Why Is TikTok So Popular? Reasons for Its Global Success

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Talking about the most popular social media apps, everyone would probably think of Instagram first.

Of course, there are also Facebook and Twitter as social media platforms which have an enormous number of users.

However, none of them is the most popular social network nowadays.

Although a relatively new app, TikTok is the leader in terms of popularity.

And since it’s the most popular social network, we have started wondering – what’s TikTok’s secret and how does it work. What makes TikTok so popular and how many users there are on TikTok?

For that reason, we’ve done thorough research and tried to respond to the above-mentioned questions.

Why is TikTok So Popular?

During the research process, we have found many different reasons why TikTok has become the most popular social media platform and many different aspects in which TikTok is better than other social media apps.

As for TikTok statistics and demographics, let’s just say that TikTok has a huge user base of more than 1 billion users and that China has the most app downloads.

Additionally, China Internet users spent 600 million hours per day watching TikTok videos, while the average user spends 52 minutes per day watching short videos on TikTok.

These numbers of minutes are probably caused by a vast market of people who need some short distractions during the day.

ByteDance, a Chinese company that owns TikTok is valued at $400 billion.

Now, let’s get straight to the point and, without further ado, present you some features that have helped the TikTok app achieve immense success.

a) Authenticity

First of all, TikTok is considered to be quite authentic and unique compared to other platforms.

A huge amount of content can be found on this platform and TikTok’s users can quickly scroll through videos and find those that are interesting to them.

Apart from that, the content that can be found on TikTok can very rarely be found on the other apps and that’s why the TikTok app is considered unique.

On the other hand, for instance, the content from Instagram or Twitter is likely to be found on Facebook.

So, even though you use only one of these apps, you would feel like you were using all of them.

 TikTok users can be sure that their content probably won’t be shared on any other app and, that way, a strong community is being built on TikTok.

b) Positivity

TikTok largely offers positive, interesting, funny, and amusing content and that’s the very reason why the younger population adores this app and why it gains millions of views every day.

As for other platforms, excluding Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have become apps that people use to release their negative energy, comment on some serious topics, have arguments, often fierce ones, with people who have different opinions, etc.

This way, these apps leave a quite negative and dark impression on the younger population and, according to many types of researches, social networks can have a huge impact on people’s mental health.

Therefore, it’s normal that they will be looking for some social media app with a lot of positivity and laughter.

The TikTok application appears to be a perfect option and that’s why it has gained massive popularity, especially among teenagers and adolescents who often claim that TikTok makes them joyful.

c) Special algorithm

TikTok uses a special algorithm called Artificial Intelligence Algorithm and it may be one of the greatest factors of TikTok’s success.

Namely, the app has a FYP (For You Page) where TikTok’s global audience constantly gets new recommended videos.

However, unlike Instagram or Facebook, where you’ll probably be connected to people you know or friends of your friends, and their content will mostly be recommended to you.

On the other hand, TikTok recommends you the content that is related to the content that you usually watch.

Why is TikTok So Popular?

Therefore, for example, if you often watch cooking videos, the TikTok algorithm will recommend them to you and you’ll be finding more and more cooking videos on your FYP.

So, it’s not a surprise when you spend hours on TikTok without seeing any videos made by someone you follow or know in real life.

This way, TikTok users discover new content and new people from all around the world over and over again, whereas with Instagram or Facebook you’re stuck with the people you know and people from your city or your country.

Finally, the content comes to you automatically, so you don’t need to waste time searching videos or on constant refreshing in order to get content that you haven’t previously seen.

d) Viral content

First of all, we have to admit that some content will go viral the fastest if it’s posted on TikTok.

So, the factor of becoming famous plays an important role among young people and, thus, increases TikTok’s popularity since any user can become a TikTok influencer practically overnight.

However, the app has some sorts of very interesting content that can go viral among TikTok users very quickly and, most importantly, can spread like a wildfire all over the app.

Namely, we’ve all seen a TikTok dance challenge or some branded hashtag challenge at least one time.

The point of a challenge video is to challenge users to do the same thing that you have done and to copy you as well as they can.

That’s why many companies create branded hashtag challenges and use TikTok as a branding tool

That is just one kind of content that can become popular very quickly and once that content starts gaining popularity, it becomes a matter of the utmost importance and priority to the TikTok algorithm.

