From the perspective of teens, TikTok is a major new outlet for self-expression – a proud home to the silly, the loud and the weird. The emerging social-media powerhouse lets users create and share short videos, many no longer than 15 seconds. That’s where the Gen Z party is and where they all hang out.
People have downloaded TikTok 1.7 billion times, the analysis firm Sensor Tower estimates. In 2019, it was the second-most downloaded app in the Apple and Google app stores, trailing only WhatsApp. Research firm eMarketer estimates that TikTok roughly doubled its US user base to 37 million in 2019.
To many users, what’s special is TikTok’s goofiness and sense of genuine fun.
To use, just download the app and start swiping through videos. You don’t have to friend anyone or search for anything to watch. If you don’t go looking for it, you might not ever come across angry political discussions, much less envy-generating vacation shots from friends.