TikTok’s rise to the top, will it stay there?

December 23, 2021

If by some miracle you haven’t noticed that TikTok is THE up-and-coming social media platform, let me fill you in. TikTok started out as Musical.ly, a social media app where you could lip-sync to famous songs and dance. The app quickly lost it popularity, but then ByteDance bought it. They put new life into the app, named it TikTok, changed it to posting vertical videos and you could do a lot more than just lip-syncing. Ever since it has been breaking record after record.

TikTok has been breaking some records, with being the most ridiculous one: TikTok had more traffic than Google had in 2021. This means that more happened on TikTok than on Google, one of the largest companies in the world. This isn’t the only bizarre record they broke, there's more: They have more average watch time in the US and UK than YouTube. The average user spends 52 minutes on the app per day (Facebook has 32 average minutes per day and Instagram has 29 average minutes per day.) Jennifer Lopez posted the exact same video on Twitter (where she has 45M followers )as well as on TikTok (where she has 5M followers). She gained 2 million views on Twitter and 71 million on TikTok.

Of course, breaking some records does not mean the company is actually going to last for a long time or that we will still be talking about the platform in 5 years. So, how do we as Molecule look towards the next years of TikTok? We think that the platform is still developing. There are still a lot of things in the advertising space that need to be worked out, where Facebook already has those capabilities. However, if we want to see if TikTok will last, we need to look towards ByteDance and not TikTok itself. Depending on what ByteDance is doing, TikTok will thrive or fall. ByteDance is known for its rather accurate AI software that they developed early on. They used it in their first news app back in 2012. ByteDance has been making some smart moves that resulted in a recent 400 billion evaluation. On top of that, they jumped into the future by acquiring Pico. Pico is a VR company and the third largest manufacturer of VR headsets worldwide. With this acquisition they made a smart move looking towards the future. ByteDance wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the deal but they said that it was an investment for the long-term. This tells us something about the plans they have for the future. Who knows that maybe in a few year you’ll be watching TikTok’s with a VR headset on. 

This of course doesn’t secure TikTok. There is still a lot to work out around data and the whole advertising side of the business. However, they are moving very quick and are making big steps into the right direction. Therefore we strongly believe that there lies a bright future ahead of us with TikTok.