Facebook and Instagram were yesterday. Tiktok is the app of the hour. The app is particularly popular with the so-called Generation Z – those who were born between 1997 and 2012. But what actually happens on Tiktok?
Influence over consumption and reactions
Tiktok is a video platform on which users can watch short videos for up to 60 seconds or upload them themselves. As soon as you open the app, you are on the “For You” page and the Tiktok algorithm suggests the first video.
“The only way to influence the proposed videos is through the way they consume the video and how long I watch the video, like, comment on or share,” explains Adil Sbai, who is the manager for some well-known tiktokers such as Younes Zarou work. Together they wrote the “Tiktok Bible” to explain the app and its functions step by step.
Algorithm as a success factor
Sbai explains one of the app’s success factors that the algorithm’s suggestions are very good. This can be seen from the fact that people spend a comparatively long time with the app: “The average length of stay on Tiktok is longer than on Instagram, with Generation Z even longer than on Youtube, even though the videos are so short. ”
Of course, Tiktok also offers classic functions of a social network, such as writing messages, “liking” and commenting on content. Above all, however, the app is a very creative, universal video production app, says Sbai. Record and cut videos, add effects or integrate other videos and sounds. No problem at all: “You can tell and stage a lot of stories with the app without complex video equipment.”
Many Tiktok videos revolve around music, comedy, or dance. This also has to do with the origin of the app. It emerged in 2017 from the karaoke app Musical.ly. Even if videos on more serious topics can be found more and more: Tiktok is primarily an entertainment app, says Sbai. “But that doesn’t mean that users are apolitical. Fridays for Future and the hashtags that correlate with them are even more popular on Tiktok than on Instagram, for example.”
Private or public
All videos are uploaded to Tiktok servers. With each individual video, users can determine whether it is only visible to themselves (private) or potentially for all users (public).
However, Miriam Ruhenstroth from the consumer protection portal “Mobilsicherheit.de” criticizes the fact that Tiktok sets user accounts to public by default. “This means that the content produced can be found by all users.” Although you can delete videos that have already been posted, Ruhenstroth said, that does not mean that they are out of the world. Any user could have saved and shared the videos before they were deleted.
If you want to prevent this, you can set your account to “private”. Then can According to Tiktok only confirmed followers can see and comment on their own videos.
A number of visual and acoustic effects are available to users to create videos. Videos can be individualized with overlay effects such as color filters or masks, says Iren Schulz, media coach at the “Look out” initiative.