok. To film yourself, click on the plus (+) button in red in your application. Your camera will launch and you can post videos up to 5 minutes long. But Tik Tok’s viral videos are no longer than 15 seconds.
Before recording your video, Tik Tok allows you to synchronize your lip movements, dance or parody with the music of your choice. You can post videos without music while posting and add it later. But avoid posting “normal” videos without music, the stats show they don’t work.
Using Tik Tok : Effects and filters on Tik Tok
Tik Tok also offers augmented reality (AR) effects, so you can change the color of your hair and eyes by going to Effects with a tap on the left. These AR effects are really interesting, because you can choose according to the theme. World will offer you environmental effects such as food or vegetables.
Tik Tok isn’t just for narcissistic kids, it’s also good for your narcissistic dogs and cats, and you also have effects especially for animals. The Beauty tab allows you to add eye shadow and other makeup effects.
To be successful on Tik Tok, don’t hesitate to spend time on the effects, which add a real playful and explosive dimension even if your video is quite mundane. In addition to the special effects, you also have the filters like on Instagram. Choose according to color or saturation.
Another option that made Tik Tok so successful is the Timer. You set it up for a certain amount of time and Tik Tok will automatically record the video after a 3 second delay. And the video will stop and be shared automatically after the end of the duration you configured. It is this option that allows Tik Tokers to dance and more freely while the camera captures.
Once you have mastered the basics of using Tik Tok, you can use more advanced features like Duets. Basically, this allows you to sing along to another creator’s music video. The latter must have activated the possibility of Duets on his account.
If that’s the case, go to one of those videos, click Share and select Duet. The screen will split in two and you can create a video trying to emulate your idol. It’s a very effective way to make yourself known if you start imitating famous artists or dancers.
As seen through this guide to using Tik Tok, music is the heart of Tik Tok and its main function of being. When you want to publish video with music, you can use Tik Tok’s built-in catalog. But beware, these are only clips of a few seconds and users consider that this limits their creativity.
Another technique is to play music in an external device and record the video. For example, on a PC or a HI-FI device. Be careful of copyright violations, however, and Tik Tok is pretty strict on this. But the Tik Tok catalog offers the most popular music and therefore, this is another viral mechanic that allows you to make yourself known on the network.
Using Tik Tok : Challenges between Tik Tokers
In his day, Twitter users invented Hashtags and Tik Tok users invented Challenges. You have sponsored challenges, but most of it comes from the community. These are mainly challenges of dancing, jokes, imitation, parody, etc.
You will understand, the spirit of Tik Tok is an eternal party where everyone dances, smiles and does stupid things like on a particularly drunken night.
The disadvantages of Tik Tok
Using Tik Tok is clearly not for everyone. It’s a perfect app for kids who want to party in a world of prisons and a nervous breakdown. Tik Tok is a particularly effective outlet for kids who really need it. For statistics, you can find in your profile the number of Like, Share or Follow you have had. They are very similar to Instagram notifications.
But if there’s one app that’s going to flood you with notifications, it’s Tik Tok. So, after installing the app, the first thing to do is to turn off notifications on your phone for Tik Tok entirely. The service also offers Live, but this is limited to accounts with over 1000 followers and you must be over 16 years old.
Make money or monetize with Tik Tok
Tik Tok offers the same monetization possibilities as on other social networks. You have the sponsored videos, the sponsored challenges. You can sell your products. Tik Tok also supports donation campaigns by adding donation buttons, directly in videos or Lives of creators who want to participate.
This Tik Tok marketing is only just beginning and it will be necessary to see in the long term, if it gives something positive for the brands and the creators.