What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing social networking platform. TikTok was created by a company called ByteDance. ByteDance previously founded a similar video-sharing app called Douyin but launched TikTok to garner users internationally. TikTok and Douyin are nearly identical in terms of User Interface (UI) but are not related in terms of content; their content, users, and revenues are independent of each other. 

TikTok was launched in 2017; it is one of the largest video-sharing apps in the world, with an estimated 2 billion users globally. ByteDance acquired TikTok’s competitor Musica.ly in 2017 and merged its users and content with TikTok. 

Is it Different From Musica.ly? 

Although TikTok and Musica.ly follow the same short video sharing format, the apps are quite different. Unlike Musica.ly, which would only let users make lip sync videos, TikTok videos have more scope. For example, TikTok has built-in features that allow users to edit videos, add filters, and choose from an extensive array of music snippets. 

Is It The Fastest Growing Social Media Platform?

TikTok is currently the fastest-growing social media site, and there are several reasons why. One of the main reasons is celebrity endorsements of the platform. Celebrities use the app frequently to plug their content and even to upload funny videos. Moreover, TikTok has frequent local and global contests as incentives for its users. For example, TikTok has an annual “1 million audition” contest for users; users are given a theme and are told to get creative with their video content. Incentives such as these helped the app gain more attention and downloads. 

TikTok also is the inception point for thousands of trending “dances” and video formats every year. In 2020, dancing to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage'' was trending and millions of users, including numerous celebrities, partook in the trend. These trends have helped the app grow its user base significantly. 


TikTok has been the source of a lot of controversy in many different countries. For example, it was banned in India and Pakistan due to censorship issues; Pakistan’s governing board of censorship cited cultural clashes with its content. Nevertheless, TikTok has numerous features that have garnered a loyal user base globally. 

Let’s learn some more about TikTok’s features. 


The following are TikTok’s most popular and frequently used features. 

1. Video Sharing

Video sharing is the premise of the platform; users can upload short videos. TikTok has a video length limit of one minute to make the videos brief, precise, and attention-grabbing. TikTok has in-built editing capabilities and filters that let you use filtered content to capture content and edit it before uploading. 

2. For You Page

TikTok has a discover page where users can explore content geared towards their likes and preferences. Twitter’s for you page is guided by an algorithm that tracks users’ viewing history and followed accounts to custom-pick trends that they might like. 

3. Direct Messaging

TikTok has a direct messaging feature that enables users to send each other private messages on the app. Users can share photos and videos through TikTok’s direct messenger. 

4. Family-Safety Mode

Due to controversy regarding unfiltered content on the app, TikTok released a family-safety mode. The family-safety mode allows parents and guardians to filter out content that is inappropriate for children. 

The Bottom Line

TikTok is one of the world’s largest social media apps and the fastest growing social media network in the world. One of the primary reasons for TikTok’s success is that it allows users to explore their creativity, hone their acting and lipsyncing skills, and connect with an international audience through trending formats and dances on the platform.