TikTok, the world’s most downloaded application in 2022, also surpassed Instagram and Twitter. Researchers say this practice, which has reshaped the internet in just a few years, should be taken seriously.
Tiktok’s latest innovations have helped it reach billions of users. It was claimed that Tiktok, which is not an ordinary application, also makes money through user information.
In fact, some recent claims suggest that Tiktok will be banned in the US. On October 24, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland held a press conference with senior Justice Department officials to address “national security issues.”
The US is pursuing a “non-state actor” for malicious influence schemes and alleged criminal activities.
dexerto: Rumors began to circulate about a potential TikTok ban, as Mohammed Alyahya of the Hudson Institute claimed to have heard of the possibility.
He tweeted: “I’ve been babbling that the US will ban TikTok today. It is said that Huawei will be banned today and then TikTok will be published.”
Hearing chatter that the US will ban TikTok today.— Mohammed Alyahya محمد اليحيى (@7yhy) October 24, 2022
How did TikTok’s rapid rise Algorithms bring success?
The secret of the China-based application becoming the most popular application in the world and threatening to displace Facebook is still being debated.
Behind this success are features such as easy-to-use video production tools and a large music library. TikTok is also blurring the distinction between creator and consumer more than ever before. But its most powerful feature is its algorithms that organize users’ homepage.
TikTok users are faced with an endless stream of videos on their screens, even if they do not follow any accounts. This provides an important opportunity for the application to get ahead of its competitors.
Using Facebook or Twitter accounts without friends or followers can be tedious for many users. However, TikTok provides a dynamic environment to users from day one. But the role of algorithms is not limited to this. As users start watching and liking the videos, the structure of the content that falls on the screen also changes. The platform is very good at predicting which videos will attract which user.
On the other hand, Chris Stokel-Walker, author of TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media, emphasizes that the exact factors behind these algorithms are unknown.
Speaking to The Guardian, Stokel-Walker says he spoke to a person in my book tasked with keeping track of what’s going viral on TikTok:
He said to me, ‘There is no recipe, no magic formula. Even the algorithm team doesn’t know the answer to this question. “It’s very sophisticated,” he said.
These algorithms also mean that every user has a chance to become famous globally. The video shared from an account that has no followers can reach thousands and even millions of viewers extremely quickly when it falls on other users’ screens and receives likes.
The fact that the videos are short and end quickly also allows TikTok to develop its data quickly. “Think about how many videos you watch on YouTube per hour and the data generated about you,” Stokel-Walker says:
Now consider how many videos you can watch on TikTok. The company even sent messages to users it thought were too addicted to hang up.
Facebook and Youtube copy Tiktok
Launched by Chinese technology giant ByteDance in September 2016, TikTok surpassed YouTube in the average time spent in the app per user in September 2021. He has been in the leading position ever since.
Western social media giants are trying to compete by copying the features of TikTok.
For example, YouTube launched the YouTube Shorts category to allow for short and amateur video sharing, while Instagram and Facebook updated their algorithms so that users who don’t follow each other can land on each other’s homepage.
On the other hand, this change in Instagram attracts the reaction of users. Instagram, which received criticism from many users, including famous names such as Kim Kardashian and Kyle Jenner, recently stepped back from these features.
Jenner said, “Don’t try to be TikTok, I just want to see beautiful photos of my friends,” and many users agreed with him.
China is Watching the USA with Tiktok
Although the application spread like a frenzy among social media users, US politicians argue that China uses TikTok to make its own propaganda.
“TikTok promotes drug use here. It highlights whatever Beijing wants Americans to believe. The situation is very different in China,” says US writer Gordon Chang.
Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, claimed that China would collapse in 2011.
“We believe that China is using TikTok covertly and illegally to obtain information about Americans,” the author told Fox News.
A version of TikTok called “Douyin” is used in China. 30 Chinese tech giants, including ByteDance and Douyin, had to open their algorithms to the China Cyberspace Administration in August.
Because laws in China require that algorithm data be shared with the government.
US Senator Marsha Blackburn’s private secretary, Chuck Flint, claims that TikTok algorithms are used for “very nefarious purposes”:
Douyin shares algorithm data. So we think TikTok probably shared it too.
TikTok representatives, on the other hand, deny these claims and say that the application is not used to spy on Americans.
How did TikTok come about?
TikTok was created by the merger of two Chinese platforms Musical.ly and Douyin. Musical.ly was founded in Shanghai in 2014 and has become widely popular in just a few years. The platform was acquired by Chinese internet technology company ByteDance for $800 million in 2017. ByteDance has benefited from Musical.ly’s 60 million users worldwide. Armed with Musical.ly’s US user base and most popular features, ByteDance now has a wider international reach with its China-focused product Douyin and its global product TikTok.
How did it grow so fast?
TikTok’s move towards world domination began in earnest in 2018, when it first surpassed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in downloads. The following year, it became the fourth most downloaded non-game app in the world. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has supported the growth of the already rising app. As billions of people struggle with curfews, the rate of downloading the app has increased. Between July 2020 and July 2022, there was a 45 percent increase in the number of monthly active users. Today, TikTok has over 1 billion active users and the app is estimated to surpass 1.8 billion users by the end of 2022. TikTok and Douyin apps became the third largest social media platform by monthly users, after Facebook and Instagram.
Who uses TikTok?
It is often young users that fuel the popularity of TikTok. According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, nearly half of people aged 18 to 30 in the US use the platform, and 67 percent of users aged 13 to 18 use the app every day. According to this study, 16 percent of teens use TikTok almost constantly. This makes TikTok the second most popular app after YouTube, used by 95 percent of teenagers. Instagram and Snapchat are used by about 60 percent of young people, while Facebook is used by only 32 percent.