How is TikTok Different From Other Social Media Platforms?

Updated: Sep 21


Image by motionstock from Pixabay



TikTok might just be new on the social media block, but it is already causing a frenzy, especially among the youngsters. And because it’s new, other people can’t help but raise an eyebrow over it and it’s totally comprehensible.


Nevertheless, as we can see it, no one can seem to dim the light of TikTok – it continues to shine right in front of the eyes of its detractors and nonbelievers. And guess what? Facebook’s TikTok clone “Lasso,” didn’t measure up and it was finally shut down on July 10, 2020, almost two years after its launch in late 2018.


But wait, Facebook is not giving up the fight just, yet. In November 2019, Facebook launched Instagram Reels, a video-music remix feature that lets users share short video content on their Stories. It was only available in Brazil during its launch, and since then, it has already been tested in France, Germany, and most recently in India. And Instagram confirmed that it is preparing to launch Reels in the US soon.


With TikTok somewhat monopolizing the success in the short-form video app niche, it’s really just about time when we can see another big player in this market. As for now, let’s check out how TikTok differs from other social networks and why the Gen Z’ers are going gaga over it.


What Sets TikTok Apart From Other Social Media Platforms?



“We’re all special,” – this might be the most cliché advice you’ll ever get or you’ve ever received, but it’s the truth and you’ve got to learn to live with that whether you like it or not. This is also the same with all the social media channels out there – each one has its strength and its Achilles heel.


TikTok, the social media app of the hour, is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. It’s a short-form video app that allows its users to create, and share 15-second videos pumped up with music, filters, animation, special effects, and more.


For someone new with this platform, TikTok isn’t just a lip-sync video-sharing app. With its features, and all the fun and creative ways to engage on the app, it’s way more than that. And that is also why, each day, more and more people are joining the bandwagon of TikTok’s 500 million, or should we say 800 million monthly active users.


Tiktok vs Instagram



Instagram is primarily used as a platform to share snapshots of one’s life. It is also geared towards anything about fashion, beauty, travel, food, and fitness. TikTok, on the other hand, is more about choreography, dancing, self-expression, and not to mention it’s all about posting videos and watching content from the billion videos that are available on the app.


Also, Instagram is known for its well-planned and to some extent photoshopped content, which is nothing new to its followers. For some, its fantasy-like, dreamy, and somewhat perfect imagery gives them something to aspire for, while for others these types of content are a far cry from reality that is not helpful to one’s mental health.


This is also one of the reasons why TikTok is well-loved – its users don’t need to think hard about what to post, more so to the point of manipulating the videos to create a new artificial reality even just in the eyes of the viewers. TikTok users just want to have fun, and again TikTok videos are all about self-expression, creativity, and authenticity.


TikTok vs Facebook



Since day one, video has been the core of TikTok’s functionality, with sound playing an integral part in the overall user experience. Facebook, on the other hand, was built around the idea of textual status updates with photos, and later on, with videos.


TikTok gives a different experience. Once you are on the For You section, you are automatically presented with an unending flow of videos ranging from the funny ones to the cute, the cringe-worthy, the dance and hashtag challenges, and so on.


For every video, you can also create a video reaction or a duet with another user, allowing you to create your interpretation or response to his content. With a duet, your reaction can be seen side by side with the other user’s version once it is shared.


You can do all of these things while also adding filters, and other special effects and animations. And because it’s so easy to use, you don’t need to spend days to master the app. Also, TikTok videos are rooted in meme culture, which is another factor that increases the videos’ charm and virality.


Is TikTok for You?



Choosing a social media platform to focus on can be tricky, but once you’ve figured out which one to pay more attention to, it can undoubtedly be rewarding. This is true, especially to small business owners who need to cut on their expenses while still making the most of their marketing investments.


Hopefully, by now, you are already closer to the answer that you’ve been yearning to have about putting your cards on TikTok or not. Again, remember that not all that glitters is gold, and not because something is good for the majority, it can also be good for you.

Listen to your audience, follow your gut, devise a marketing and content strategy, and test the waters. And don’t lose grasp of the latest advancements. If TikTok isn’t for you this time, it doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.


There will always be changes, new features, and developments along the way that can transform the playing field. It still pays to keep an eye on TikTok no matter what.


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