A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok

More than three years have passed since tweens and adolescents first started using the lip-syncing software, which is now known as TikTok. Since then, the social network has grown significantly beyond Generation Z. According to estimates from the research company Sensor Tower, TikTok has been downloaded more than 1 billion times, including 96 million times in the United States.

Bytedance, a Chinese business currently regarded as one of the most valuable startups in the world, also owns it. Sharing 15-second video clips with music that is often licensed by artists and record companies is the main focus of the app.

In addition to 14-year-olds who lip sync, comedians, sportsmen, and, yes, companies all like TikTok. Advertising campaigns for well-known brands including Coca-Cola, Nike, ABC, and Google have been seen on TikTok. Even Khloé Kardashian has received payment to publish advertisements on the website. But TikTok isn’t just a place for advertisements; it’s also the origin of some of the most well-known memes on the internet.

If you believe you don’t comprehend TikTok, you might be pardoned. The software, which combines features from Spotify, Snapchat, Vine, and Twitch into a single social network, moves quickly and erratically. From TikTok “Challenges” to Coins and Original sounds, here is all you need to know to get started.

Beginning: Create Your Account

You will need headphones as your first item. Simply said, TikTok cannot be enjoyed without sound. Immediately after downloading the program, you may begin exploring videos. But you’ll need to create an account if you want to publish any yourself.

Your email address, phone number, or a third-party website like Facebook may all be used to create an account. Your username is automatically assigned by the program. The program will produce a random username, such as user1234567 if you sign up for TikTok using your phone number. An email address results in a more customized ID (although that may present a privacy issue for users).

Tap the symbol that resembles a person’s upper body in the lower right corner to update your username. Next, click Edit Profile. You may alter it here and add a bio, image, and Profile Video in addition to making it more distinctive. Since TikTok accounts are open to everyone by default, anybody may access your profile and the movies you upload. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of your profile to change these privacy settings.

How to use TikTok

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It’s time to start watching some TikToks now that your profile is set to go. There are two primary feeds in the app. In place of Instagram’s Explore page by default, For You is an algorithmically created stream of videos. The other, Following, which includes uploads from individuals you select to follow, can be found by swiping left. TikTok is pure entertainment; it’s like a never-ending variety show. Follow funny accounts like @k.chh, who shares hilarious sketches, or choose lovely accounts like @cute puppies12, which has the cutest pups I’ve ever seen.

Each TikTok video has a sequence of symbols to the right of it. The first one will direct you to the user’s profile who uploaded it. Then there is a heart, which acts just like Instagram’s hearts or likes. Comments come next, followed by a right-pointing arrow for sharing certain TikTok videos on other networks. If you wish to copy the URL to a particular TikTok, for use in an iMessage share, click the arrow. (One caveat for left-handed people: TikTok is often right-oriented, so you may find it challenging to use at first.)

The very final symbol features a record that is spinning and has music notes coming from it. This is a representation of the music snippet that the user is now playing on TikTok. To see the track’s name, artist, and a feed of other TikTok that also include it, click on it. For instance, nearly 1.4 million videos including the very well-liked TikTok single “Fake ID” by Riton and Kah-Lo have been shown on the song’s website.

These videos are probably not the whole of the “Fake ID” TikTok on the site, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Want to avoid seeing a certain kind of TikTok in your feed? Push the video down firmly to expose the Not Interested button.

Making and sharing videos for TikTok

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Ready to share a TikTok of your own? At the bottom of the screen, touch the + symbol first. When the camera opens, a red record button evocative of Snapchat will be visible. You may add a song before you begin recording so that your lip-sync, dance, or skit is timed with the music. You may start recording without a musical track if you want to capture anything at the moment and add the music afterward.

Similar to Snapchat, TikTok offers a variety of augmented reality (AR) effects that may be applied to recordings and alter features like the color of your hair or eyes. To browse effects, tap Effects on the left-hand side. Options for the environment may be found under the World page, including a piece of augmented reality pizza that looks delectable. Even specific effects may be applied to canines and felines.

The Beauty button on the right side of the recording screen discreetly removes the dark circles beneath your eyes. It is followed by the filters menu. TikTok’s filters are simply numbered, in contrast to Instagram’s, which have now-iconic names like Mayfair and Valencia. The timer, which enables users to capture movies without continually holding down the record button, is the last and most crucial component in this system. It enables TikTok to produce its recognizable dance videos.

Users may combine many clips together to capture a total of 60 seconds using TikTok, which can be up to 15 seconds long. Longer videos that were shot somewhere than the app may also be uploaded. Try experimenting with duets, which divide the screen in half and allow you to sing the same song with another creator after you’ve mastered ordinary TikTok. To create a duet, choose Duet after clicking the share button on the original video.

Music, challenges, and hashtags

TikTok’s core feature is music, and choosing a well-known song might be the main factor in why a video becomes successful. Here’s how to make your choice. On the recording screen’s right side, the first touch is Add a Sound. There will be a streaming menu of musicians and albums similar to Spotify. Here, you can listen to music from Apple Music as well as explore the most popular tunes on the site.

On TikTok, there aren’t any full-length songs; instead, the majority of the content consists of short, immutable snippets. In other words, you may not be in luck if you have a dream about flossing to a certain section of your favorite music. However, there is a solution to this issue. While they’re recording on TikTok, many users just play music from another device, such as a PC or radio. After that, TikTok will catalog the song as “Original sound,” which other users may subsequently include in their own films. A word of warning: Taking use of this gap can cause copyright breaches.

The tracks linked to TikTok #Challenges are available on the same music streaming menu. The TikTok community comes together via challenges, which are often supported by sponsors. You may “show off your beautiful voice” by taking the #LikeAnAmericanIdol challenge now being offered by ABC on TikTok. (Up until this point, 25.3 million videos have been made using the hashtag.) With the hashtag #HeyGoogleHelp, Google recently sponsored a challenge campaign quite similar to this.

Most competitions are unsponsored. Instead, TikTok and the community themselves develop them. For instance, the #faketravel challenge, which encourages users to pretend they are on a fancy trip, is presently available on the app. The meme ridicules influencers who flaunt their #jetsetlifestyle on social media sites like Instagram.

At the bottom of the home screen, press the magnifying glass to see all of TikTok’s current challenges. There is a search box at the top of this same menu that you may use to look for individual artists, sounds, or hashtags.

Views, Alerts, and Additional Metrics

Once you begin sharing TikToks, you can examine the number of views on your profile to see how many people have viewed them. To check who has liked or commented on your videos, tap the notifications button at the bottom of the home screen. You can see here who has seen or followed your profile as well. One key piece of advice: TikTok is infamous for delivering scads of engagement-bait push alerts. Turn off TikTok alerts in your phone’s settings if that kind of spam sounds annoying.

Additionally, TikTok alerts viewers when well-known producers are “LIVE streaming” (this function isn’t accessible to all users). Similar to Twitch, TikTok Coins may be used to tip producers as you watch a live stream in the form of virtual items. Coins are 100 for $1. In return for these presents, which can be partially exchanged for real money, creators often thank their followers or respond to the queries they pose.

You’re prepared to leave

You now know how to participate in the most recent TikTok challenge. Your lip-syncing masterpiece now has a digital pepperoni slice. Perhaps you even did a little dancing. You’re prepared to investigate TikTok. The easiest way to discover the app’s many extra features is to explore it on your own. So up the volume and proceed.

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