UK-focused TikTok celebrates its second birthday

The social media app TikTok that allows users to create lip-synching videos on demand has grown hugely popular since its 2017 launch, and celebrates its second birthday this weekend. This new feature of the app has transformed online media, with thousands of teenagers all over the world building an online fanbase, and even personal businesses from the simplicity of a video.

TikTok took the mobile video camera by storm when it debuted. It is closely linked to YouTube, and while it gives users the chance to share polished mobile videos with friends and family, the lack of filters and effects differentiates it from the Google-owned platform.

The most popular videos uploaded using the app in its first year have been done by British teens.

The TikTok top ten is dominated by the teenage demographic, with at least five of the top ten and a number of videos from teenage users available in the UK on the Apple App Store. Among them are Baker, 15, who has amassed over 1m followers since the beginning of 2017 and launched an online business called Baker Arthur Creative earlier this year, while another video blogger, Chloe Bexley-Wood, 19, has already scored over 1.5m followers since her entry in September 2017.

The Young Brits’ Top Year 2018 in numbers

In terms of videos uploaded to the app, the top six videos are ones from British users, and share the same upbeat dance and social media themes. The other top ten videos include “Lap dance video break dancing in the school parking lot”, “Weekend alone breakdown”, “Very stressful three minute video”, “Makeup tutorial” and “The other day I became a real life school teacher”.

This top 10, selected by YouTube and 16-24 year olds based on TikTok’s most popular videos for the year 2017, is by no means definitive on the popularity of the app among young people in the UK, however, even it shows an unparalleled love for the TikTok app. The Top 10 shows that a dedicated proportion of the British youth has grown up on the app and relishes its free and playful style, which comes at the cost of its stability.

There are several UK influencers who have built personal businesses on their presence on the app, such as influencer Thentya Rowley, who launched her own line of make-up earlier this year.

YouTube’s research has shown that although a fair number of young people watch streaming content on a weekly basis, such as YouTube, Instagram and Twitch, more than two thirds prefer seeing updates from their friends in front of their very own eyes.

The ability to share a video on TikTok alone allows them to broaden their creative focus and, just as importantly, to make a strong statement on their individuality, something that teenagers are far more inclined to do than older generations.

The app’s versatility has given a huge opportunity to British talent. Those of the age group aged between 16 and 24 have broadened their creative imagination, moving away from polished feature films and concert videos, and taking up the challenge of building up an online following.

Indeed, the number of teenage accounts which are active on the TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram (the three main social media platforms of the UK) has grown dramatically in the last 12 months.

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