What is TikTok?

If you’re over the age of 40, there’s a chance you haven’t heard of TikTok. TikTok is the latest social network app to take the world by storm and is very popular with millennials and Gen Z. First launched in China in 2016 under the name ‘Douyin’, it exploded in popularity, registering more than 100 million users in a year and 1 billion views every day. Today, the video-sharing application is available in 34 languages and was the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018, with nearly 50 million downloads.

TikTok is fundamentally a music video platform that allows users to watch musical clips, shoot short videos up to 60 seconds, and edit them with filters and special effects. Users can record themselves singing along or dancing to a wide variety of music styles, including hip-hop, pop, electronic and country.

Having only been available in the West since September 2018, its growth has been attributed to its merger with Musical.ly, the popular music-video sharing service. Any users who held an account with Musical.ly will now automatically have one with TikTok.

For those who remember Vine (R.I.P. one of our favorite platforms), TikTok is seen as a valid successor. Its short clips mimic Vine’s style and are already creating popular memes. Much like much of the internet’s jokes, the most popular ones include videos of users’ pets.

TikTok has not been free from criticism however, with many users finding the videos a little immature, with content mainly aimed at a teen audience. And if you are a parent, we think you should download the app for yourself to see if you think it’s okay for your child to use. Do also consider our tips for keeping your child safe online.

TikTok is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

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