Many other users will see that content on their FYP and more and more users will create content similar to that with some editing features added.

Thus, the number of videos of people doing the same challenge will skyrocket and that challenge will go viral, not only on TikTok but all over the Internet, and become a trend.

The other interesting features that have made the TikTok app extremely popular are so-called “lip sync videos”.

Namely, the audio of some particular video can be lipsynced and, thus, used by any other TikTok user in their own new content.

The audio part will remain the same, but the visual part will change.

This way, we get the same effect as with challenges.

And if you ever start wondering whether TikTok is really so powerful, just remember that some songs that were recorded 30-40 or even more years ago and were completely forgotten, or even never were popular at all, became viral thanks to TikTok’s platform.

e) Easily created communities

Since, as we have mentioned, the content can be very similar, or even the same, thanks to challenges, lipsyncing, or simply copying somebody else’s video, creating a community on TikTok is a piece of cake.

All content creators that share the field video topics, audios, hashtags, etc., are usually considered a community.

And as some community’s topic or type of videos goes viral, that community becomes stronger.

The stronger communities a social platform has, the stronger and more popular it becomes.

Thus, in terms of communities, TikTok is by far the most popular social media app. 

f) Direct messages

Firstly, let’s mention that TikTok can be used only on mobile phones and not on computers.

This decision is logical.

Young people tend to use mobile phones since they are always in their pockets and at their fingertips, while computers are just too slow for them.

Furthermore, TikTok has introduced the direct messages option just like Facebook and Instagram, so TikTok users have both interesting and amusing content and the possibility of communication with their friends and that’s all they want from a social media app.

g) Target audience

TikTok has very concentrated age demographics and if we take a look at all of TikTok’s features, we’ll notice that all of them have been adjusted to the needs and the taste of the younger population.

When creating new social media platforms it’s essential to find your target audience.

TikTok creators have wisely realized that teenagers and adolescents are their target audience and they have done everything they could to make the app appealing to this age group.

That effort and dedication are the very reasons why users on the platform value the app and the content very much.

So, let’s mention some features that have been introduced and created specifically for TikTok’s target audience.

· Short videos

It is a well-known fact that young people usually have a very short attention span.

First of all, if they have to read something, they’ll find it boring.

TikTok solved this issue by making videos the essence of the app.

However, even videos can become dull if they are too long.

That’s why TikTok users cannot create videos longer than 3 minutes.

Additionally, people generally like when someone gets straight to the point.

And if you have only 3 minutes to show what you want, then you’ll probably need to be very concise.

This way, TikTok can draw its target audience’s attention without losing it quickly.

· Familiar sounds

TikTok creators were certainly aware that people can easily get bored when listening to someone prattling about something on and on.

Therefore, they knew they had to focus on some common and familiar sounds.

And those sounds are, logically, popular songs.

For that reason, most TikTok videos contain some famous and well-known songs.

Sometimes users sing and sometimes songs are just played in the background.

· A lot of movement

Even though, not all TikTok content are videos of people dancing or doing anything that includes movement, these types of videos are more popular than any other video.

In order to hold the viewer’s attention, you have to create content that’s interesting, active, and mobile.

You can either dance, run, jump, cook, play with your pet, but it needs to be something that will be interesting enough to prevent a viewer from scrolling up.

Finally, when you combine short videos, familiar sounds and songs, and a lot of motion and activities, you get a guide for a great first TikTok video.

TikTok has practically combined a YouTube video and Instagram stories and the final product turned out to be excellent.


We have revealed many secrets of TikTok’s big success in this text, but there are certainly more reasons why this social media platform is so popular.

Nevertheless, we have to give praise to the creators of TikTok since it is obvious that they knew what they were doing, were very wise, analyzed the social media world very thoroughly, and all of that paid off.

And if you ever considered TikTok a frivolous app for children, remember that in the beginning Instagram was considered a simple photo filter app, but it made a great success.

As a matter of fact, we assure you that once you start using it, you’ll become addicted, and that is, from our perspective, the real evidence of quality.

If you want to know more about this app, check out how to use TikTok, and learn more about TikTok trends and video ideas.

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Mell is one of the Stream Mentor's co-founders and a versatile content writer. She's helping other streamers get their visuals right, set the right panel, use the right lighting, install overlays properly and boost the stream quality to a great extent.

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