The Changing Face of TikTok

From Music to Marketing

The initial purpose of TikTok was to share short lip-sync videos — content that has stood the test of time when we consider the most popular content types on TikTok today. After that, lip-syncing gave way to dancing, with viral dance crazes starting just about daily now. The popularity of those initial TikTok users could not be overlooked by brands, who began to create partnerships with these users that resulted in influencer content for the brands.

From Social to Advertising

At launch, TikTok offered no advertising opportunities for brands. In fact, for some time, brands couldn’t even open verified accounts. Instead, they were relegated to “personal” profiles like anyone else. Influencers quickly discovered how to share marketing material on behalf of the brands they worked with, but advertising directly through the platform wasn’t possible.

From Teens to Everyone

Perhaps the most significant change to TikTok has been its demographics. While TikTok is still hugely popular with Generation Z and even Generation Alpha — 62% of users are aged 10 to 29 — those numbers have shifted toward older audiences in recent months.

From Entertainment to Money Maker

While the primary purpose of TikTok remains entertainment, it’s no secret that it’s a real money maker. While the increase in spending may in part stem from increased use during pandemic lockdowns and the changing user demographics, the fact remains that Tik Tok has earned more than $450 million on ad sales over the course of the app’s life.

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