The new short-form video app is gaining ground in Generation Z.Is there a risk of Instagram being outclassed? What is so innovative about TikTok?TikTok has won the hearts of Generation Z consumers. Over the past few months, we’ve seen explosive growth in users around the world. Over 40% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24, and 90% of these users use the app more than once a day.
The history of TikTok dates back to September 2016, when it was launched in China. It is owned by ByteDance, a company with an estimated value of $ 75 billion. While the app originally only targeted the Chinese audience, its rapid growth has spurred international expansion.
It spread among users under the name of TikTok a year after its initial launch. The growth rate for top performers is unmatched on this platform. Users find a tangible possibility of going viral, influencer . From a content point of view, it is a platform that allows everyone to communicate in new and creative ways. Young users, and not only, have taken a liking to dance videos, sketches, music and even political videos.
Everyone can feel comfortable creating what they want to create. It is also available in 155 countries and 75 languages. In this way a large part of the world population is reached. During the lockdown, the app experienced a significant increase, perhaps because it was able to give its users a lightness and lightheartedness that is difficult to find otherwise. In a moment of forced stasis, users found solace in entertaining and dynamic videos.
TikTok is becoming a growing threat to other social networks, but Instagram remains the best for advertising
It is becoming a dangerous competitor not only for the explosion of users in India (even if at the moment the app has been banned by the Indian government ), USA and China, but for the aforementioned target of users. Generation Z, consumers of the future, seem to be crazy about TikTok. The brevity of the videos and the dynamism of the communication seem to have an irresistible appeal on young people. Instagram photos appear too static for users who prefer the competitor. The new app seems to embody the lessons that Calvino considered fundamental for the new millennium: lightness, speed, accuracy, visibility, multiplicity.
The young user finds himself, in the few seconds of a TikTok video, many times with a surprise effect, more than in long videos on IGTV. The keys to capturing the concentration of the new generations seem to be precisely the speed and the little attention required by the video. However, Instagram is still the master when it comes to advertising and collaborations. In fact, there are disadvantages significant to be taken into consideration in the use of TikTok in advertising, as the achievement of recipients is difficult to predict. When you invest in an Instagram influencer, on the other hand, you have a precise and easily calculable idea of the range of action. As TikTok relies on content and entertainment discovery rather than life-style, this predictability fails.
So the main reason to believe in the bright future of TikTok is precisely the driving force of Generation Z, which this year covers 40% of all American consumers. It is important to keep in mind that the huge number of downloads of the app does not make TikTok bigger than Instagram, which also continues to grow. Instagram is probably still in the lead, but by a very limited margin.
TikTok has a controversial side
TikTok has a fundamental aspect to watch out for. The app is suspected to have unclear ties to the Chinese government, with regards to interference with user data and the management of the platform’s content. This prompted US lawmakers to launch an official investigation to understand how TikTok handles and stores user data. But this isn’t the first time TikTok has faced privacy allegations.
In February 2019, the Federal Trade Commission forced the application to pay a $ 5.7 million fine for illegally collecting personal data from children under 13. However, these scandals are highly unlikely to turn a significant percentage of users away from TikTok. Although Generation Z is well aware of the potential risks.
Despite the controversy, TikTok is certainly a worthy opponent of Instagram, which is trying to catch up. Only time will tell if it succeeds or not.