With its rapid rise to fame, there have been a lot of misconceptions about the app. Who would’ve thought that the summit for Gen Z’s dancing videos would become a global phenomenon? It’s been a topic of debate since its launch, is it really just a platform to post short-lived viral videos, or is there longevity to it?
To help uncover the mystery surrounding it, we’ve done a deep dive and debunked the top six misconceptions of TikTok that have stood in the way of its growth!
TikTok is only for Gen Z
One of the most common myths surrounding this is that TikTok is only for teens and Generation Z. Anyone under the age of 30 wouldn’t be spending bucket loads of time scrolling through TikTok, would they?
Actually, yes. They would. In fact, it’s estimated that TikTok users are surprisingly more varied than we expect them to be. Last year, 36% of TikTok users were found to be within the age bracket of 35-54 years old. And another recent study found that 52% of users were 35 years old or older!
Additionally, TikTok has actually seen a slight decline in younger generations using the app - The percentage of users aged 18 - 24 dropped significantly from 39% to 32% in 2021, which suggests that on the whole, Generation Z is now in the minority of TikTok users!
TikTok is purely for entertainment
When TikTok burst onto the scene, it became a hub for entertainment and user-generated content with its niche trends and viral dancing videos. Although it might be primarily known as an entertainment app, like all other social media networks, it’s also become a high-grossing marketing tool.
TikTok Shop alone has proved its profitability with its advancements in social commerce. Brands and businesses alike have begun taking advantage of the in-app paid social advertisements and live shopping experiences!
In 2021, TikTok proved to be extremely profitable! The app generated an estimated $4.6 billion in revenue, which is an increase of 142% year-on-year. If you’re looking for ways to boost your brand's revenue, going down the route of TikTok Shop (if you’re not already) might be for you!
Followers help your content go viral
Just like with most social media sites, it’s commonly assumed that the more followers you have, the more successful your content will be. This might be true to some extent, but when it comes to TikTok, followers don’t always equal viral content.
Platforms such as Instagram and Twitter rely heavily on follower counts. However, with the way TikTok’s algorithm is structured, there’s a much higher chance of anyone going viral!
The algorithm can work by pinpointing users that might enjoy your content and relies on a whole range of factors such as; a user's previous watch history, hashtag searches, current location and interests.
If you’re worried about how to get traction on TikTok, you can be rest assured that the algorithm is on your side. It’ll try and test as many different algorithms as possible to make your videos stand out amongst the tsunami content across the app. Using trending hashtags, sounds and recreating viral trends (no matter how cheesy they might seem) will help to boost you up the algorithm!
TikTok users aren’t as engaged as other apps
When TikTok first launched, videos had a maximum length of 15 seconds. It swiftly became a common misconception that TikTok users couldn’t possibly be engaged with content because they were consuming multiple videos within minutes.
However, with its increasing popularity and the need to compete with other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, the time limit was bumped up to 10 minutes at the start of this year - a drastic difference from when it first started!
With the increased video length, and the willingness to contribute to viral trends, TikTok’s audiences have become highly engaged. On average, users will watch around 24 hours of content on the app each month, and 90% of users access the app every day!
TikTok is a short-lived phase
With the fast-paced social sphere, it’s easy to say that the social apps we rely on will become a short-lived phase (remember the days of Bebo and Myspace?). Since many social networks have come and gone throughout the years, many have pondered whether TikTok will meet the same untimely fate.
Although there’s always the possibility that TikTok has a sell-by date, there’s no denying how popular the platform has become. Each month, TikTok racks up over 1 billion active users, and it clearly leaves an impression on its audience. Over 43% of TikTok users try something new after seeing it on the platform, and 72% of users find adverts on the app inspiring. So it’s clear that it isn’t just a short-lived phase!
“Serious” brands shouldn’t use TikTok
The final myth surrounding TikTok is that if you’re a reputable brand, it’s not the space for you. As TikTok is known for being a more ‘quirky’ app, users often assume that professional brands shouldn’t or wouldn’t be a part of it.
In reality, most brands are now tailoring their marketing strategies to include TikTok - and it’s benefitting them hugely! Companies such as RyanAir and Duolingo have achieved viral fame because of their unique content and ability to hop on viral trends. Both are considered corporate businesses, but their social media presence has heightened their reputation and made them instant successes!