TikTok, also known as Douyin (Chinese: 抖音; pinyin: Dǒuyīn; literally: 'vibrating sound') in China, is an iOS and Android media app for creating and sharing short videos. The application allows users to create short music videos of 3–15 seconds and short looping videos of 3–60 seconds. It is a leading short video platform in Asia, United States, and other parts of the world.
Owned by ByteDance, the app was launched as Douyin in China in September 2016 and introduced to the overseas market as TikTok one year later. In 2018, the application gained popularity and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. in October 2018. As of 2018, it is available in over 150 markets, and in 75 languages. In July 2018, the app had more than 500 million users globally History
Douyin was launched by ByteDance in China in September 2016. Douyin was developed in 200 days, and within a year got 100 million users, with more than 1 billion videos viewed every day.
While keeping the app title as Douyin in China, Douyin was branded as TikTok for the international market when it started to expand into other countries in September 2017. On 23 January 2018, the TikTok app ranked #1 among free mobile app downloads on app stores in Thailand and other countries.
TikTok has been downloaded about 80 million times in the United States, and 800 million times worldwide, according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower that excludes Android users in China. Celebrities including Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk have joined the app in November 2018.
Merging with musical.ly
On 9 November 2017, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, spent up to $1 billion to purchase musical.ly, a startup based in Shanghai with an office in Santa Monica, California, owning a popular social media platform targeting the US teenage market. Looking forward to leveraging the US digital platform’s young user base, TikTok merged with musical.ly on 2 August 2018 to create a larger video community, with existing accounts and data consolidated into one app, keeping the title TikTok.
Expansion in other markets
As of 2018, TikTok is now available in over 150 markets, and in 75 languages. TikTok was downloaded more than 104 million times on Apple's App store during the full first half of 2018, according to data provided to CNBC by Sensor Tower, an app analytics platform based in San Francisco. It surpassed Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to become the world's most downloaded iOS app for that time period.
As a separate app from TikTok, Douyin is available from the developer's website and has maintained the same app title since its launch in September 2016. Part of its popularity is attributable to its marketing campaigns, launching several activities with Chinese celebrities to engage their fans' interest. For example, its marketing campaign in 2018 Spring Festival Gala alone brought an increase of 70 million daily active users. In February 2018, Douyin launched a partnership with Modern Sky to monetize music.
Features The TikTok mobile app allows users to create a short video of themselves which often feature music in the background, can be sped up, slowed down or edited with a filter. To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, edit with a filter and record a 15-second video with speed adjustments before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms.
The app's "react" feature allows users to film their reaction to a specific video, over which it is placed in a small window that is movable around the screen. Its "duet" feature allows users to film a video aside another video.
The app allows users to set their accounts as "private". Such accounts' content remains visible to TikTok, but is blocked from TikTok users who the account holder has not authorised to view their content. Users can choose whether any other user, or only their "friends", may interact with them through the app via comments, messages, or "react" or "duet" videos.
TikTok employs artificial intelligence to analyse user’s interests and preferences through their interactions with the content, and display a personalized content feed to each user.
In June 2018, TikTok reached 500 million monthly active users worldwide and 150 million daily active users in China. It became the world's most downloaded app on Apple's App Store in the first half of 2018 with an estimated 104 million downloads, surpassing the downloads recorded by PUBG Mobile, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram in the same period.
The app has spawned numerous viral trends and internet celebrities around the world, propelled songs to fame, and is known to be popular among celebrities due to its popularity and social influence.