The 3 most valuable TikTok features

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To put it simply, TikTok is one of the biggest apps in the world right now. No, seriously!

It’s been downloaded more than 2 billion times and it’s the 7th most used social media platform with over 689 million global users. 

People say a lot of things about it but at the end of the day, it’s a tool - an immensely popular one. And if you can figure out a way to use it that works for you and your startup, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try! 

This week, I’ll be taking you through 3 of TikTok’s most valuable features - maybe this will inspire you to think about the platform differently!

Let’s start with the basics. 

TikTok is a social media platform specifically designed for short form mobile content that users can create or share about any topic. Up until about 2 months ago, users could only make videos that were 60 seconds long but their new update brought with it the ability to create 3 minute long videos. 

As you can probably imagine, the app rose to popularity in the midst of the pandemic. Think about it - millions of people were stuck at home with nothing to do and in comes a new social media platform that provides you with an endless stream of content that is quick to consume and literally tailored to you. 

It’s kind of genius! 

As a Gen-Z social media fiend who has now embarked on a career in digital marketing, in my opinion, there are 3 main advantages that TikTok has over every other social media platform out there right now. These are the algorithm, the FYP page - both of which interconnect and the music and sounds library. 

Honestly, these features are not unique to TikTok. Platforms like Instagram have given users their own designated home page feed and sound library for years now - but it’s how TikTok does it that sets it apart from everything else in a way that could help your startup when applied correctly. 

Opinions surrounding TikTok and the startup world

I know what you’re thinking - TikTok is for kids! 

How is a startup meant to grow on an app that’s been designed for dance challenges and 5 second audio trends? 

Never say never. 

It’s true, the majority of people do use TikTok for entertainment purposes. In a survey carried out by GlobalWebIndex this year, the majority of respondents said they used it to find funny content. 

But at the same time, there’s many different sides of TikTok that you will only realise exists when you’re actually using the app.

For example, FinanceTikTok, a niche of TikTok that focuses on giving financial tips and advice to users on the platform,  grew by 255% in 2021. There is a growing personal finance community on the app and according to TikTok’s own What's Next Report 2022, topics relating to finance have experienced a huge boom with videos tagged with things like #NFT growing by 93,000%. 

So, let that be your proof! 

If personal finance and NFTs can find a successful space within the TikTok crowd, so can your startup. The growth of Finance on TikTok (FinTok) shows that any industry can get their foot in the door with this platform. 

The Algorithm & The FYP page 

The power of TikTok ultimately lies within the algorithm’s power to build brand awareness. It is highly personalised to each user and fuels the For You Page, otherwise known as the FYP page that serves as the home feed for everyone who has an account. 

Think of your normal Instagram feed but ten times more addictive and accurate to what you like to consume. This is because TikTok’s algorithm is essentially a recommendation system that determines which videos you see based on your viewing preferences. 

It is constantly analysing the user of the account - how long they spend viewing one video and how they engage with it, consistently tweaking the type of videos that come up based on the user’s state of mind and ever changing viewer habits. 

Unlike other apps, when you open TikTok it will not automatically bring you to a feed of content created by the people you follow, it’ll show you the FYP page, most of which will be new content from new people you’ve never seen before. 

As a creator, if you can keep your audience engaged on your video for the optimal watch time, you can expect that video to go viral and have an immediate effect on traffic to other social channels and websites. 

The Batch Effect

The Batch Effect is a theory about the algorithm that’s popular amongst many TikTok content creators and helps give an insight into how certain content goes viral on the app.

The theory is that TikTok shows videos to different batches of people at different times. The way users react to it will determine if it goes shown to the next bunch of users and so on. If the video does well with one group, and well with the next, you can expect it to hit some big numbers!

The Music & Sounds Library 

TikTok has an expansive music and sounds library that sets the catalyst for what is known as ‘viral sounds’ on TikTok. 

Viral sounds are anywhere from 5 seconds to 30 or 40 seconds long and can be an audio grab from just about anything! 

Last week, a video of a girl hitting her hip on a bannister went viral and the sound of her saying ‘Ouch!’ in pain has been used in over 5,000 TikTok videos since. It’s now considered a trending sound that creators will use in their own content and end up going viral too. 

If there’s one thing to take away from this article about TikTok, it’s that there’s nothing predictable about it. 

There’s tons of sounds that are used way out of context, but influencers and brands will figure out a way to make it fit within their niche. This way, these brands manage to stay in the loop, stay relevant and draw in a new generation of clients. 

And those are the 3 most valuable features of TikTok in my opinion! 

This app is one of great power and if used correctly, it could really transform your startup journey. Stay tuned for tips and tricks that you can use to build your brand on TikTok and sign up to Rbbl to stay in the know about great startup events.