Learn how to use TikTok, the short-form video app Gen Z loves and that is ushering in a brand new period of influencers

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TikTok

  • TikTok is a wildly well-liked social media platform that lets customers create short-form movies, and is sparking a brand new era of influencers and viral memes.
  • The app has been downloaded greater than 1.2 billion instances, and is particularly massive amongst Era Z.
  • Here is the right way to navigate by means of the TikTok app, together with how one can create your individual movies and comply with alongside the newest tendencies.
  • Go to Enterprise Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

For teenagers all over the world, the social media scene has seen a brand new app making its option to heart stage within the final 12 months: a short-form video platform referred to as TikTok.

TikTok is a product of Chinese language firm ByteDance, and got here to the U.S. in August 2018 after merging with the same platform Musical.ly. Because it first launched in 2017, TikTok has garnered greater than 1.2 billion downloads in line with analyst agency Sensor Tower, and its recognition has skyrocketed as customers — particularly Gen Z — are more and more turning to the video app as their go-to social platform.

Should you want proof that TikTok is the wave of the long run, look no additional than Previous City Street, the mega-hit track of the summer season, which obtained its begin on the app. 

TikTok would not essentially carry something particularly new to social media, but it surely brings collectively the preferred and Gen Z-adored options underneath one app: Vine’s video snippets for copious quantities of content material consumption; Instagram’s person feeds for simply following influencers; Twitter’s trending hashtags for maintaining with what is going on viral; and video game-inspired methods for encouraging in-app spending.

Primarily, should you’re not already on TikTok (or not less than accustomed to it), you are already behind.

Here is the right way to use the TikTok app — from monitoring the newest viral memes, to following the most recent crop of influencers, and  creating your individual short-form video:

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Table of Contents

The very first thing you may see upon opening the TikTok app is a feed of content material from folks you comply with, much like Instagram or Twitter. You may solely see one video at a time, however you merely swipe as much as proceed by means of your feed and see extra content material.

My greatest gripe with TikTok is the setup of the feed, which may be particularly daunting for first-time customers. There are quite a lot of choices in entrance of you and never quite a lot of course.

It is seemingly why I’ve heard from many individuals — significantly a few of my curious, millennial-age colleagues — that once they first opened TikTok, they obtained so overwhelmed they by no means opened it once more.



The TikTok house web page, the place your feed lives, is cut up up into two sections: “following,” to solely see content material from customers you comply with, and “for you,” which amasses well-liked content material from throughout TikTok, much like Instagram’s Discover web page.

Switching between the 2 house feeds is so simple as swiping left and proper — you may know which feed you are on as a result of the title can be bolded.

To ensure that TikTok content material to finish up within the “For You” feed, movies must be posted with the hashtag “#foryou.” Extra on video-posting later.



The second tab within the menu working throughout the underside of TikTok, represented by a magnifying glass, is the place you may discover what’s trending on the app. That is TikTok’s bread and butter: it is the place the newest viral tendencies are discovered, and related hashtags are tracked.

For anybody trying to capitalize on trending tags and viral memes of their subsequent video, this search tab is the place to go. Having your video seem excessive within the outcomes for a sure well-liked hashtag can get your content material seen my thousands and thousands, and doubtlessly push you a bit extra towards viral fame.

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The subsequent tab within the menu bar is your inbox, the place you may discover notifications for followers, mentions, likes and feedback in your movies, and notifications about folks you comply with. You can even entry direct messages with customers within the top-right nook.

Notifications on TikTok can simply be filtered, which may be particularly useful to well-liked customers who’ve a lot of followers and mentions to sift by means of.



The fitting-most tab within the menu bar is the place you may discover your private TikTok profile. I personally have but to put up something so my feed is empty, however right here I may also edit my profile and bio.

Within the top-right nook you can too entry your “TikCode.” The barcode works precisely like a Snapchat SnapCode — principally, it is one thing you possibly can present different customers and have them comply with you with one click on. 



Now onto all these icons dotted round every video in your feed, as a result of there is a startling quantity of choices TikTok provides you for interacting with every put up. If you wish to see extra information concerning the account that posted every video, you possibly can both click on on the username towards the underside of the video, or the top-right icon to comply with the person.

You can even swipe to the left on the video to drag up the account’s profile web page.



Clicking on a username will carry you to the account profile web page, which is not so totally different from an Instagram profile. Right here, you are in a position to view all of the movies posted by the person in a single feed, and take a look at the customers different social accounts (marked by an icon just like the YouTube play button or Instagram digicam). Within the top-right nook, you possibly can simply share person profiles to social media, and toggle notifications for every person.

Sure profiles, just like the one above, can be marked with checkmark icon. It really works equally to checkmarks on Twitter and Instagram signaling that you are a verified determine, however TikTok additionally makes use of them to designate “well-liked creators” with lots of of hundreds — and even thousands and thousands — of followers.



