Examples of TikTok
Where does TikTok come from?
TikTok is a social app that allows users to make short videos. Users can add filters, text, sounds, and music, from which it is especially popular to make creative, lip-synched music videos. Users scroll through a newsfeed, react to content, and navigate with hashtags.
The app was launched in 2016 in China, where it’s called Douyin. It went international in 2017 as TikTok; the name, apparently, is a play on tick-tock, onomatopoeia for clocks and a term for countdowns and minute-by-minute action. In 2017–18, TikTok bought and merged with competitor, musical.ly.
In 2018–19, TikTok came into prominence with a video trend where people transform into cowboys and cowgirls while lip-synching and dancing to Lil NaS X’s “Old Town Road.” The trend, sometimes called the #YeehawChallenge or Yee-Yee Juice Challenge, helped make the country-rap track “Old Town Road” a smash hit.
Who uses TikTok?
The term TikTok, of course, is commonly used in popular discussions (or explanations) of the app as well as among its users. The app is noted for its explosive growth and popularity, especially among younger people. It has been downloaded over 1 billion times and boasts over 500 million users.
The soundtrack to this TikTok is just repetitive enough that I’ve found it great to work to and have had it on loop for 15 min in my pod pic.twitter.com/hKO3Igp6yX
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) May 3, 2019
70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, now! We’ll wait through your phases but we wanna see yours too. Join our challenge on TikTok and show us your fave dance era! Tag us using the hashtag #PHASESCHALLENGE pic.twitter.com/Nd5C2Tt7QN
— PRETTYMUCH (@PRETTYMUCH) May 3, 2019
TikTok has created a platform for comedians and influencers, many of whom seek to monetize their content there. As with much of new technology, especially tech that is popular with younger people, TikTok has its curmudgeons and critics—and plenty of cringeworthy moments too.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of TikTok like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of TikTok that will help our users expand their word mastery.