WTF is TikTok?

Cape Town – Nothing exposes the generational gap more than new technology or, more specifically, a new app. Just as millennials are moving away from Facebook, baby boomers are flocking to it as their primary source of information. Similarly, as generation z gravitate towards TikTok, millennials – at least some of them – are wondering what it is and how to use it.

Let's unpack it all and show you how to do it - 

What is TikTok, and who started it?

TikTok is a short-form video app from Beijing company, ByteDance and users of the app number in the multi-million.

In December of last year alone it saw the addition of 75 million new users — a 275 percent increase from the 20 million it added in December 2017, according to a recent report from Sensor Tower.

The app has been growing steadily since it acquired its U.S.-based rival in November 2017 for north of $800 million, then merged the two apps' user bases last August. So how does it work?

TikTok is like a karaoke app in which you can lip-sync to your favourite song or move in time to specific sounds.

Here's a really good example:

Here's how you get started in four easy steps:

1. First download the app onto your phone.

It looks like this:

Screengrab of TikTok in Apple App store

2. Login with your Facebook, Instagram, Google or Twitter account.

3. Then look at the different hashtags for great content to inspire you. Of course, some of it is cheesy or cringe-worthy, but that can also help you know what not to do.

4. When you're ready to create your own videos, just go ahead and click the plus video at the bottom of the screen.

Screengrab of TikTok

(Photos: Screengrab, TikTok)

Then it's straightforward to click on sounds or filters that you would like to add to your own video.

Here's a video guide:

Are there lots of South African users on TikTok?

Of course, there aren't official numbers, but there are quite a few uniquely South African hashtags such as #mzansioriginal or #johncenachallenge which is a lovely stream of videos relating to Sho Madjozi's viral song. So there's definitely a local presence for you to join in on! 

Get posting! 

Sources: Sensor Tower, TechCrunch.