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TikTok’s Meteoric Rise in Popularity: 5 Key Moments

Everything You Need To Know About Everyone’s New Favorite App

Have you ever noticed that, when it comes to social media, there’s only a few key websites that have ever really mattered? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube - when marketing your brand online, advertising across these mediums often leads to guaranteed engagement with your digital audiences.

While some random sites like Vine and Tumblr have admittedly experienced bursts of popularity in recent years, it’s incredibly rare for a new platform to squeeze into our social media routine.

Perhaps this is why TikTok’s explosive emergence has been so surprising.

TikTok - a Chinese video-sharing focused social networking service - was initially launched in 2016. It now boasts one-billion monthly users - more than Twitter and Snapchat combined. In fact, only Facebook and YouTube can claim more monthly users than TikTok.

So, what does any of this mean?

When advertising your brand online, TikTok has become an essential medium - it’s not just for kids anymore.

If you’re not on TikTok yet, don’t worry. It’s never too late to join the party. That being said, if you’re not acquainted with the site yet: this is your chance to get caught up on Tik Tok’s short, albeit monumental, history.

Here are five key moments from TikTok’s meteoric rise to the top.

1. September 2016: TikTok is Launched in China

TikTok was launched within China in September of 2016, made available across iOS and Android devices. Within a year, the application had 100 million users. Despite TikTok’s rise to popularity within Asia, the app was not initially available worldwide.

2. November 9, 2017: Acquisition

On November 9, 2017, TikTok’s parent-company ByteDance acquired for an estimated $1.1 billion. allowed users to create a variety of videos with licensed music snippets, an incredibly popular feature among young demographics within the United States. This acquisition shaped the TikTok we’re familiar with today, an application now synonymous with audio sampling. Additionally, this acquisition secured a sizable userbase within North America for TikTok.

3. December 2019: The Hype House is Established

Fast-forward two years and TikTok has completely established itself as a digital powerhouse within the United States. As TikTok users grew by the day, the internet’s most popular influencers began migrating to the app. Perhaps there was no better demonstration of this than in December of 2019, when a group of popular teenage TikTokers moved-into what came to be known as the Hype House. A mansion in Los Angeles, the Hype House is what’s known in the industry as collaborative content house, a space which allows different content creators to create, you guessed it, collaborative content. While the Hype House may seem a bit trivial, or even ridiculous, it was the peak of influencer marketing on TikTok. It was also a sign - content creators were beginning to take the site seriously.

4. August 2020: Trump Attempts to Ban TikTok within the United States

TikTok became a political issue in August of 2020, when President Donald Trump attempted to have the site banned within the United States. Trump cited safety as a cause, claiming ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” TikTok refuted the President’s claims, filing the lawsuit TikTok v. Trump which served to temporarily prevent the app from being banned by the Trump administration. President Biden has since signed an executive order revoking Trump’s initial ban.

5. July 2021: TikTok Emerges from COVID-19 Stronger than Ever

As many economies and businesses were halted in the wake of COVID-19, some brands benefited off of the pandemic. According to recent financial reports, TikTok was the third fastest-growing brand of 2020 - falling only behind NBC’s Peacock and Zoom. While we return to work in 2021, it’s important to remember that our digital workspaces are not the same as before. Just as the site has grown in popularity over the course of the last year, so too has our need as digital marketers to advertise our content on TikTok until further notice.

Want to learn more about growing your business with TikTok? Contact us today.

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