2019 was undeniably the year of TikTok. The app celebrated its first birthday last year and brought with it an estimated 188 million downloads, up 70% from the first quarter of 2018. It’s fair to say that TikTok is a ludicrously popular app, and it’s not hard to see why. Its emphasis on short-form video content provides a great platform for content creators and goes some way towards filling the hole left by Vine. We want to explain how far TikTok has come and what it has planned for 2020. Here are just some of the things we think 2020 holds for everyone’s favorite social media platform.
With TikTok’s meteoric rise to fame, the app is only likely to continue growing into next year. As of November 2019, downloads were 6% stronger than they were in the same time period the year before. TikTok is surging in popularity, so we’re expecting to see that trend continue into 2020 with even more downloads and more widespread adoption. TikTok’s ascendancy has been swift and all-consuming, so don’t expect to see it slow down any time soon. There may be other apps that rise to meet it (more on which later), but for now, TikTok’s crown is secure.
Widespread advertising adoption
As it stands right now, there aren’t a huge amount of advertisers and marketers unlocking the full potential of TikTok as a tool. We expect that will change in 2020; the platform’s quick rise means many haven’t spotted what can be done with it yet. With that in mind, expect to see lots more marketing firms and social media marketers jumping on the TikTok train. There’s a good reason for this; in 2020, TikTok will replace its ad model with one that doesn’t require any advertisers to go through the TikTok sales team to advertise.
Competition growing more fierce
Whenever a platform becomes as popular and successful as TikTok has, you can bet that competitors will start to appear. That crown must look pretty enticing to anybody who’s seen TikTok’s meteoric rise, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see many pretenders rising. Established companies like Facebook and Twitter may try to introduce their own alternatives to TikTok. Those alternatives will likely integrate with those existing platforms, making them more appealing to the existing user bases. Either way, we’re thinking TikTok needs to watch the throne in 2020.
Mass creator exodus
Right now, platforms like YouTube and Twitch are still massively popular in terms of content creation. Still, with YouTube dropping slightly in popularity last year, there’s room for another platform to sweep the board and entice content creators to its side. We’re betting that TikTok will introduce new content creation tools that will draw creators away from YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and other creative platforms. This could include incentives to set up accounts, networking tools for creators, and other incentives. Expect to see TikTok grab the content creation crown in 2020.
Increased transparency for marketers
One of the complaints leveled at TikTok is that it doesn’t offer great transparency for its marketers. It’s not currently possible to track conversions or understand exactly how advertising spending is affecting marketing campaigns, so this is something TikTok will likely want to look at in the future. Bringing in more marketing and advertising cash means TikTok will grow exponentially, so they’ll want to improve their marketing system and algorithms. Since we’re expecting to see marketing budgets and focus increase on TikTok, expect TikTok’s response to match.
Even though trends tend to rise and fall, there’s every indication that TikTok challenges are here to stay. We think that in 2020, we’re going to see lots more of these audience participation-style videos appearing on TikTok. Challenges are an easy way to shore up lots of views in a short space of time; they’re quick, easy to make, and they invite participation on the part of a creator’s viewers. Though some TikTok challenges have garnered a reputation for being a little dangerous, the format itself is great fun and we hope it sticks around.
Increased emphasis on mental health
There’s a lot of discussions right now surrounding how mental health can be negatively impacted by social media. The TikTok community has garnered a lot of acclaim for being a positive place for everyone; it’s inclusive, easy to get into, and has content for everyone. Still, we think TikTok will do even more to support its users’ mental health journeys in 2020. The overall conversation surrounding mental health is only likely to deepen as we learn more about what causes certain problems, and it’s definitely true that social media will have a role to play in that discussion.
More behind-the-scenes content
On a lighter note, expect 2020 to bring lots more behind-the-scenes content. Your favorite content creators have a process, and bringing that process into the light is part of the joy for followers. Whether the behind-the-scenes content takes the form of seeing how influencers craft their content or examining the life of an ordinary person for a marketing campaign, we think there will be lots more of this. TikTok is good at humanizing its subjects, and nowhere is that more apparent than in behind-the-scenes footage and how-did-they-make-that examinations.