Since its inception, the platform has gone from strength to strength; TikTok can be commended for forging its unique path. For example, Hypesi and other companies offer marketing solutions that do not require you to work directly via the platform. This is in sharp contrast to, say, Facebook, and it’s an astringent and inflexible approach to marketing channels.

How is it that a platform could gain such a following in such a brief time, and maintain its individuality, to become the entertainment staple it is today?

Specific Yet Endlessly Flexible

Perhaps one of TikTok’s best moves, on the content side, is the ‘short-form’ video premise. Video length is strictly limited. It may seem counterintuitive that this restriction is one of the most significant contributing factors to the platform’s success, but it makes sense in retrospect.

By limiting content length, TikTok managed to standardize its content. Where the flexibility of Youtube’s almost limitless playtime open’s the platform to broader uses, TikTok creates a streamlined user experience. In simpler terms, anyone who uses the app knows that, whatever content they like, they will get the same, bite-sized quantity every time.

The proof is in the proverbial pudding. Fans of the platform ascribe its best quality as such. Spending hours watching content, or simply enjoying a few laughs during a lunch break. All without having to take consideration for the type of material the user experiences.

Authentic User-Generated Content

Arguably another repercussion of the short-form content standard, TikTok lends itself well to amateur content. Perhaps because the videos are most effective when short and punchy, the content creator can get away without any professional product knowledge. Homemade reigns king.

There is less pressure on any one video to hold attention, and this broadens the type of content people post. You needn’t, as a content creator for TikTok, ever feel in competition with some significant production team or big budget hype machine.

Naturally, this casual approach to content also means abundance. The fun and lighthearted feel of posting to TikTok is to thank for its wealth of diverse channels, hosting anything from practical jokes to workplace pro-tips.

A Foundation in Music

TikTok is not the first platform to do short-form videos. Vine, the one time phenomena that fizzled out as suddenly as it appeared. To understand the difference, consider Musical.ly, the company that formed a part of TikTok.

Musical.ly was, surprisingly, not much different from what TikTok is today. The app offered a similar user interface as well as similar features. It was specific to a niche market, but after merging into TikTok, with a broader user appeal, the lip-syncing social app retained the emphasis on background music. This later transformed to include voice-overs.

With readily available audio and no royalty fees for the user, the platform was primed for success. It is in this that Vine failed, and TikTok succeeded. Seemingly a nuance, this disparate approach is key to why TikTok has become the viral sensation it is today.