TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms on the planet with more than 500 million active users.
Only YouTube, Facebook and Instagram can boast more.
TikTok allows users to create short movies with music, filters, and other features.
But while young people are being used globally today, many users of social media for adults have never heard of it. It's on the blueprint.
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In 2016, we conducted an ethnographic study on the use of social media among families with pre-school children in Melbourne, Australia.
Although most of the young participants in the study were considered by the parents as "too young" for social media, some had bills on a new platform called Musical.ly – now known as TikTok.
We soon realized that demography of prejudice was key to the success of Musical – and its evolution.
The rapid increase in ownership over smartphones among the preteens was a relatively unused potential customer base for social media.
Many great players have recently tried to catch this particular audience.
Snapchat's SnapKidz, YouTube Kids and the recent Facebook Messenger Kids have all focused on creating a "child" version of the main application.
Musical.ly creators have done homework. Not only have they identified potential future app users, but also non-users that could hinder their success.
To reach the audience with pre-children, social media applications must pass by the custodians of Internet engagement before their birth: parents.
Get paid as a tool for creativity
From the beginning, Musical has been presented as a tool for creativity and play, not as a platform for social media.
This tactic enabled Musical to alleviate parental concerns associated with the use of children's social media.
The store's store description reads: "the world's largest creative platform."
Children's participation in digital devices is often motivated by their desire for creative expression, entertainment, and social interaction.
Musically, he has performed playfulness and performance as key features.
For example, his cleverly crafted "best fellow forever" imitates elements of the popular teenage culture that allows users to establish a special relationship with features like duet video.
"BFFs" singly record their videos of the same song, which the app then merges into a duet. This way, users are encouraged to spend more time interacting with the app.
Everything you can do on Instagram
Although TikTok is still considered a "community of global creators", it is more than a child's toy.
TikTok allows users to track and interact with "public" profiles. They can follow each other (no need for reciprocity), love to comment on videos, and send direct messages to each other.
In other words, TikTok meets all the elements of social networking.
In fact, the application infrastructure greatly resembles Instagram.
From Musical.ly to TikTok
The user base is the most valuable property of any social media platform. During 2016 and 2017, Musical.ly, a social media starter from China, was in the trend of most downloaded apps at Apple and Google's application stores.
This led to the acquisition by ByteDance of the Chinese media giant Billion USD.
When he acquired music, ByteDance focused mostly on the news and was largely absent in social media. But she had a short video exchange platform labeled Douyin.
At that time, Douyin was not well known outside of China.
In 2018 ByteDance decided to join Douyin and Musical.ly under the name TikTok.
While the merger brought some new features, the process was virtually unnoticeable for users who kept their accounts and all existing content and followers.
In other words, over the night the user database Musical.ly became the TikToka user database.
While Musical.ly was more popular among the global North, TikTok dominated the Asian market, positioning a new, connected application for a wider global audience.
In its first days, TikTok managed to fly under the radar, but its rapid growth and growing customer base brought the unwanted public insight into the application.
In 2018, the Indonesian government temporarily banned the application for charges of spreading pornography and blasphemy.
In February 2019, the Indian High Court demanded that both Google and Apple remove TikTok from the Indian drug store after allegations that the platform is spreading pornographic and violent content.
Perhaps the biggest hit came earlier this year when the US Federal Trade Commission punished TikTok with a record $ 5.7 million to collect and store personal data of persons under the age of 13 without obtaining parental consent (as required by the law).
As TikTok came to the attention of the public, parents and commentators increasingly expressed concern about possible predatory behavior, abuse, and exposure to inadequate age content in the app.
Dispute of domination of US social media
Some can see TikTok as another platform for social media that will soon disappear, but that's more than that.
It is the first social media platform based in China that has unrivaled popularity in the Asian and Western markets.
It undermines the dominance of American companies on the global social media market.
TikTok's challenge will be to make progress with the promise of networked gaming and creativity while at the same time ensuring personal security and data security for its users.
Kath Albury is a professor of media and communication at the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design and PhD. Milovan Savić, a candidate at Swinburne University in Australia.
This article is re-released from a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.