TikTok may be the biggest trend people have never heard of. The app, which allows users to easily create 15-second videos with sound clips, filters and effects, is said to be available in 154 countries, and as of December, was the fourth most popular non-game app downloaded worldwide overall according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence. (It sits behind WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook.) It was the most downloaded app worldwide, however, from the App Store, thanks to China. In December alone, there were 75 million new installs. (Exact numbers of overall users aren’t being shared.)
TikTok highlights the user’s ability to craft original content, as well as the ability to share it — two things typically important to Gen Z. But it also does something else: It allows its users to be silly, cute, inventive, resourceful and authentically honest.
TikTok recently exceeded a $2 million donation goal through its #CreateforaCause campaign after U.S. users produced more than 2.5 million videos in just five days. It released face filters for dogs and cats, using facial recognition technology that can tell the difference between the animals. But there’s something else: It has begun testing in-app ads and teamed up with SportsManias to introduce NFL-themed augmented reality stickers for the Super Bowl. Some see it as a toe in the water for branded content. Stay tuned.