TikTok is the fastest growing social media in the world, and has in 2021 over 1 billion active users. It is previously known as musical.ly, and in Denmark and no EU it's still a medium most ly used by the younger audience. Many people mistakenly believe that it is still a children's app with dance. The reality, however, is different.
Musical.ly was acquired in 2017 by the owners of the Chinese company ByteDance, which already had the app Douyin. ByteDance combined the two apps and launched it outside of China as TikTok. TikTok can today be accessed via app and browser. There are plans to integrate another app in Smart TV's.
It's a mixture of Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. Unlike all previous social media, you can as a user achieve 1000 views - people who watch your videos - in just a few minutes and 'go viral' in a few hours. TikTok's algorithm is created to spread the content to as many people as possible, and rewards users who post frequently and use the built-in features. At the same time, the app calculates what it should show you based on what you've already liked, commented on or shared. It takes place via the section on the front of the app called For YouThe videos of your friends are shown in the section called Following
The format is small videos of up to 59 seconds, where music or custom audio, filters, text, emojis and animated gifs are added. Through TikTok, the user has access to the same music as is found on eg Spotify and iTunes, and TikTok 'helps' the user to find the most popular, or selected, songs. Trends and challenges are what is mostly used.
Also for adults
During 2020, TikTok has developed into a place where companies and stars interact side by side with the general population. Media like World Economi Forum on TikTok, Washington Post on TikTok and WHO on TikTok all has profiles and many TV and movie stars have also joined. In the Nordic region, we are slowly catching up, and The Danish Medicines Agency is the first official organization to join.
The media has received a lot of attention since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of users has increased tremendously and it has experienced extra attention due to its Chinese origin, uncertainty about data protection as well as unfortunate revelations about discriminating practices. TikTok has also been a political battle zone, which i.a. resulted in the complete ban in India as well as unwanted attention from Trump. However, TikTok is comparable to all other social media, neither worse nor better.
A Creative Playground
The media's great popularity is due to its very dedicated users, known as Content Creators. They are the ones who faithfully post all kind of content, day after day. The popularity of the videos has spread to all other established media, which made i.a. Instagram try its hand with its own version Reels.
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Digital presence and pedagogy - at eye level
A dull October afternoon at a hotel in 2019 I took the jump from theory to practice. Since then, time has raced by, and TikTok has become one of my most important work tools, as well as playground.
Although my birth certificate is dated 1979, there is room and justification for someone like me on TikTok. Hundreds of inquiries from children and young people has shown that. As an authentic and open adult who participates out of desire and passion, rather than necessity, I tapped into a part of the lives of child and youth that few adults are allowed to participate in.
Too many young people are alone on social media and too many of them will not seek out their primary adults when things happen. This is where I, with information and guidance via digital communication, step in. Since the start-up of my English Channel in October 2019 and then my Danish channel in January 2020, I have communicated daily with the young users about everything from the technology behind the media, to bullying, suicide and rape.
There is a lack of adults on social media, and via TikTok I have ended up as the link between the digital life and the young users' primary adults. It is easier to talk to the woman you 'know' from TikTok. The one who doesn't take away your social medias, or scolds you because she gets startled.
Mini series: Tricks idiots use to get you to do things you don't want to! With the social media and the digital expansion of the childhood bedroom, there are ...
In May 2020, the first version of 8 months of deep dive into TikTok was released. This Danish version only focused on the local market.
In August 2020, version 2 was released, this time in English and with a broader and updated perspective for the Nordic countries, the USA and the UK.
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A 2021 edition is under preparation, and is expected this summer
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