Why Are Apps Like TikTok So Popular?

October 22, 2019 | Sakshi Sharma

What is TikTok

TikTok is an app that resembles that of a social media platform. You may also know TikTok by its former name, Musical.ly. This app allows users to showcase their creativity with their followers by uploading short 15 second videos. These videos are often comedic or take the form of a short music video and lip-syncing.

Data on Success

TikTok is a relatively new app that acquired a mass following in 2018. Although it was originally founded in China, by the end of 2018, 40% of its users were located outside of China. Also, at the end of 2018, the app had the most amount of downloads on both the iOS and Android platforms, exceeding those of other more established social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.

According to estimates, revenue-wise, the company has tripled their year over year revenue as the app has grown more in popularity. The reason why TikTok is able to compete with these other companies is that they allow users to be creative with their content, just like the other leading platforms.


TikTok strategically has an audience of 41% 16 to 24-year-olds, which means that their audience is heavily into social media usage throughout the day. Their platform doesn’t just keep the videos within the app, but many of the video creations are shared with other popular social media platforms as well, allowing more users who otherwise would not have heard of TikTok to familiarize themselves with the company name and app.

Competitors to TikTok:

Lasso by Facebook

Facebook quietly released an app called “Lasso” in order to attract its users to staying within their infrastructure more. Like TikTok, the concept of the application is similar in the sense that it is used to craft short-form entertainment videos. Lasso is integrated with the rest of Facebook’s infrastructure to allow for easy TikTok video sharing with users who are already their friends on Facebook. It is perceived that their goal is to retain teenage users since it is reported that only half of teens still use Facebook.


Quibi is an app that delivers short term videos to your phone, where you may view content that is either subscribed or unsubscribed by you. It has a monthly subscription plan for this service. The app developers are also reaching out to Hollywood and television stars to develop short shows that fit in the category of comedy, news, reality shows, documentaries, drama, etc. Quibi’s developers will focus more on delivering relevant content catered to each user in order to retain their paying customer base.


MadLipz is another competitor to TikTok. This app is more centered around musical creativity and allows the user to make instant voiceover and subtitle parodies to send to your friends. Within the app, there are social-media like features that allow you to message other users and check out other profiles as well. The app seems to be marketed towards teens, urging users to express their creative side to gain popularity and become the next meme-maker.


VMate, like TikTok, started out in another country and found themselves also gaining users in the Western markets. VMate is a short video making an app that offers thousands of sticks and songs for users to use in their videos or create lip syncs over. Right now, this app is considered to be India’s top free video maker app. They also have a daily feature that entices users to log in and receive free gifts within the app.


Even a “young” company just like TikTok has the ability to surpass other well established social media networks that are being used today. TikTok quickly gained popularity by allowing users to essentially advertise the company on their behalf with creative content that went viral.

All it takes is a great idea to get started on your next multimillion-dollar business. Do you have an idea for a new creative social media platform? Reach out to us at SDI! We pride ourselves on providing a personalized process with our clients through all stages of app development and success.

SDI is an established firm that has worked with prominent clients such as Pepsi, Benefit Cosmetics, and Marvell. We have expert team members who are well equipped to execute ideas and handle tasks of all magnitudes. Don’t hesitate to call us at +1.408.621.8481 or email us at team@sdi.la and we will execute a non-disclosure agreement to protect your great idea and a free consultation.

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