What Is TikTok? New Details About The App Taking Over The Internet

There's a new app in town.

What Is TikTok? Details About The App And How To Use It TikTok

TikTok is taking the Internet by storm — but what is it? Much more than a Ke$ha song, it turns out.

Think of a combination of Vine and Musical.ly. TikTok is similar to Vine, the viral 6-second video creation app that Twitter bought and shut down, but includes the lip-syncing attraction of Musical.ly, where users would post short clips of themselves mouthing the words of hit songs.

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The social platform is popular with teens and is comprised of quick and editable, short-form videos, which have been limited to 15 seconds, are usually accompanied by the latest hit songs playing in the background. Oh, and those challenges you're always seeing youngsters doing ("Karma's a B--ch," for example) probably originated on the amateur video-creating sensation.

The fun and growing app is a new way to waste away boredom in seconds, whether you're scrolling or filming.

According to its website, TikTok's goal is to "capture and present the world's creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone." The app allows each user to become a creator and is a place where creativity is encouraged.


"TikTok, the sound of a ticking clock, represents the short nature of the video platform. We want to capture the world’s creativity and knowledge under this new name and remind everyone to treasure every precious life moment," Alex Zhu, co-founder of Musical.ly and Senior Vice President of TikTok, said in a statement. "Combining musical.ly and TikTok is a natural fit given the shared mission of both experiences."

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Beijing-based ByteDance created TikTok, called Douyin in China, in 2016. Last year ByteDance acquired Musical.ly and merged the lip-syncing app with its own video app TikTok — and it is doing tremendously well. The app that you may not have even heard of is quickly making its way up the charts.

TikTok has become the fourth-ranked social app in the App Store's Top Charts, behind YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. The teen-focused app was the most downloaded app in the US in September, making history for being the first to surpass Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in a single month, according to a TechCrunch report that used data from Sensor Tower. 


In September, TikTok's first-time installs grew to 3.81 million on the App Store and Google Play combined, according to the TechCrunch report. Facebook was a close second, with 3.53 million installs that month. 

With those numbers steadily increasing, It looks like TikTok is here to stay whether you're on board with it or not. The teens have spoken.

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Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.