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Published February 22nd 2022

The Influence of TikTok on the Big 5 Social Media Platforms

Here's how TikTok's explosive popularity has influenced other social networks

For a whole generation, TikTok is the social network of choice — it even became the most downloaded app in July 2020. You’d find most youngsters scrolling through bite-sized videos and taking video challenges — and this phenomenon has only been growing since the appearance of the platform half a decade ago.

Whether we understand and like TikTok or not, the social media channel has brought new trends in how users create and share visual content. Super-short videos and live streams are the hottest content assets — and they’re booming all over the digital space.

Along with becoming the top network for young people, TikTok has influenced how the “big five” social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube — are planning and executing their evolution. Seeing the massive success of the platform, all of them have crafted new features to address the new trends.

Here’s a succinct overview of TikTok’s effect and how you can leverage the network and its trend-setting for your brand’s benefit.

How TikTok has changed the way social media works

TikTok seems to be the perfect platform for youngsters who spend a lot of time with their phones. It offers short-form videos that are between three and 60 seconds long and loop once they’ve been played. This makes TikTok super scrollable, and flickable, and magnet-like for teenagers and young people who naturally seek dynamic, bite-size, and easily digestible posts.

Besides the short format, TikTok also brought a whole new package of content: challenges, lip-syncing, dancing, funny videos, magic tricks are just some of the hottest trends. The platform allows users to share sound effects and reactions, emojis, special effects, video reactions to posted content, and other interactive features that make it very attractive.

These features, along with an algorithm that makes it easier for a post to go viral, have pushed TikTok to the forefront of shaping the tendencies in social media. Being so popular with Generation Z and Alpha, the platform’s rise to fame continues with its focus on localized content and easy sharing. TikTok has created the perfect conditions for different types of influences to bloom too — with product reviews and recommendations, which have affected even the way in which huge cosmetics companies like Clinique are doing their marketing.

And logically — the rise of TikTok has impacted the way the other big social networks are developing, since all of them want to ride the new wave of new trends.

TikTok-style features in the “big five” networks

Each of the big social media channels has followed the tendencies for more video, shorter content, and overall more interactive and visual approach.

Let’s check out some of the TikTok-style features that the major networks have introduced.

Facebook

Facebook may be the platform that has ‘lost’ the most from TikTok’s arrival. It has created a number of features to match the newest trends for younger generations, which are also becoming viral for many other online users too.

The most known among them are live streaming, video playlists, and series. The social media giant has also launched the Creator Studio for managing Facebook Pages in one place.

Instagram

Instagram has introduced interactive features such as Video, Stories, and Live, in parallel with the efforts of other social media to bet heavily on visual and dynamic content.

But probably the most hyped feature in this direction is Reels. It was launched in the summer of 2020. Reels enables users to create and watch bite-sized fun videos. They can consist of multiple clips of up to 30 seconds.

Twitter

On Twitter, video has long been a popular format but the growing popularity of TikTok has pushed the platform to invest even more in that direction. It has only gotten more attractive in recent years, with the trend for live feeds also spreading quickly.

LinkedIn

As a social network with a focus on professional connections, LinkedIn has a different focus from the other major platforms. Still, it has introduced the video cover option for users.

LinkedIn is also aiming for more interactive and visual feeds for its users — as companies can post video ad campaigns and more.

YouTube

YouTube has created a special section, Shorts, which is a competitor to TikTok’s bite-size videos. Users can scroll and watch the short videos straight from the YouTube app.

Shorts offers a great functionality to discover other clips in which songs or sounds from the current one are used as well.

Our tips on leveraging TikTok-style features for your marketing

1. Get creative with bite-size videos

Once you have set up your branded channel on TikTok, you can get started with crafting your videos immediately. The platform boasts funny and creative short videos rather than super-polished major video productions.

This means the focus is on being smart, funny, and engaging, so your videos can easily be no - or very low -budget.

A great example of a creative take that’s not complicated to realize or shoot: Breakfast of Champions by Spikeball.

2. Use the power of hashtags

Similar to Twitter and Instagram, hashtags are a big thing on TikTok. It’s important to use them with each video because they make it easily discoverable.

You can also create hashtag-based challenges, games, and other initiatives that people can discover with the # keyword.

The cosmetics brand e.l.f. cosmetics created solid traction with one of its hashtag challenges on TikTok. Its #eyeslipsface campaign attracted 4 billion views and 5 million video posts.

3. Partner with influencers in your field

The power of influencers on TikTok is immense. Working with the right people who can promote your brand on the platform is key to reaching your audiences — and going viral.

A recent example of how an influencer can fuel the popularity of a brand on TikTok is the CoverGirl foundation case. Lifestyle influencer and Barstool Sports creator Brianna LaPaglia shared posts about the makeup on her channel — and the sales of the brand exploded.

4. Invest in TikTok ads

Last but not least, ads in TikTok can be a good way to push an organic campaign further. If well-targeted, it also doesn’t need to be too long or expensive.

KIA, the Korean car manufacturer, has been using TikTok ads in smart ways that bring impressive results. The brand reinforces its hashtag challenges and influencer-backed campaigns with some extra force — in-feed ads.

That’s a wrap!

TikTok is here to stay — and your best approach is to adapt your social media strategy to its influence. That counts both for considering its use and for employing TikTok-inspired features that the big five social networks have introduced.

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