Generally whenever you go to a TikTok person’s profile, you may see a pink circle across the icon with a “Dwell” button. That signifies the person is live-streaming, a preferred function inside TikTok that enables well-liked creators and influencers to work together instantly with their followers. You probably have notifications turned on for any customers, you may get notified in your Inbox tab once they go reside.

Musical.ly, TikTok’s predecessor, used to have a separate app devoted to live-streaming referred to as Dwell.ly. Nevertheless, that app shut down when Musical.ly merged into TikTok, and now live-streaming can happen instantly inside the identical app.



In livestreams, customers can add feedback and emoji reactions. However extra importantly, customers should purchase “cash” on TikTok, which may be given to live-streamers — type of like a tip.

These live-streaming present add-ons alone have introduced in additional than $100 million in income for TikTok, in line with knowledge from cellular analytics agency Sensor Tower.



Again in your information feed, movies will typically be posted with hashtags of their descriptions. Clicking on these hashtags will lead you to particular person touchdown pages, the place you could find the variety of movies utilizing that hashtag and see simply how viral it is went on the platform. You possibly can click on on the “save” button to bookmark a sure hashtag for simple monitoring sooner or later.

Hashtags which have been acknowledged as viral actions could have TikTok-given descriptions explaining a bit extra what customers have been utilizing the hashtag for.  So though #plankton has apparently been used greater than 13 million instances, it would not have the identical clout as trending hashtags which have lots of of thousands and thousands of makes use of.



For TikTok, every posted video requires using a “soundtrack.” That does not imply you possibly can’t report your individual sound — it’s going to be denoted as “unique sound,” which makes publicly out there for others to make use of by clicking on the music monitor situated on the backside of a video. In flip, on your personal movies, you possibly can overlay them with well-liked music for lip-syncing movies, or for tracks which have been meme’d — like this “Wealthy boy test” audio.

The “wealthy boy test” meme has been used virtually 138 million instances on TikTok by customers exhibiting off their opulence and wealth, and others in flip satirizing that privilege with parody movies.

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All the content material that you just save on TikTok — movies, hashtags, sounds, and video results — lives in a bookmark tab that is discovered in your profile.

The bookmark function making it simple to seek out the newest posts underneath trending viral memes, hold monitor of  your favourite movies, and save sounds you wish to use for your self sooner or later.



Now, for creating your individual content material. To create a TikTok video, click on on black sq. in the midst of the menu bar. Doing so will open up your digicam and all the options out there to make use of inside your video.

TikTok affords a lot of templates for customers to attract inspiration and concepts for creating movies. TikTok customers have gone to nice lengths with their movies to create masterpieces that I nonetheless have but to determine how they had been made.



TikTok movies can go as much as 60 seconds in size. The limitless variety of options you possibly can apply to content material makes it simple to make customized movies — you possibly can decelerate or pace up your video, add Snapchat-like results, and report and sew collectively a number of clips.

As a substitute of turning to the quite a few apps on the market for tech-savvy photograph and video modifying, TikTok helps you to do customized modifying within the app itself. Including results and particular touches is straightforward, which makes the app much more accessible for its youthful customers.



When it comes time so as to add a sound, TikTok has an enormous library to seek out music, from snippets of the newest hits, to TV present theme songs, to clips from films. If there is a sound you need but it surely’s not within the library, that is the place your “saved” tab is available in, the place you possibly can add your individual spin on another person’s soundtrack.

Should you determine you do not wish to add another person’s sound till later, that is okay — TikTok helps you to play with the quantity, so you possibly can mute your individual sound and add a soundtrack on prime after recording.



When you create your video (like this one in all me watching the US ladies’s soccer group play within the World Cup at work), there are much more results at your disposal. Right here you possibly can trim your video as you need, add transition results for between video clips, and add stickers and textual content much like these on Instagram Tales.

These quite a few results have led to the creation of memes, just like the “Karma is a b—h” problem and this tremendous cool subway trip warp.



When you’re performed creating your video, you may be despatched to a display the place you possibly can management how your video is used. Similar to Instagram, you possibly can add hashtags and pal mentions. You can even select video-by-video whether or not you need the put up to be public, non-public, or seen to buddies solely.

You can even select whether or not to make your video out there for duet and react movies, which is how TikTok allows customers to collaborate and work together with one another in video kind.



Exterior of making movies, TikTok additionally permits for customers to create two other forms of movies: “reacts” and “duets.” With a “duet,”on the left, customers can add to already current movies can add their very own commentary and results to current movies on-line. With a “React” (on the best), movies are much like response movies discovered on YouTube the place your video is minimized into the nook of an current one.

Yow will discover some good examples of TikTok duets and reacts on YouTube.



So as to create a Duet or React video, click on on the arrow that seems on any TikTok video. If the person has enabled duets and response movies, you may discover the choices within the menu that pops up.



Keep in mind, that is solely a complete overview of what TikTok can do. With the variety of options that stretch throughout the app, TikTok may be extremely overwhelming to the unsuspecting person. However with greater than a billion folks utilizing the app, there’s seemingly a distinct segment space of TikTok someplace on the platform only for you.




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