If you have not been paying attention to TikTok yet, you are probably not a millennial or a gen Zer. The short-video app launched a couple of years ago by Chinese multinational internet technology company ByteDance has simply taken the internet by storm.
According to 2018 statistics, the app surpassed Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in monthly installs on the App Store and was downloaded more than a billion times in the same year. From teaching you how to buy bitcoin to content creators sharing their best tips on how to successfully create your own brand, TikTok comes with a lot of value that simply can’t be ignored.
However, staying up to date with most of the new content on the platform can be hard, especially if you are to use TikTok as a marketing platform. Don’t worry though, because I’ve got everything you need to know and keep in mind in order to never miss a thing ever again.
TikTok was first launched in China in September 2016. The app, known as Douyin there, was developed in 200 days and, in one year, received more than 100 million users, with more than 1 billion videos viewed every day.
The social media app offers users the opportunity to share sixty-second long—or shorter—videos with friends, family, and the whole world. Generally, most shared videos range from funny sketches to lip-sync videos with special effects.
The network was launched on the international market in September 2017, and a year later, it already registered astonishing numbers. According to market analytics company Sensor Tower, the app was downloaded about 80 million times in the US and an additional 800 million times worldwide.
Even though 60 per cent of TikTok users are comprised of gen Zers (in layman’s terms, people born after 1996), millennials still make up 21 per cent of the app’s total users. Despite the lower percentage, millennials are always trying to catch up and stay up to date with the platform.
For an app with such a simple structure, being popular on TikTok requires a huge amount of creativity and practice. Typically, the most popular short videos are quite difficult to produce, but they also represent the type of content that generates more engagement, helping to create the platform’s “celebrities.”
Through the use of artificial intelligence—which fills each user interface with personalised recommendations—TikTok can provide you with the exact type of content you want to see. Plus, there is a lot of valuable DIY content that appeals to ‘older’ audiences like millennials, including subjects such as construction, decoration, architecture, gastronomy, and much more.
Another huge trend among millennials is the use of digital money (also known as cryptocurrencies). With TikTok being one of the fastest-growing social networks in the world, some financial influencers are already using the platform to popularise the concept of crypto-assets and altcoins.
Famous profiles such as @TikTokInvestors help to spread the concept of financial freedom subtly, through short videos on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and investments. They give tips about promising coins and tokens that could increase their cryptocurrency price in the future, especially during a bullish run.
In one of its videos, the profile asks followers what they would do if they had discovered Bitcoin when it was only worth $0.44 and states that “it will be used across the United States and connected with banks.”
He then introduces Ripple’s XRP and tells his followers that this is an opportunity to “become a millionaire with just 44 cents.” This is just one example of TikTok users using the platform to spread the word about blockchain technology and alternative forms of investment.
It’s not easy to stay up to date with TikTok, as it requires a more data-driven approach. The platform is all about change, but now some tools permit users to check analytics in order to preview the next trends.
Although brands may benefit a lot from TikTok analytics tools, average users can also rely on them to stay up to date with trends. Tools such as Byte Sights offer a full landscape of TikTok analytics, measuring influencer metrics, demographics, and other stats.
Such tools are the easiest way to stay up to date with everything going on in the app, allowing users to search the enormous database of 1.5 million TikTok accounts in seconds. Plus, it is possible to search and analyse TikTok trends based on distinct niches. For instance, if you want to keep up with football-related content on the app, you can utilise such tools to track and filter the trends of the moment.
As of 2021, TikTok is one of the world’s best-loved apps among millennials. TikTok became popular thanks to the creativity of its users and the ease of engaging with their creations, which allowed many digital influencers to go viral.
Keeping up with new trends on a dynamic and ever-changing app like TikTok may seem like an impossible task for millennials. That being said, several tools help users to identify the platform’s biggest trends. So what are you waiting for?
The TikTok space seems obsessed with reviving trends from past decades and the Adult Swim trend is the latest in the long line of nostalgic fads blowing up on the app. It makes me feel old and I’m only 24. The trend shows users creating their own videos in the style of Adult Swim’s ‘bumps’—which first became popular when the late-night programming block aired on the popular TV channel Cartoon Network. So, what are these bumps Adult Swim became famous for?
The general definition of a bump or ‘bumper’ is a very short clip, no longer than 15 seconds, that is usually placed before and after adverts or sometimes just to include a pause in a programme. They usually had recurring music themes and varied imagery from more artistic short films to simplistic text—bumps are not commonly used in broadcasting anymore.
Adult Swim’s bumps usually have a cheeky conversational style that talks directly to the audience with a ‘short-film quality’ about them. They often have weird ‘meme-like’ jokes, animations or cartoons, B-rolls, time-lapses and a unique editing style. The sequence is always followed by its iconic logo—[as] or [adultswim]—which is integrated into the artistic action of the scene. The logo’s ‘reveal’ is often unveiled in interesting ways and differs every time.
As always, TikTok users are showcasing their talents, making their own bumps, and incorporating [as] in as many ways as they can. It seems to be the main focal point of a lot of the videos online. Some examples show the [as] appearing on through spilled milk, cut into grass and even tattooed. There are also some great ‘grunge-y’ filmic examples. Although bumps are not exclusive to Adult Swim, its distinct style has won over millions—literally. At the moment, #adultswim has a whopping 1.3 billion views, with the specific #adultswimbump gaining nearly 114 million views.
It’s safe to say this new trend has absolutely blown up on the app. Michael Cahill, Adult Swim’s Vice President of on-air and social media, told Insider, “We’ve been creating bumps on our air for over a decade. To see people having as much fun with them as we have over the years is incredible.” This really is great news for Adult Swim, who even responded to the trend with its own TikTok video to the viral sound behind the trend–VANO 3000. Adult Swim writes in the clip: “We’ve been talking to you like this for a long time. It’s nice to see you talking back to us. Let’s keep it going.” But who started the conversation first? Let’s look at the creator and his sound behind the trend.
A music producer who goes by the name VANO 3000 was the creator behind this trend. The dreamy viral sound used in all the TikTok videos was produced by VANO 3000 himself. He first released the track on 23 May in a ‘mukbang’ TikTok clip of him standing on a street eating a sandwich. As many TikTok users have pointed out, the sound is sampled from BADBADNOTGOOD’s song ‘Time Moves Slow’ featuring Sam Herring.
The short video has since been watched over 5 million times, with VANO 3000’s sound used in around 230,000 other TikTok videos. As the originator of the trend, the first Adult Swim-style bumper was made by the music producer to his own sound; the video shows a man walking through New York in a Spider-Man costume which is overlaid with text that reads “This sounds works with everything. Try it out….[adultswim].” And people have. The talent is incredible.
TikTok user @notwildin said in a hilarious take on the trend, “I’m never gonna forgive y’all for escalating the adult swim trend so quickly because I didn’t even get to try.” He sarcastically continues, “Sorry I’m not sponsored by Adobe, y’all are making Pixar shorts.” VANO 3000 also recently announced in another video, showing him working in a studio, that Adult Swim has followed him. Hopefully, this is the first step towards black TikTok creators finally being credited, celebrated and paid for their work.