Why is TikTok so Popular?

The trend is shorter clips

TikTok stars


TikTok stars

Ava Longo, Staff Writer

TikTok is a constantly growing platform, which replaced Musically on August 2nd 2018. The constant growth and keeping up with popular ideas has caused TikTok to become the most addicting social network in history.

It is clear that the creators for Tiktok had a mindset to make the app one of the most used and popular apps in history. The owners of musically shared that the switch to TikTok was because the creators joined a company called “ByteDance” which had the technology that could ultimately keep users on for hours. 

The creators were correct and almost genius, because the current average for users to open the app a day is 8 times per day, and at least an hour and a half throughout these 8 times.

 The reasoning on why the platform’s users got so addicted is that once a user views their desired video it releases the chemical dopamine in your brain. “Unpredictable rewards cause more activity in reward regions of the brain.” TikTok owners figured out just how to keep their viewers wanting more and becoming addicted to the constant scroll. 

And the app uses an algorithm designed for their user, meaning that every video that pops up on your “For You Page” is designed for the specific user. The algorithm takes all your liked videos and puts more videos like that for you to keep watching. The app is designed to keep you viewing for hours, and between videos they even have ads for your specific interests. 

Tiktok growth chart over the years (Sensor Tower )

TikTok also use’s endorsement appeal in the app which is when an advertisement is done by someone popular, for example a celebrity or a TikTok “influencer.” This creates more views and engagement overall for the products. TikTok has multiple celebrities (Ex. Lizzo, Selena Gomez, Hailey Bieber, the Jenners, the Kardashians) that use the app, endorse their products, and  consistently get viewership and more people to download and come back to the app. 

Recently another growing app called “Be Real” went viral. This app consists of taking a photo of whatever you are doing at that moment. You have two minutes to capture your “Be Real.” You can even see your highlights of pictures after the year has passed. 

After TikTok creators saw this getting popular they added something very similar to their app. Instead of it being a “Be Real” it is called a “Now.” This shows how far TikTok will go to keep users engaged. 

Tiktok videos are very versatile and inclusive so anyone who downloads the app has a chance to go viral. When the platform is not coming out with new updates there are always new trends and always new videos for users to see and engage with. There is always interest for people to latch onto and something on this app for everyone which is why people love this app so much.

The app is designed to keep you viewing for hours

YouTube previously had a similar approach when it came to the algorithm, they gave suggested videos that caused people to come back and even now 19 years after the creation of YouTube more and more users a year are joining. 

TikTok is changing the way one of the biggest platforms YouTube is run. In the media users attention spans are getting increasingly shorter. YouTube videos used to be fifteen to thirty minutes long. Now big creators are changing the way they make videos. They are making them shorter because of the decreased attention span. YouTube even made the feature “YouTube Shorts” which are just like Tiktoks which are short, less than a minute videos.

Overall TikTok is taking over, with people’s decreased attention span and addiction for the scroll of seeing new people and new activities to watch. People are less likely to even want to sit through a movie. The internet is all about getting information in the fastest way possible to their user. TikTok is taking that concept to a whole new level.