What is TikTok?

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard of the new social video app with more than 500 million active users – Tik Tok.

It’s kind of like Vine but with a few more features. But, what exactly is Tik Tok?

Tik Tok includes, filters, music and animations to help you make your videos. And users can share 15 second videos of themselves doing just about anything.

tik tok

You can also connect multiple clips together for a total of 60 seconds. Some common themes include dancing, lip-syncing, and funny videos.

In this post we break down the emerging social media giant and give you all the information you need to stay on top of your game.

When did Tik Tok begin?

The app was originally launched as Douyin in China, 2016.

In 2017, ByteDance purchased the app and renamed it to Tik Tok to be released outside of China. Tik Tok and Douyin use the same software, but continue to use different networks to comply with censorship restrictions in China.

At the time of purchase had more than 200 million users, many of which were in the teenager market suited to Tik Tok. And in 2018, Tik Tok was the most downloaded app worldwide for the first part of the year.

Tik Tok was the 3rd most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2019 with 188 million downloads!

Tik Tok’s mission statement could be a clear indicator as to why many people predict the platform to compete with Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in the coming years:

to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos.”

What you need to know about TikTok

  • The app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times worldwide.
  • ByteDance spent 1 billion dollars advertising TikTok in 2018.
  • In September 2019, TikTok was the most downloaded social app worldwide with nearly 60 million downloads. Approximately 44% of these downloads came from India, and 8% from America.
  • Users spend approximately 52 minutes a day on the app (creating or viewing)
  • TikTok is available in 155 countries
  • 90% of all users access the app on a daily basis

Tik Tok in Australia

There is 1.4 million monthly active users in Australia and New Zealand. It’s estimated that Australians make up for just 2% of users on TikTok worldwide.

Although TikTok is not as popular in Australia like it is worldwide, there are plenty of Australians who have already found success on the app..

The Rybka Twins

The Rybka Twins have more than 8 million followers on TikTok. The twins are from Perth and usually post choreographed dance routines, dressed in different costumes.


Katja Glieson

Based in Melbourne, Katya Glieson has more than 8 million followers and posts lip-syncing and comedy-skit videos.

Katja Glieson

How Ridiculous

Another Perth account killing it on TikTok is HowRidiculous.  These guys post crazy videos of them smashing objects from insane heights onto other objects. Some of their videos include frisbees, bowling balls, potatoes and water balloons!


Can brands use TikTok?

As TikTok is a relatively new platform, it’s still unknown how brands will operate within the app.

Some tips for brands looking to try out a TikTok account:

  • Create your channel and only upload videos that are relevant to your brand
  • Use influencers to make your content seen by a larger audience
  • Pay to advertise
  • Use raw videos to show people using your product in real life
  • Step-by-step videos can be made on TikTok to showcase your product

Be sure to also check out the video version of this post.

Are you using TikTok? What do you like most about the app? We would love to hear from you in the comments below! 


  1. Graeme Watson · December 16, 2019 Reply

    What I found amazing (and scary) was that within a few weeks of using Tik Tok the app’s algorithm had narrowed my viewing down to a very specific sub-genre. Yes- it was all shirtless gay boys within 14 days.

    It’s odd what resonates on it, a video of my lunch was more popular than a video of a party with Troye Sivan.

    It’s very addictive, and you’ll have these 20 second sound bytes stuck in your head, and you’ll find yourself trying some odd dances.

    • SMPerth · December 17, 2019 Reply

      The algorithm for TikTok is definitely an interesting one. Esp around how they censor anti-Chinese sentiment.

      We haven’t quite figured this one out…


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