In September in 2015, TikTok went beyond YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and even Facebook in month-to-month App Shop downloads. For a fringe social media network, the kind most would presume inhabits a second-tier of the web’s social networks hierarchy, you ‘d be forgiven for not discovering the app had actually ended up being the web’s most fascinating network of creatives.

For more than 500 million month-to-month active users, TikTok is a location to let your freak flag fly. It’s a challenging thing to explain, however comparing it to Vine– the now-gone six-second video loop platform– appears like an apparent location to begin. Like Vine, the app is developed for production and intake. For developers, it’s a location to wow a significant audience with a few of the most ingenious and innovative videos you’ll see online, like Dubsmash 2.0. For customers, it’s an unlimited time sink that will have you scrolling up until your battery passes away.

So whether TikTok has actually been on your radar for a while now, or you’re simply curious about the location your kids are investing an excessive quantity of time every day, this guide has you covered.

What is TikTok?

TikTok users get 15 seconds to tape-record a video, or can string together numerous clips to make stories of as much as 60 seconds.

It’s billed as a lip syncing platform, however the descriptor isn’t doing anybody any favors. It’s a collection of material, both great and bad, that does include a great deal of lip syncing. However not that kind of lip syncing. You will not see lots of cringe-inducing videos where teenagers are belting My Chemical Love into the restroom mirror, anyhow. Rather, it’s a lip sync app in the loosest sense of the word, one that relies more on innovative edits, storytelling, cool outfits and makeup, state of mind lighting, acting, and liberal usage of onboard filters.

The glue that holds the platform together is plainly music. You can see what’s playing, if you’re so likely, by having a look at the scrolling ticker at the bottom of each video, beside the music note. Clicking the ticker will raise other videos utilizing the very same tune– as will looking for it in the Sounds tab (it’ll appear after you enter your search term).

It’s not everything about music, however. While the huge bulk of the platform’s videos pull sound clips from popular (or remixed) tunes, others act out monologues you may discover on TELEVISION programs or motion pictures, like Household Man, or Action Sibling. These variety from remarkable or funny reenactments, to innovative analyses that actually have absolutely nothing to do with the clip itself. Some are utilized so typically they have actually ended up being memes, the kind of material accountable for hundreds (or thousands) of copycat actions.

Memes prevail, possibly the driving force behind the platform itself. And while you ‘d believe that this much copycatting would cause an uninteresting experience, you ‘d be misinterpreted. A few of my preferred TikTok material is of the meme range, and I have actually seen the majority of it lots of times currently. And while it’s acquired by nature, it likewise serves as a base test to weed out the platform’s most innovative users, those who consistently include their own spin to otherwise exhausted material, revitalizing it and making something entirely brand-new.

You ‘d be doing yourself a terrific injustice in presuming that a video is going to be the very same as another even if of the clip playing in the background– even those that are incredibly comparable are typically simply various adequate to hold your attention, a minimum of for 15 seconds.


Likewise worth discussing is the Duet function. This uses another fantastic method to revitalize material, enabling users to “duet” another video by shooting a response that appears together with it. Duet a single video and you’ll get a side-by-side split screen; duet numerous videos and … well, it can get a bit unpleasant. It’s primarily best to stick to dueting simply another user.

To duet somebody, you’ll click the Share button in the bottom right of the screen and pick the “duet” function in the pop-up menu. From there, you’ll simply tape-record a video as you generally would.


TikTok is a land of paradox. While it holds true that its material is all over the location, there is some structure to it if you’re taking note. Particular tunes, for instance, are just implied to be utilized for particular kinds of videos. There’s “Going after Dragons,” a tune implied for recuperating addicts to inform their stories. I when saw a lady get roasted for producing a 15 2nd booty-shaking clip rather than utilizing it how TikTok users considered proper. She erased the video soon after.

Particular tunes have actually been co-opted and the users understand what’s coming when they hear it. I would not recommend utilizing them for other kinds of material, unless you want to handle crowds of mad commenters.

This one, for instance, has actually usually been booked for servicemen and females reuniting with their households.

Browsing TikTok

The house screen on TikTok is understood by the majority of as the #ForYou page, a beginning point that serves as a feed of ever-changing material TikTok’s algorithms believe you may like. You can change the feed from an algorithmic one to a feed of simply the accounts you follow by clicking backward and forward in between the “Following” and “For you” links at the top of the video you’re presently enjoying.

Navigation is fairly simple, with a bulk of the alternatives situated at the bottom of the primary page.

At the bottom of the #ForYou page, from delegated right, you’ll see:

  • House
  • Browse
  • Shoot a video
  • Alerts
  • Your Profile

Browse is simply what you ‘d envision. Click the magnifying glass and you’ll discover a page with other trending hashtags, and after that a search bar up top. Key in your question, struck Enter upon your mobile phone, and you can arrange your searches based upon Users, Sounds, or Hashtags.

