An explanatory guide to understanding our society and those who make it work.

TikTok: flashy prison, or window onto a new world?


You’ve probably already heard of it: TikTok is popular with teenagers, but they’re not the only ones! What is this platform that seems to have popped up out of nowhere? Let’s zoom in on this social phenomenon. 

Facebook? Too popular. Instagram? Too static. YouTube? Too complex. Time to take a closer look at TikTok; the newest challenger in the social network market is gaining ground every day.


TikTok’s meteoric rise 

#1. Thanks Covid ! 
At the peak of the pandemic, tired of being under house arrest, young people turned en masse to social networks to keep in touch. This period saw an 180% increase in TikTok traffic among 15 to 25 year olds, making it the 6th most popular social network in the world (January 2022), quickly overtaking the (still very popular) Facebook Messenger. 

#2. An interface that promotes spontaneity 
Unlike other social networks, which mostly show users content from the accounts they follow, TikTok constantly suggests new content and new creators. Why? Simply put, this constant flow of material shows users content they might not have found, while still respecting their preferences, and the constant change fends off the threat of boredom! This is the key strength of TikTok. 

#3. Democratising video creation: meeting the challenge! 
TikTok is also a great way to discover video editing. The application distills the basics (usually only accessible through specialized, mostly paid-for, platforms) by allowing the user to film, edit and share his video in a single application. It allows users to create content that reflects their own image, nourishing passion and creativity so that new forms of expression emerge. 

In numbers 
• US$4 billion in sales in 2021 (mainly advertising revenue). Experts predict this amount could triple in 2022. 
• 750 million monthly users users worldwide in 2022. 
• 24.1% of its users are aged between 35 and 55. 
• 23.6 hours per month: the average time each user spends on TikTok.


Our opinion 

The “pluses” 
• The chance to make use of your favourite creative works (music, film) while still complying with (or even celebrating) copyright ; 
• An invitation to relax and take yourself less seriously than on LinkedIn or Instagram; 
• Rarely boring; 
• A spontaneous call to laugh, move, take care of yourself… if you can manage to look away from your screen! 

The “minuses” 
• Endless scrolling creates an infernal spiral. The algorithm’s clever choice of content makes it all the more time- consuming; 
• The colours, movement, sounds, short content duration quickly overwhelms the senses! Too much TikTok will leave you more impatient than usual. Long live instant gratification? 

Beware of preconceptions… 

#1. It’s for teenagers, beware of getting old! 
True… and false! TikTok’s content seems to follow the fashion universe by paying homage to the 80s and 90s. From the nostalgic tunes to the clothes, the hair and the makeup, Millenials is unlikely to feel out of place. Sure, some feathers may be ruffled by seeing a teenage girl call ‘I’m a Barbie girl’ and ‘I want it that way’ *classics*… but it could also position older users as the trend-setters of the moment! 

#2. It isn’t very professional! 
False, because Tiktok is proving to be very promising for certain sectors. Communication, hospitality, and aviation companies, among others, have quickly understood that TikTok allows them to show a certain spontaneity and to reinforce relationships with their customers, in particular by showing the day to day activities of their teams, and by presenting their products and services in original ways… 

But also, true. TikTok’s DNA is its sense of rhythm, humour, and a certain playfulness that is welcome in these gloomy times! 

#3. All you find there is dancing! 
False! While testing the app for you, we found cooking and cleaning tips, advice from psychologists, suggestions for well-being, humorous content, and karaoke duets. We also came across a few dance videos, but mostly found ourselves taking breaks to do ab exercises in the middle 
of the day! 

This friendly, dynamic, and colourful platform is full of hidden treasures, with each user bringing a new dimension to the app. Treading a fine line between levity and the profound, respect for the talent of creators and a culture of sharing, TikTok juggles with paradoxes to rewrite the rules of human interaction. Is it addictive? No more or less than any other media. One thing is certain: this application has a long life in front of it!