What is TikTok?

TikTok is a platform for short-form mobile videos. Users can make videos that range between 5 seconds and 3 minutes long, and use a massive music library and fun effects to quickly edit together bite-sized digital films.


But beyond the fun of quickly shooting and editing videos from your phone, what makes TikTok downright irresistible for so many people is discovering content via TikTok’s finely tuned algorithm.

TikTok’s For You page (the app’s home screen) delivers an endless stream of videos from other users, and gets smarter and smarter about what you like as time goes on. (Maybe even too smart, as some users fret.) It’s like a personalized TV station that caters to both your interests and our shortening attention spans!

What is TikTok?

TikTok may seem like an overnight success story, but the video-sharing social platform has actually been around for years.


Launched in 2016 by its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, TikTok was an instant hit with Gen Z users in China. But it wasn’t until 2017, when ByteDance acquired another video-sharing platform (Musical.ly), that it took off in North America and Europe.


In 2018, TikTok had 55 million monthly active users. In 2021, the company is projected to reach 1.2 billion.

TikTok’s incredible hold on the Gen Z market has turned it into a marketing powerhouse. Songs go viral (hi, Doja Cat!). Stars are born (shout out to Addison Rae, who pivoted a TikTok dance career into a starring role in He’s All That). Trends spread like wildfire (remember when you couldn’t find feta to save your life?).


Long story short: it’s an excellent opportunity for brands to get in there and build some serious buzz.

How to set up a TikTok account

1. Download the TikTok app from the iOS App Store or Google Play.

2. Open the app.


3. Go to Me.

4. Choose a method to sign up.


You did it! You’re a TikTok-er now! No takebacks!


How to make a TikTok

Of course, a TikTok account is just one step in the journey towards total social media domination. You have to, you know, make some content, too. Luckily, it’s easy and fun.


1. Once you’ve got your account set up, tap the + symbol at the bottom of the screen to enter Create mode.


2. Before you start recording, you’ll be able to pre-select a variety of editing elements to apply to your video clip from a menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Flip to your front-facing camera, tweak the speed, apply a softening beauty lens, play with different filters, set up a self-timer or toggle the flash on or off.

3. At the top of the screen, tap Add sound to prepare sound clips and music.

4. Ready to record? Hold down the red button in the bottom center to record video, or tap it once to snap a pic. Alternatively, tap Upload to the right of the record button, and view your camera library to upload a photo or video from there.


5. If you’d like to add more videos or photos to the sequence, follow steps 2 through 4 again.


6. When you’ve created all of your “scenes,” hit the checkmark icon.


7. You’ll then have a chance to edit further, adding text, stickers, additional filters, voiceovers and more.

8. When you’re happy with your video, click Next to add a caption or hashtags, tag friends, add a URL or toggle various privacy options on or off.


To create and schedule a TikTok using Hootsuite, follow these steps:

  1. Record your video and edit it (adding sounds and effects) in the TikTok app.
  2. When you’re done editing your video, tap Next in the bottom right corner of your screen. Then, select More options and tap Save to device.
  3. In Hootsuite, tap the Create icon on the very top of the left-hand menu to open the Composer.
  4. Select the account you want to publish your TikTok to.
  5. Upload the TikTok you saved to your device.
  6. Add a caption. You can include emojis and hashtags, and tag other accounts in your caption.
  7. Adjust additional settings. You can enable or disable comments, Stitches and Duets for each of your individual posts.