Tik Tok: The opportunity for companies to reach a young audience?

One of the most downloaded apps currently is Tik Tok. Since the merger with the sing-along App Musical.ly in August 2018, Tik Tok is on a growth course and now wants to address older users and companies in addition to the young core audience.

Popular is Tik Tok, which is known in China as Douyin and the start-up company Bytedance belongs, especially among the young audience. Currently, the number of members is growing steadily – in Germany there are already 4 million, like Tik Tok in its own Booklet indicates. According to own statements, the worldwide number of users amounts to 800 million.

Features, Audiences and Formats

Tik Tok is a social network that is best compared to Instagram. But instead of pictures, the mostly young users upload their own videos, which are accompanied by music. With numerous effects, users can then edit their own videos in the app. If the user wants to reach a certain target group, he adds the corresponding hashtags that correspond to the interests of the target group.

Originally the app was developed for 13-year-old adolescents; Meanwhile, younger children will also enjoy the app with playback function. Previously, the users danced to their songs and sang synchronously.

After the merger with Musical.ly it is possible to include videos of up to 5 minutes in length (originally it was five seconds). Similarly, the developers added other categories such as sports, travel and beauty and expanded the range of formats: Comedy clips, memes and mini-tutorials and Pranks (pranks) are now also available – which increased the useful life of the user noticeably.

The download of the app is free, but within the app, users can make purchases. Donations are also possible: If the young users want to support one of their idols, they can give him money in live streams.

Ads and in-app purchases – opportunities for businesses

As it stands, Tik Tok niches and scores with quite unusual features that other social media channels do not have. Thanks to the impressive number of users (500 million users per month in China), Tik Tok now wants to generate sales through advertising. As the international online magazine Digiday reported, several test campaigns with ad impressions have already been made in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

For marketers, this could be interesting thanks to the high level of engagement – provided they manage to use creative content to target their target group (under 20) emotionally. It seems important here to react quickly to extremely short-lived trends and to create varied spots. Collaboration with well-known tik-tok influcencers could also bear fruit.

The social media network can certainly also be used for recruiting – above all to attract students to an apprenticeship. Under the hashtag “#lovemyjob” a number of brands and employees have already uploaded videos to show interesting insights into their daily work and to encourage interested parties to apply.


Is Tik Tok a must-have for companies? This question can not be answered without further ado. Rather, it is advisable to keep an eye on this network and at least look around there – especially when companies are looking at a relatively young target group and looking for employees.

Also interesting:

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  • Depending on the algorithm: YouTube stars suffer from stress and depression

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About the author

Philip Bolognesi

Philip Bolognesi has been working in the editorial department of BASIC thinking since the beginning of September. He studied communications science and is a certified social media manager. Previously, he worked as a freelance online editor for CrispyContent (Serviceplan Berlin) and advised medium-sized companies on their online communications. You often meet him in the coworking space Hafven in Hanover. He is an avid table tennis player, fitness fan, type 1 diabetic and constantly looking for interesting topics in the fields of social media, marketing and nutrition.