The Power Of TikTok – Why Is It So Successful?

5 August 2022

TikTok was introduced as an app in September 2016 and has grown over the past three years to be one of the most popular social media apps among teens. The app, which is also called ‘musically,’ replaced Vine in just one year, becoming the 6th most used social media app. TikTok has been downloaded more than 1 Billion times and is available on both Android and IOS.

What makes TikTok so successful?

There are a few different reasons for its success, and it seems that nearly all of these reasons have to do with its addictive nature:


Differentiated Advertising

TikTok’s advertising follows an algorithm that suggests what should be posted next based on the user’s habits. AI and machine learning system has been developed to create the ads, and each ad contains a link that launches a new ‘story’ or turn of content. The system looks at how many times the user has clicked a video, how long he/she watches it, and what they are doing when they do so. These data points will then be analyzed to create an advertising campaign that best suits each user’s interests. This has allowed TikTok to stand out from other social media apps such as Instagram because it was the only app with the ability to show different views for every individual (without them being aware).


Scrolling Keeps The Dopamine Coming

TikTok allows users to upload music – up to 20 seconds long – and there are millions of users posting on a daily basis. In this way, the app has been described as a kind of ‘YouTube for teens.’ The system releases new videos every day, so the average user is exposed to new content every time they open the app. This is one reason that TikTok is so successful because it can help you to stay off social media (or, in this case, on your phone) for several hours at a time without having to worry about missing out on something important. It can also be used as an entertaining filler while you’ve got something else on your mind or if you’re tired and want something slower-paced.


Easy to understand user interface

By removing all unnecessary functions, TikTok’s programmers have meant the app is very easy to use. This may seem obvious, but it is no longer the case with many apps of its type. The interface allows users to tag friends, play songs, and record videos easily and has no confusing buttons or settings. The app even allows users to turn off personalized ads, which makes it easier for those who are not interested. As there are no complicated features, the app is more likely to be understood by younger children without having a negative impact on their ability to navigate the world around them.



TikTok has been downloaded over a billion times, and over 500 million videos have been posted. This success makes no small contribution to its popularity as the app is now used by more than 40% of American teenagers, with 18% using the app every day. The older generation has also embraced it, with the older generation meaning people aged between 30-34 and 34-40.


Playing To Those With Short Attention Spans

The average length of a TikTok video is 16 seconds, with most of them being under 10 seconds. Because it has such a short attention span, users are unlikely to download a song or video they’ve already seen on the app before, which means they will be exposed to new content and not experience information overload. This means that videos hold the audience’s attention and keep users engaged.


The Ability to Use Copyrighted Music

TikTok users have the option to use music from their own phone’s memory or from a range of digital music-streaming services. The use of copyrighted music has not been successful for all social media apps, such as Vine. However, TikTok has had more success in this area because it is not actually the app charging users for the copyright to stream songs; it is the digital streaming service that does so. Therefore TikTok can keep itself free of charge.


Ease of Use

TikTok allows you to share video clips with friends and/or followers on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and create your own account where you can follow your favorite creators and get notified when they upload new content.


User-sourced feedback

TikTok has a user-sourced rating system. All videos that have been posted on the app have an option for users to give them a thumbs up or thumbs down. This gives the app an advantage over other social media apps because it allows users to easily filter out content they don’t like, which means there is a higher chance of their liking the content. The up and down arrows are very simple and straightforward, as opposed to having to make long-winded comments, as is often seen when using services such as Facebook or Twitter.


The Potential For Fame

If you’re looking to make money quickly, TikTok can help you achieve that. The app is known as ‘The Fame App’ because of the hundreds of people it has made famous. It has generated billions of social media views, and a number of people have become viral sensations, with some reaching millions and millions of followers. Most famous users use their fame to promote a brand or product, but some are actually using it to pursue a career as a singer or actor.


A New Trend Every Week

TikTok allows users to post videos of around 30 seconds or less called ‘tiktoks’ which are often comical and therefore appeal to a wide audience. The short length means that you can more easily create the video and upload it in one go, rather than having to think about it for a long time. This is another way that TikTok drives engagement; you never have to worry about missing out on new content because there is so much of it every week! On top of that, new trends are launched every week, which hook the audience and attract them to stay glued to their screens no matter what.



TikTok has a number of features that make it stand out as a successful app and also has an enormous user base. Its ease of use and variety of new content and videos on a daily basis means it is able to drive engagement, which in turn leads to more downloads and more video views. All this adds up to success for the app, and TikTok’s ultimate success will be decided by whether or not it can continue finding new ways to attract users.


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