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What is TikTok and how it works: guide 2022

TikTok is one of the most popular social networks of the moment, used above all by young and very young users who share short videos, participate in community challenges and interact with each other with likes and comments. More and more influencers, public figures, and celebrities are using this platform to keep in touch with their followers, and even for entrepreneurs opening a TikTok account can be an opportunity to expand their audience and attract new customers on their own.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social network that allows you to create and share short videos, lasting between 15 and 60 seconds, to be customized with a wide choice of filters, effects, stickers, and music tracks.

The app allows you to create and publish high-impact content, such as animated karaoke or videos with cinematic-quality special effects, quickly and easily. The goal of TikTok, according to its founders, is ” to create a community where everyone can be creators “.

Developed by the ByteDance company, TikTok was initially launched as an international version of a Chinese app called Douyin. In 2018, TikTok was integrated with Musical.ly, an app from the same company that already had millions of users. The app can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS, respectively via the Play Store and the App Store. 

How the TikTok algorithm works

When a new social network enters the world scene, one of the first objectives is to try to understand how the algorithm works to bring its contents to the attention of the target audience . We can not help but ask ourselves the usual question: how does the TikTok algorithm work? 

Attention . When it comes to algorithms, there is no right or wrong answer: each one reports information captured using the social network through tests and experiments. 

The most important section of TikTok is that of For You (also known as Discover ), basically an inexhaustible feed where contents are proposed based on the interests of the individual user. Among the parameters used to select the videos to show, the TikTok algorithm takes into account the following: 

  • Viewing time: is the content used partially or totally? Is it seen multiple times? 
  • Interactions with the content : likes, comments, shares, duets, saving a video on your account … even stopping the video is an interaction! 
  • Interactions with other content : what other accounts does the user follow? Who do you choose to get in touch with? 
  • Account settings : details such as the language or country of origin influence the contents proposed by the TikTok algorithm; 
  • Recurring elements : Does the user often interact with videos that have the same music? Or is he always looking for the same hashtags? 

Many content creators have chosen to land on TikTok thanks to its algorithm that aims to provide content of interest by giving space to everyone, without paying too much attention to the number of followers. The simplicity with which it is possible to collect views and followers is one of the many reasons why the social network has become so popular and in such a short time.

How to create a TikTok account

Download the appIf you are wondering how TikTok works , the first thing to do is download the app on your smartphone and create a profile with the phone number or email.

The TikTok app is only available for mobile devices, both for Android and iOS (iPad and iPhone). 

  1. Register and complete the profile

Before you can start posting videos, you need to create an account on TikTok. We have several options available: 

  • Registration by phone number or email;
  • Registration with the Facebook account;
  • Registration with the Google account;
  • Registration with the Twitter account. 

If you choose the option “Use phone or email”, you will be asked for the birthday date; then the telephone number or email address (of your choice); you will be asked to complete a captcha verification, set a password and finally a nickname for the account. 

Once installed, the app offers an interface similar to that of Instagram and Facebook: the videos uploaded by other users, those that you already follow or that the algorithm suggests for you are shown on the feed’s home page (“Home”) .

By opening a video in full screen, on the right you will find the profile photo of the user who uploaded it: by tapping on the photo you will visit his profile, while tapping “+” you will begin to follow the user.

At the bottom of the interface we find 5 icons, from left to right:

  • “Home” to access the main feed;
  • “Discover” to search for content and profiles;
  • “+” To publish content on TikTok;
  • “Notifications” to access notifications and private messages;
  • “Me” to access your account and personal settings.

To better understand how TikTok works , let’s now see the main elements that make up the use experience:

  • Hashtags : as on other social networks, hashtags are used to organize and filter content.
  • I like : the classic “likes” used to express one’s appreciation.
  • Comments : allow “tiktokers” to interact with each other.
  • Search bar : to search for hashtags, videos, music, accounts and active users on TikTok.
  • Camera : packed with features including slow-motion, filters and special effects, timers, text and stickers, etc.
  • Music Library : Users can search for music and songs directly on the app to use them in their videos.
  • Virtual Coins : Users can purchase virtual coins to use to buy and donate virtual items to influencers (over 18) during live streams. This is one of the forms of monetization of the platform.
  • Reactions : When you post a video on TikTok you can choose to allow Reactions. This feature allows users to quickly interact with your content and encourage engagement with followers.
  1. Bonus: upgrade to TikTok Business

TikTok offers a solution for companies: TikTok Business . Just like Instagram or Whatsapp Business, even on TikTok you can convert your profile to access more advanced analysis tools , tips for creating quality content and a library of filters and music .

Switching to TikTok Business is free and to do so, simply follow these steps:

  1. Click on the three dots at the top right of your profile page;
  2. Click on Manage Account
  3. Select Switch to a Business Account
  4. Finally, you will need to select a category from the proposed list.

What is it for

  1. Tik Tok is mainly used to make short and funny videos and to sing in lyp sinc i.e. moving the mouth at the same time as the song or scene of a movie. Born for the very young for fun, it stimulates creativity and talent so much that it has found other forms of employment .
  2. Who over time has dedicated himself to building a certain image on Tik Tok, has achieved a certain popularity and over time has also managed to monetize what, initially, could only be considered a pastime.

How does it work

  1. To use Tik Tok you must first download the application for free on your mobile device from the App Store and Google Play Store.
  2. The application is easily recognizable because a stylized musical note appears next to the writing. Once the installation is complete, before your account is created, you can view the videos uploaded by those who are already subscribed. In fact, your videos and creations can only be seen by others after creating an account.
  3. To create it, you need to enter your email address, telephone number or log up via your Facebook , Twitter, Google or Instagram account.
  4. Once the account has been created, you can proceed with the creation of the profile , also inserting a photo in the dedicated round space. In the profile page there are some icons and symbols that allow you to access some information such as the following, fans, hearts and much more.
  5. To upload a video, on the other hand, simply press the button with the + symbol, press Allow access to the camera and microphone and confirm everything with OK.
  6. Open the camera, you can choose the recording mode between normal and selfie, as on Instagram Stories and enrich the video with sounds, effects and filters.

Age limit to be ascertained

  1. With a press release dated May 2021 (attached below), the Guarantor intervened above all to protect minors. In fact, Tik tok provides for the age limit for its use to be 13 years old , a requirement that too often is circumvented.
  2. In the period between February 9 and April 21, more than 12 and a half million Italian users were therefore asked to confirm the 13 years required to access the platform.
  3. More than 500 thousand users were removed because they were younger. Hence the request by the Guarantor to Tik Tok to adopt a series of additional security and control measures to let anyone who does not respect the required age limit leave the social network.
Eleena Wills
Hi, I’m Eleena Wills. Being a writer and blogger, I strive to provide informative and valuable articles to people. With quality, constructive, and well-researched articles, one can make informed choices. I cover a wide range of topics, from home improvement to hair styling and automotive.
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