TikTok began as an expansion of an older social video-sharing app based in China. After Chinese parent company ByteDance developed the platform and launched it internationally in 2017, the company purchased the popular lip-sync app Musical.ly for $1 billion and merged the two platforms together. The merger allowed TikTok to access a larger, younger audience of content creators than it previously had. From there, TikTok began to slowly gain traction.
The app allows users to choreograph unique dances, lip-sync to their favorite songs, watch other people’s mashups, and create viral trends. Now, TikTok is a space that caters to content creators and it has become the breeding ground for an entirely new crop of social media influencers. As more celebrities started joining and putting out content in 2018 and 2019, TikTok began to make waves in the American market.
Unlike Instagram and similar platforms, TikTok resembles its predecessor Vine and other social media apps that thrived in bite-sized video content. TikTokers reflect the fast-growing social media landscape, with the platform now housing over 2 billion users internationally. However, because of its ties with China, former President Donald Trump tried to have TikTok banned from the US. Much to his chagrin, it only continued to grow.
TikTok has given young content creators like Addison Rae a platform to become a social media star and has opened up an entirely new world of influencer marketing. Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are no longer the only go-to social media platforms. Led by the youth, TikTok has forced its way into the conversation because of its constantly revolving content and trends, sleek interface, and creative growth space.