TikTok is now one of the world’s if not the world’s most valuable startup!
There has been a long building anticipation about the impending takeover of the tech world by Chinese digital players like Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu or JD. However, efforts so far have been largely disappointing. The most popular messaging app in the West is still WhatsApp, not WeChat; people use Apple Pay and PayPal, not Alipay; and Google still dominates the search market, not Baidu. That is, until now!
ByteDance’s TikTok came and changed that fact in just few years, TikTok has emerged to rival platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Instagram and Facebook with more than one billion downloads in 150 countries worldwide and 75 languages.
That being said, there should be a value behind. The value proposition of TikTok, just like Netflix, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram is not based on ownership of any physical content (products or services).
TikTok does not create and own any content. The value proposition for the demand side (huge audience) is the information provided by the supply side (content creators), being delivered over TikTok (platform) — which delivers user experience, performance, speed, usability and seamless cross device interaction. TikTok uses advanced AI algorithms that learn user preferences, then provides relevant video feeds to users.
Now, is it good or bad?
We all agree that technology has done more good than harm, no one can deny that, and TikTok is no exception. For a major population among the youth who believe popularity is everything in life, TikTok came to fill this gap and serve the purpose. It enabled unprecedented amount of users to participate freely and express their creativity with much of the in-app effects (sounds, filters, etc.)
People’s attention span has been decreasing with technology, less interest in books, more interest in short videos. TikTok again served the purpose!
Therefore, we can conclude that there is nothing wrong with TikTok being a video-based platform where people can make and share 15 seconds-long videos. It does lots of things to distinguish itself and attract users to use the app. It is like other social media where you can post content including videos, where there are many challenges due to the usage behavior. So what could go wrong is due to certain users who post harmful content and this is exactly where governments should cooperate with companies to govern this.