What is TikTok

There are many types of social networks and each one appeals to a different type of user; Facebook tends to attract older people while on Twitter the age of the users tends to be lower. Teenagers are looking for something more casual and until August last year they preferred Musical.ly, where they mostly shared choreographies of short music videos in an evolution of karaoke. But the company was bought for more than 800 million euros by the Chinese company ByteDance and in August last year the user data was migrated to TikTok, an application that absorbed Musical.ly.

Tiktok is a social network in which videos of all types are shared, with a minimum duration of 15 seconds and a maximum of one minute, in which music is usually very important, although what is shown is not only music videos but also narration, something like a combination of Vine and Musical.ly.

The conversion of the latter into TikTok was a non-traumatic step for its users, who integrated into the new options naturally. The choreography -even those made with fingers, a sub-genre of TikTok-, the jokes (both innocent and full of bile) and the assemblies that simulate special effects are the most important. Not to be forgotten are the challenge videos, which fill the net during the days when they are in vogue.

TikTok is in 150 countries around the world. It was launched in September 2016 and from the first moment it had a spectacular growth in China, where it receives the name of Douyin. In July 2018, before the purchase of Musical.ly, it had 500 million users. Currently, in Android the application has more than 500 million downloads and is number 2 and in the App Store it is number 6 in photo and video applications.

How TikTok works

In order to work with videos you need to register and TikTok gives you several options: with a phone number, an email, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Then the app shows the most popular videos of those that have been uploaded to the platform, taking into account those that the user has seen; these slide up and down to see new videos or those of the profiles that the user is following. On the right are the options to go to the user of the video, give ‘like’, comment, share the video and add it to favorites.

At the bottom is the main menu, with access to ‘Start’, the option to ‘Discover more videos’ using hashtags, notifications and the user’s profile, as well as a button to start creating a new video.

One of the strengths of the application is precisely the ease of recording and editing videos with different effects and adding music from the application or the phone. You can change the recording speed (the most common is that the final result goes to fast motion) and there are dozens of effects in the form of stickers that range from the blatantly tacky to the grimly elegant, through cartoonish fun and even purely folkloric. These effects can be applied while shooting the video or using one that is already on the cell phone. It is just as easy to add several shots to the same video, which are recorded one after another with different effects and filters.

Postproduction is intuitive and the effects are easy to apply. While the video is developing you have to press the effect at the moment you want it to appear. The variety of modifications is quite high and varied: multiply the image, reverse the timeline, fill the screen with stars or color spots… and it is not only about playing with the images, you can also mix the sound and set one of the frames as a cover.

You don’t have to do the process from start to finish in the same session, you can save a draft and retouch it as much as you want before publishing it. Before uploading the final video you can choose whether anyone will be able to watch it, profiles that are friends of the user or if it will be private, so the app can be used as a mobile video editor and skip the social network part. You can also maintain privacy and send a visual code to those you want to give permission to follow an account.

The main users of the app are very young and feel like fish in water in social networks, they are used to sharing content and TikTok gives them an extra point by allowing them to make collaborative videos in which they can take a video of less than 15 seconds made by another user and activate the Duo option, which divides the screen in two: in one half the images that already existed appear and in the other half new ones are recorded, exporting the joint result.

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