Every year, we get a massive battle debating whether ‘this’ social media platform is better than ‘that’ one. There’s a whole lot of debate and quite a bit of reasoning that needs to be considered when deciding which is ‘the best’. But it all boils down to user experience within a certain demographic. And there’s a whole new demographic out there that even the experts are still trying to figure out; the age group ranging from 16 – 24 make up 41% of this new social phenomenon’s target market with 90% of its users claiming to use the app on a daily basis.

If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re talking about Tik Tok. The new kid on the block that’s dominating the stats with short frame content that expresses creativity, and from what most of us older folk have seen; a slight tinge of wackiness. And this new platform leaves millennials and older wondering… what’s wrong with Instagram?

Has Tik Tok become the new ‘cool’ app to use? Are Instagram users considered out of date? Do I need to understand Tik Tok too?

Well, there are so many questions that need to be answered when it comes to the fun factors, social factors, marketing factors and overall usability factors of Tik Tok for a first timer. But the first place to start has to be in understanding how the app works and what it does compared to Instagram.

What’s so great about Tik Tok?

Created in China in 2016, Tik Tok was developed to share short videos known as ‘douyin’; it made its way to the USA in 2017 and began its slow but steady rise to the top. In 2018, Tik Tok merged with Musical.ly and exploded into an app that features 150 markets and 75 languages worldwide – and it’s probably increasing as we speak.

tik tok preview

Generally used by the younger generation, Tik Tok is all about comedic material, it is a platform used to entertain and to encourage expression and in 2018 was dubbed the most downloaded iPhone app across the globe. Some 500 million monthly users tap in to Tik Tok on the planet – 40 million of which are active users from the US alone. Android users do not shy away from Tik Tok either, some 100 million downloads were recorded to non Apple users in 2018. This bad boy is kicking Instagram’s digital-butt and we need to understand why.

Does the Gram still have it?

Instagram is the world’s number one photo and video sharing app – and till this day still hold the title of the ‘indiest’ of apps out there. Although mass hysteria has infiltrated the app greatly, the cool kids are still Insta-mad and working on their perfect feed. Launched in 2010 for iPhone and 2012 for Android, Instagram boasts some of the best filters, edits and posting options of any app on the market to date. Instagram keeps on developing more features to add on to the app, and they’re all totally free of charge (money-wise of course, privacy-wise is a completely different story). In our recent past we’ve seen additions such as IGTV, Instagram Stories, Business Profiles, additional filters, different posting options such as the multiple photo option, the teaser posts and links to websites or stores in Stories. It just keeps getting bigger.

instagram preview

There are about 1 billion active users on Instagram and 400 million daily active users on the Instagram Stories feature alone! But the stats don’t lie and Tik Tok is breaking new ground with its achievements over the last 3 years.

Does Mr Zuckerberg need to get his thinking hat on again? Perhaps. But even with Tik Tok’s great achievements so far, there’s no doubt that Instagram will keep our feeds looking good for a long while. Especially if it’s a business profile you sport.

Marketing agencies are Instagram mad – every Insta post hits the platform with some 10 hrs of work behind every upload. There’s strategy, shooting, copy creation, edits, hashtag research, optimisation, sponsoring, targeting, analysis and reposting that goes into almost every Instagram shot uploaded on a business page. Madness, but highly effective for some companies and influencers.

The ultimate truth of it all is that only time can tell. Should Tik Tok’s social media marketing potential rise, generating increased ROI for companies, the likelihood of it taking over Instagram’s market may take place, but there’s also a chance Tik Tok will remain a jovial expression of short-length videos, making people laugh and exposing talent in some way or another. What’s your opinion?