March 16, 2021


In 2021, it’s hard to enter into a conversation about social media without hearing about TikTok. What started out as a music and dancing app primarily for middle-school aged Gen Z-ers in 2014 has quickly become a global phenomenon for all ages, recently being ranked the third fastest growing brand of 2020. While music is still very much embedded in the culture of TikTok (serving as the staging ground for hits like Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road and Doja Cat’s Say So), the app has evolved into a seemingly infinite network of niche interests with users showcasing everything from comedy to tutorials to personal stories.

If you’ve never explored the app, I challenge you to spend 30 minutes flipping through the FYP (“For You Page” - the first page that appears when you open the app). Although the videos shown to you may seem random at first, the TikTok algorithm will quickly catch on to your interests through which videos you like and watch the longest (or skip altogether). This hyper-sensitive algorithm is a big part of why the app is so addicting - you’re eventually only shown videos you’ll actually enjoy.

Now beyond personal use, how does TikTok apply to brands? While social media veterans Facebook and Instagram have a mountain of experience and infrastructure to support brands, TikTok has something Facebook and Instagram are struggling to hold onto: the ability to spark joy and capture attention - a winning combination for any brand. However, in order for brands to see success on the platform, they have to understand the nuances of the culture TikTok users have built. From strategy to content development, to copy and editing style, everything for TikTok has to be custom made specifically with the platform in mind. But one thing is very clear: it’s not going anywhere and if your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 40, you should be on TikTok right now.