Launched in 2016, TikTok had already become such a vast social media platform and video-sharing app that took the world of social media by storm. Reaching 1 billion active users in September 2021, its meteoric rise in popularity can be attributed to the various video content people share with the world.
From boomers and millennials to generation X and Z, they found another platform to share their carefree videos meant for amusement, lip-sync and dance challenge videos, and more. Even businesses jumped on the bandwagon to reach their audiences. But people new to the video-sharing app may not know how to save a TikTok without the watermark, how to use filters and effects, and more. In this article, let’s know more about TikTok and its history, how it works, and other things that a beginner will find valuable as they navigate the app for the first time.
The Brief History of TikTok
The video-sharing app started as a Chinese project under the name Douyin, which is what it’s still called in China. The Beijing-based company, ByteDance, which owned the app had visions of it expanding overseas and eventually released the app in the international market in 2017 as TikTok. The app, however, only became available worldwide after merging with Musical.ly.
The latter is another Chinese social media service known as a lip-syncing app. Its features were integrated into TikTok, and the rest as they say is history. Years later, TikTok continued to gain traction worldwide with billions of downloads and videos.
TikTok for Beginners
With a global community composed of millions of creators, it truly is a global social media app that deserves special attention. Like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, it’s another fun and entertaining way of connecting with family, friends, and the world. If you’re new to TikTok, you may be learning your way around this application after downloading it.
1. Account Creation
New users have seven options to create an account. Set up your account using your phone number or email address, or sign up using your Twitter, Facebook, Google, LINE, or KakaoTalk. You will then choose your interests and be given a generic username. To change the username, go to your “Profile” and tap “Edit Profile.” This is where you can also add a brief bio about yourself and change the profile picture. Businesses can also add their website and app store links to provide more info to potential customers.
2. Exploring the “For You” and “Discover” pages
Users who have finished creating accounts will see the app’s FYP or “For You” page. This page shows numerous video content to watch, scroll past, and more. As you engage with these videos, the app’s algorithm learns your likes and dislikes. It will then only begin showing you video content that you like. On the other hand, the Discover page is the magnifying glass icon that you tap to see what’s trending – from videos and creators to hashtags and others.
3. How to Make Videos
Once you’ve explored enough and got inspired by the videos you watched, it’s now time to create your first video. Click the plus (+) symbol at the bottom middle of the screen that will redirect you to the video creation screen. This is where you see various editing elements that you can apply to your video – from sounds and filters to effects and many more.
After you’ve adjusted the speed and added the elements you want, you can start recording by tapping and holding down the large red button showing on the screen. Once you’ve completed the recording and are satisfied with the results, tap the “checkmark” icon, then edit the video by adding stickers, text, and more. This is where you can also adjust the privacy settings, add hashtags and captions, tag friends, and even add URLs. Then proceed with tapping the “Post” button, and your video is now shared on TikTok.
4. Use filters on your videos
Similar to Instagram, you can also use filters in your TikTok videos. To access it, start by creating a video, and on the right side of the screen is where you can see all of the available ‘Filters’ options. Preview these filters by scrolling through the collection until you’ve found what you like for your video.
If by any chance, you forgot to include a filter and already finished recording, you can still add it when you edit your video. Swipe right on the screen and the filter collection will be displayed.
5. Learn how to use the green screen effect on TikTok
The green screen tool is an indispensable feature in the said social media and video-sharing application. Transform your background in an instant with this tool. To use it, create a new video and then proceed with clicking the “Effects” tab on the bottom left side of the screen. You will see a green screen with a downward arrow and a photo icon, which you tap if you want to use a photo as your background.
The green screen with an upward arrow and a video icon, on the other hand, is what you click if you meant to use a video as a background. Hit the record button once you’ve chosen the right background, click the “checkmark” to edit the video, and so on.
6. Show your love for the videos through likes, shares, and more
On the For You page where you will see a bunch of videos, you can show you like it by tapping the heart icon. Tap it again if you’ve mistakenly tapped it once. If you want to share it with family and friends, tap on the Share arrow icon. To view favorite videos, TikTok has made it easy through the “Favorite” tab where you can bookmark and organize videos into categories for later viewing.
Filled with amazing video content, you’re missing a lot if you’re still not on TikTok. You can watch anything you want – from fun and quirky videos to educational and informative ones. And if you’re worried that you’ll find it hard to use, then hopefully this article will help you get started.