Digital Platform Trends: The Rise And (Almost) Fall of TikTok + Predictions for the Future

Comes With Fries
Dec 2020
Credit
CWF - Suzi Yaghmoor

2020 has been a year unlike any other. In a world where live music had been put on pause, the online world became our reality. This ultimately resulted in huge shifts in the way we use social media and how we engage with creators.

Musicians and creatives alike had to seek out new and exciting ways to reach audiences from afar. One platform that really changed the game for artists in 2020 was TikTok.


Yes, we all saw the guy ride his skateboard down the highway to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’, but did you know that as a result of that video the song accumulated 16.1 million new streams within a week? The power that TikTok has when it comes to music marketing is simply unmatched and this has been a blessing for musicians locked down in 2020. 

Not only can TikTok resurface songs from years ago into the charts, but there have also been countless success stories of musicians going viral on the platform, ultimately providing the building blocks for their careers.



The Cold Hard Stats


One of the fastest growing social media platforms ever, TikTok surpassed 2 billion downloads earlier this year and now boasts over 524 million active users daily. 2020 saw the biggest increase in users on the platform and the hype doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. This year, TikTok strayed away from being renowned as exclusively a platform for dancing and comedy skits and so did their users. A few developments for TikTok in 2020 included:

  • The introduction of Stitch: An editing feature that allows users to clip and use others videos within their own.
  • Political focus: Users on TikTok have started using their platform to discuss topics such as Black Lives Matter, the US election and Coronavirus concerns. 
  • Fashion brands have started to find their place on TikTok with major brands such as Dior and Giorgio Armani getting creative on the app.



Trump Vs TikTok


In August, TikTok faced the threat of being banned within the US by former president Donald Trump. Trump was uncomfortable with ByteDance’s (parent company of TikTok) Chinese origins and planned on creating an American version of the platform. This left TikTok users unsure of the future of the app, ultimately seeking out other platforms to find the same humorous, addictive content we have come to know and love. TikTok put forward a request for a temporary injunction which was approved just hours before the ban was to be implemented. This means that for now TikTok is safe, but this definitely will not be the last we hear on the matter.   




Introduction of Instagram Reels 


Not too long after Trump's threats to ban TikTok in America, Instagram introduced their Reels platform, a subsection of Instagram where users could share 15 second videos to appear on a ‘discover’ page. You can read a bit more about Reels here.



The Rise of Triller

While TikTok was still on shaky ground, competitor platform Triller was reaping the benefits of their losses. With a huge focus on the music industry and artists, Triller started to sign exclusive partnerships with musicians such as Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg and Meghan Trainor. These high profile users enforced Triller’s music culture and made the platform a hot spot for up and coming artists.

Because of TikTok’s almost-ban, Triller began to increase in popularity and even overtook TikTok for the #1 spot in the App Store on August 5th. 

So what is the main difference between the apps? Triller has an intelligent AI-powered software that will edit and form users' videos for them, unlike TikTok that has a strong focus on discovery of videos based on user engagements. 

The Downfall of Twitter


While video based platforms like TikTok, Triller and Instagram Reels are on the rise, old school platforms like Twitter are decreasing in activity every day. Since 2012, Twitter’s user engagement has halved, leaving the future of the platform looking pretty grim. 

Recently Twitter introduced ‘Moments’, a new subsection of the platform that allows users to create slideshows of images and tweets, telling a story. This concept has been referred to as Twitter’s response to Instagram and Facebook ‘Stories’ featuresPredictions for 202Considering the extreme growth that video based platforms have experienced in 2020 it can only be assumed that they will continue to develop and grow well into 2021. This form of video content may also very well be incorporated into social media platforms that we are already familiar with such as Twitter or Facebook.


Predictions for 2021


Considering the extreme growth that video based platforms have experienced in 2020 it can only be assumed that they will continue to develop and grow well into 2021. This form of video content may also very well be incorporated into social media platforms that we are already familiar with such as Twitter or Facebook.

The online world is constantly evolving and changing. The only way to utilise platforms to their maximum is to stay curious, read up on new tools and give anything a go!