The “+” button is how you ‘d usually produce brand-new material, unless you’re attempting to utilize the Duet function, in which case you ‘d click the Share icon beside their video, and choose Duet.

We’re not going to dive into producing videos here, as that’s actually worthwhile of a piece all its own. However it has to do with as basic as utilizing Instagram or Snapchat, if you have actually ever published a video to either platform.

Alerts are where you can look for personal messages, remarks, brand-new fans, live alerts (when accounts you follow are doing a live stream), and so on.

Your profile is, well, your house on TikTok. It’s here that you can see who you’re following, who is following you, and all of the videos that you have actually formerly favorited.

Discovering individuals to follow

That’s not dreadful recommendations, however there’s a much better method.

To discover material, the most convenient location to begin is on the #ForYou page. It’s here that TikTok assemble noteworthy submissions of the day and discards them in a single constantly scrolling feed. You can scroll for days and not lack clips, although the experience gets far better once you begin including your preferred developers.

TikTok uses a handful of methods to include users and see more of their material. The very first is easiest, simply click the @username at the top of the video description to open their profile. If it’s a Duet, or the user wishes to scream out another TikTok account, there might be a 2nd (or 3rd) @username in the video description. Clicking the username will take you to that user’s account. As soon as there, you can click the huge red “Follow” button to see more of their material.

Additionally, you can simply click the bottom part of their profile image on the right when enjoying any of their videos. Here you’ll see a little heart icon at the bottom of the profile image if you aren’t following the account, and it’ll vanish if you are. Click that, and it’s an instantaneous follow without leaving the page– a terrific method to like somebody and after that carry on rapidly to the next video.

Last But Not Least, there’s the search field. You can discover any user by typing in a username, clicking search, and after that picking the Users tab.

To discover more individuals to include, or material that much better matches what you’re searching for, you can desert the #ForYou page for a bit and have a look at a few of TikTok’s trending hashtags by clicking the magnifying glass at the bottom of the page. From there, you can click around up until you discover what you’re searching for, or return to the #ForYou stream by clicking the House icon.

Revealing your gratitude

Hearts and follows are currency at TikTok, and developers are producing content primarily so that others will verify it. Significance, if you wish to reveal somebody on TikTok that you value their effort, the very best method to do that is to click the heart button on their video, follow them (as explained above), or send out a remark proclaiming your love for their videos.

On the right-hand side of each video is a set of icons. From top-to-bottom, they are:

  • Profile (user image)
  • Like (heart)
  • Remark (speech icon)
  • Share (arrow icon)
  • Tune (spinning record)

Tapping the heart icon under the profile image includes the user to your favorites, as described above.

To like material, simply double tap the screen, a la Instagram, or strike the heart button in the sidebar. If you wish to view it once again later on, you can inspect it out under the heart icon in your profile.

This tends to be a little a mess if you like a great deal of material, so you may be much better off conserving your preferred videos, users, or sounds, to your favorites folder rather. To do that, simply press and hold the screen and after that click the “contribute to favorites” choice on the pop-up. Or, you can strike the Share icon on the video and after that choose “contribute to favorites.”

Commenting and sharing must be quite obvious.

The Tune icon raises other videos that have actually utilized the very same music. You can click any of them, and start scrolling through an entire brand-new feed where all of the videos consisted of function the very same Tune.

If you actually wish to reveal your gratitude you can tip your preferred users when they go live. Users can buy financial presents of anywhere from 5 cents, to $50 One user reported incomes of $25,000 a month on the platform through collaborations and presents.

Anything else?

Yeah, the neighborhood at TikTok is primarily terrific. It’s quickly the most wholesome social networks app on the web, and it is among the couple of that I would not stress excessive about my kid utilizing.

It has its problems, however general I fear of the neighborhood TikTok users have actually developed. It’s inclusive, motivating, and its users defend each other when the periodic bad apple wishes to troll or bully another user in the remarks. In truth, the most “liked” remarks are typically of the helpful range, whether it’s an obese individual starting their weight reduction journey, a physically or psychologically handicapped individual participating the enjoyable, or a recuperating addict looking for assistance.

It’s social networks, so there are constantly going to be the accounts focused mostly on a users’ abs, or cleavage, however that’s actually about as racy as the majority of content gets aside from some tune lyrics that your kids are most likely more than knowledgeable about anyhow.

As a moms and dad myself, I actually would not stress over much so long as your kid is over 13 or 14 years of ages.

Have a good time out there.

Check out next:

I was incorrect about retro consoles