TikTok-The rise of short video applications

In the era of new media, the application of mobile internet technology has changed people’s life and work to a great extent. Social media is almost completely integrated into people’s lives. Tiktok is a short video-sharing platform that has been newly developed in recent years. It allows users to use the music on the platform and the dialogue options to shoot 15-60s short-format videos and share them on the platform. Tiktok quickly won a large number of users with the advantages of short video dissemination and easy production, and it has become the most popular marketing genre. This article deeply studies tiktok from different angles. First of all, what kind of media platform is Tiktok and what are its main operating areas. Secondly, how does Tiktok make money in the event. Whether it is successful in the media field. Finally, concerns and future developments were raised by Tiktok.

Figure1:  From “TikTok just surpassed YouTube in a major way” by Chris Smith is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


What is Tiktok

Tiktok is a creative social media platform driven by artificial intelligence, mixing music, fake singing videos, and comedy content. It has undergone three changes. At first, a video application called Musical.ly was developed in 2014 to produce a combination of music and video. In 2016, ByteDance (a Chinese application developer) createda short video application named douyin. Later, in order to expand the international market, it acquired Musical.ly in 2018 and merged it with douyin to form Tiktok. According to app trace, tiktok is currently licensed for use in 141 countries. According to statistics, tiktok has become the second most downloaded iPhone application in 2020, even surpassing Facebook, Instagram, YouTube , and other media platforms (Geyaer 2021). As of September 2021, Tiktok has 1 billion monthly active users.

Tiktok’s main business areas

wikimedia commons. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Video sharing has become one of themainstream media cultures, because online video viewing and sharing have increased rapidly since 2005, which is driven by social networking sites represented by Youtobe and Instagram. This


upward trend provides huge opportunities for online marketers (Yang & Wang 2015). Nowadays, TikTok is one of the most            popular video-sharing platforms. What are its main business areas?

Business analysis

Tiktok usually launches some challenges on the platform to tap the creativity of users and make everyone a creator. Many users express and share their lives in unique ways. Tiktok’s ability to publish any content is also its appeal. Each category of music, photography, humorous video, dance, etc. is open, which also provides an opportunity for exposure for those who can adjust the content to short videos. The Tiktok application simplifies the creation and sharing of videos, because its short format does not require a lot of production time, and when the program is opened, short videos will be played one after another.

Powerful algorithm

Tiktok knows user preferences faster than many other applications. It provides users with the content of interest through the user’s search content, the time and number of views on the video that they have swiped, and the types of videos that the user has collected. This is Tiktok’s For you page. For you Feed is based on user interaction, video information , and device account settings reflect user preferences. As Gennaro said, “If Facebook allows people to live in a filter bubble, then Tiktok will let people live i n a super bubble.”

How to make a profit

According to statista statistics, users spend more than 850 minutes on tiktok every month. With the development of the platform, tiktok attracts the attention of brands. Advertising is one of tiktok’s sources of income. Like Youtube, tiktok provides paid advertising for brands to promote products and services. Brands use tiktok information flow video, brand acquisition, label challenge and brand effect to enhance marketing, and tiktok earns advertising fees when the brand purchases these advertisements. In addition, tiktok provides virtual currency to generate revenue through in-app purchases. Users can use virtual currency to purchase virtual gifts in the app and provide them to other users to express their appreciation of their content. According to statistics, Tiktok will achieve revenue of 1.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 (Mansoor 2021).

Concerns and disputes on tiktok

Tiktok as a social media platform, its security issues are also the primary concern. Similar to Youtube and other video production platforms, you need tosign a user agreement and abide by the platform treaty before registering users. Minors (that is, people under the age of 18) need to use the account safely under the supervision of an adult. When registering a user, everyones account is public by default. After you start using it, you can set your account as a private account in the settings, so that people other than the user cannot view all the users information. In addition, the visible range of the content can be set when the content is published.

Controversy over tiktok

The vast majority of tiktok users are between 14-24 years old, and tiktok recommends content based on user preferences and a steady stream of short videos that will make users addicted and addicted to the short video platform. Although tiktok now sets up a time reminder system to tell users when to use the program and advise users to rest and not to indulge in the application. In addition, Tiktok has disputes over how the data is processed. In 2020, US Secretary of State Pompeo stated that Tiktok will directly provide data to the Chinese Communist Party (BBC, 2020), because it can be known from Tiktoks privacy policy that it collects a large amount of data, such as which videos users watched, and location data. In 2020, the U.S. military banned the use of tiktok on government-issued mobile phones because of concerns that the Chinese government would collect user data for U.S. national security. However, many other applications such as Reddit, BBC News applications can do this, and this approach did not find anything sinister.

In digital media, in order to protect copyright owners, Congress enacted a copyright law. Copyright owners can prompt the server to delete infringing content. Google, which owns the video-sharing service YouTube, handles 3 million removal requests every year (Loren, 2011). However, the notification and removal system can be easily abused by people who submit false copyright claims (Suzor, 2019). Tiktok’s Intellectual Property Policy also uses deletion procedures. Whether this will also lead to the abuse of the deletion system is still unknown, but this has also become a problem in the use of tiktok.

Look to the future

Tiktok is an interesting application. Its current popularity is surprising, but this does not guarantee that it will continue to be popular. Vine was once a popular application under the Twitter banner, but it has disappeared now. Because its year did not produce any innovation. Perhaps in the future , there will be more innovative and more attractive media platforms. Therefore, Tiktok must continue to innovate and find new ways to attract users to expand the user base.


1.Cuofano, G(2020). Tiktok Business ModelThe Rise of Creative Social Media Powered By AIRetrieved From https://fourweekmba.com/tiktok-business-model/

Daniel(2021).What is TikTok? Whyis it so popular? Retrieved from  https://brandastic.com/blog/what-is-tiktok-and-why-is-it-so-popular/

Geyser,W.(2021). TikTok Statistics – Revenue, Users&Engagement Stats(2021). Retrieved From


Iqbal,M(2021).Tiktok revenue and usage statistics. Retrieved from


Kibet,L(2021).How does tiktok make money? Retrieved from 


Loren,Y.(2011).Dererring Abuse of the Copyright Takedown Regime by Taking Misrepresentation Claims Seriously. Retrieved From


Suzor, N.(2019). The secret Rules That Govern our Digital Lives.How copyright shaped the Internet.(pp.59-78).Cambridge University.

Tidy,J& Galer,S. (2020,August 20).Tiktok: The story of a social media giant. BBC news. Retrieved from 


Yang,H & Wang,Y(2015). Social Sharing of  Online Videos: Examining American Consumers’ Video sharing Attitudes, Intent, and Behaviour, 32(9), 907-919.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.