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TikTok: clones and diversification

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.
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In 2020, excluding games, TikTok was the most downloaded app. The previous two years it had been behind the services of the Facebook universe, but, helped by the exceptional circumstances that were experienced in 2020, the Chinese app is the undoubted number one.

It was born in 2016 with the Douyin brand in China, but it was not until the following year that it began to emerge globally as TikTok. In its meteoric growth, the merger with its rival Musical.ly in August 2018 was important; This app, also Chinese, had already penetrated the North American market, something from which TikTok benefited.

According to the official data offered by ByteDance, the company to which TikTok belongs, today we are talking about a total of 689 million users in the world (July 2020 figures), one hundred of those million in Europe. This represents a penetration of 18%, while in 2018, the proportion of total internet users using TikTok was just 5% (data from GlobalWebIndex).

Spain is the fifth European country in number of TikTok users per month, according to Bloomberg: 8.8 million. Globally, without counting China -where Douyin AL DÍA has 100 million users-, the United States concentrates the largest number of users with an estimated average of 65.9 million. They are followed by Indonesia (22’2 million), Russia (16’4) and Japan (12’6).

The growth of TikTok in 2020 has been especially pronounced. Spain is the eighth country with the highest increase in users compared to the previous year, 78.1% (data from eMarketer), but the figure for Norway is striking, which seems to have suffered a real “TikTok fever” in 2020: the Nordic country experienced a growth of 248.7%.

Throughout 2020, the Reuters agency estimates that TikTok had a turnover of about a billion dollars, and that its market value today would be around 50 billion.

TikTok clones

With these figures, it is not surprising that the tech giants have wanted to propose their own versions of TikTok. YouTube has launched “Shorts”, and Facebook has been inspired by the TikTok model to develop an app for rappers. The scope of this social network and, above all, its potential, have become an object of desire for large companies.

TikTok is a free app that does not cost the user anything and in which, unlike what happens with YouTube, it does not have a payment program for advertising. They do start to do promotional campaigns for some brands, such as on Instagram, but, in general, it does not represent a great economic contribution to content creators.

In other areas, especially games, consumers seem to have already assumed that when something is free, it is so in a limited way. If we we opted for free poker or we play without acquire the skins of Among Us We know that the experience can be very comforting, but it will not be as complete as the paid one. This, however, seems that it is not so clear when we talk about services such as those offered by social networks.

TikTok logo

There is a maxim in the digital world that says that when a product is free or there is no product, the product is you. Now, to make it clearer, we start talking about a-commerce or algorithmic trading. The business innovation specialist Pablo Foncilla explains that, sooner rather than later, this technology will make us buy through TikTok and other networks such as Instagram or YouTube. In fact, the use of algorithms is already being used on platforms such as Netflix to meet and satisfy their users with such success that the renewal rate of their customers is at 97%.

Businesses are seeing a new marketing tool on TikTok, one that is not yet widely exploited. There are several brands that take time developing actions through this platform. The use of TikTok brings them significant brand equity; They present themselves as fresh and modern companies that speak the same language as almost 20% of internet users.

Diversification on TikTok

Those companies that have a presence on TikTok are taking advantage of what has been one of the main reasons for the sharp growth that this app has had in recent months: diversification.

As with Twitch, which can no longer be thought of simply as a video game streaming platform, TikTok is no longer just an app where people are shown doing choreography.

Despite the fact that the bulk of users are still in the age ranges below 25 years, the greatest growth in 2020 has occurred with those who are between 30 and 50 years old. This leads to a diverse range of new profiles.

TikTok is no longer just musical, but there are more and more informative or humorous videos, among other topics.

More people on TikTok, and more diverse people, which makes candy even more of a sweet tooth.

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