There are several notable social media platforms, and among the top tier are sites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. But one site, in particular, has more to offer than just a spot as one of the top six most popular social networks in the world. It’s also distinct from the rest and presents unique opportunities for influencers and businesses alike: TikTok.
What makes TikTok different from other social media sites? First, TikTok is almost exclusively a platform for sharing short-form video content. Users can add captions, descriptions, and comments to posts, but the center of attention is always a video.
Although other social media sites like Instagram have adopted TikTok’s model through add-ins like Reels, TikTok remains the original, addictive, and ever-present video sharing site.
Now, let’s explore what makes TikTok different from other social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube—and why these differences are important.
TikTok replaced Vine.
To start, TikTok provided a more viable replacement for Vine after it shut down in 2017. You might be thinking, what is Vine? And that would be a valid response.
Vine was one of the world’s most popular video platforms, with over 100 million people using Vine each month. Vine promoted short-form video content with posts that maxed out at 6 seconds.
Unfortunately, Vine’s popularity couldn’t keep it afloat—but fortunately, TikTok was created in 2016 and saw a mass arrival of users in 2020.
At that time, TikTok was the only platform specifically designed for short-form video content—a content marketing tool that gained massive popularity in the last few years.
TikTok isn’t just a video sharing platform—it’s a video editing platform.
One reason (of many) that TikTok didn’t flop like Vine is that it promoted shareability in an extremely accessible way. But that aspect isn’t different from other social media platforms. What is different about TikTok is how it embeds tons of video editing software directly into the app. And while other social media sites catch up, TikTok continues to add new filters, improve on what it already has, and develop even stronger in-app editing.
Although there are plenty of TikTok video editing platforms out there to use, TikTok’s in-app editing is pretty in-depth.
All in TikTok, you can:
- record videos with or without filters
- record multiple clips and edit the length and order of clips
- add voice-overs, trending sounds, and original sound
- add video effects (TikTok has over 400) and voice effects
- add on-screen text and stickers
- use the caption tool to create automatic captioning
- add filters before or after recording, which are organized by portrait, landscape, food, and vibe
- adjust the audio volume and reduce background noise
The versatility of TikTok’s editing tools helps it achieve its mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy”—but that’s not all. Its editing tools help TikTok retain its popularity, and they make TikTok stand out from its competitors.
TikTok’s structure makes it extremely addictive.
The general consensus among its users is that TikTok is addictive, although there’s no hard evidence as to why that’s true.
However, speculation agrees that a few things make TikTok so addictive.
The For You page. As soon as you open TikTok, a video starts playing. Using TikTok is an immersive experience that wastes no time grabbing your attention.
The TikTok algorithm. TikTok’s algorithm is powerful. It ensures that you see content similar to the content you’ve already watched—i.e., content that you find interesting.
Trend culture. The images and sounds on TikTok are extremely memorable. Why? Video formats and sounds are repeatedly watched through different videos due to trending audios and challenges.
Emotional content. Due to the short-form nature, users need to post content on TikTok that grabs attention right away. So, many content creators post videos that evoke emotions—whether they make you laugh, cringe, cry, or dream.
Lack of boredom. TikTok makes it easy to scroll past videos that no longer interest you, and the editing tools mentioned before means that there are tons of interesting videos on TikTok. With so much content, you’re sure to find something you like if you just keep scrolling.
Novel collaboration. TikTok promotes collaboration in a new way with features like duets, stitching, and responding to comments with videos. This method of collaboration can create a bigger conversation—and one that you can only understand if you regularly use TikTok.
Videos can go viral overnight.
Another thing that makes TikTok different is the way that videos can go viral overnight.
It’s normal for a content creator to have just a few hundred or thousand followers before one video that changes their lives.
But, if this is your plan, you need to make sure you don’t lose traction. Some viral accounts lose their followers as quickly as they gained them.
Users create communities with strong bonds.
There are tons of online communities, especially on social media sites like Facebook, where you can engage in Groups, or Reddit, where you can participate in Threads.
But on TikTok, the communities are stronger.
There are various “sides” of TikTok, which can be compared to themes or even genres. There are music producers and rappers on one side and people who love frogs on the other (seriously).
But TikTok is more of a sphere than a square, and there are tons of sides, each with its own community of users and content creators.
In short, people are brought together through TikTok, and some TikTokers even collaborate with one another after meeting through the app.
On TikTok, you can find an immense sense of support—whereas other apps often encourage trolls or haters.
TikTok gives “trending” a new meaning with the evolution of trends.
The way trends evolve on TikTok is distinct from how trends happen on other social media websites.
Here’s an example.
Inspired by Doja Cat’s music video for “Streets,” the ever-popular thirst trap trend, the silhouette challenge, gained massive traction in 2021. In this trend, a non-suggestive video clip transitions quickly into a silhouetted thirst trap.
Now, we see videos like this one, done by @butter_daddy, who posts the “smoothest” thirst traps—comedic recreations that take the thirst trap template and add in epic fails reminiscent of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
In the video, you see him climb on his counter and begin a one-handed removal of his shirt just before the transition should come in. Instead of a sexy switch, we watch him take a tumble, along with everything on his countertop.
This isn’t the only example. Users on TikTok are constantly making creative videos that play on popular trends and even changing the tide of trends as a whole. And that’s what makes tik tok so different from other plataforms.
Final Thoughts: Boost Your TikTok Performance Instantly with Managergram.
TikTok is a social media platform like no other. Despite Instagram’s attempt to mimic TikTok with its Reel’s feature, TikTok still reigns supreme as the leading social media platform for short-form videos.
If you want to grow your social media presence, TikTok is a great place to do it. And if you need help building your list of followers and growing your presence on TikTok, consider using Managergram’s complete TikTok promotion package for real engagement.