TikTok is a destination for creating and discovering real, interesting, and fun short-form mobile videos, is the world’s fastest growing video platform. Here, TikTok’s Bi Kan, Head of SEA Revenue Partnerships, talks us through the company’s action-packed journey so far.

TikTok has become one of the world’s most downloaded apps in a very short space of time. What’s driven its popularity?

Since its launch, TikTok has received an overwhelming response in South East Asia. TikTok’s strength lies in enabling users to showcase their talents in front of a global audience. TikTok offers users a window to the world with its intelligent discovery process, making it easy to find and enjoy content that users find entertaining. As users enjoy and interact with videos, their feeds become more relevant and tailored to their individual preferences.

TikTok has not only grown as a community but has also become an important platform for users to showcase their creativity and talent. We look forward to sustaining the momentum in 2020 by creating an even better in-app experience for our users, along with a diverse array of localised partnerships and campaigns.

TikTok is using short form video exclusively. Was this always the intention and how has this shaped the way users create?

Yes, developing a short video content platform has been the goal from the start. As the world embraces the smartphone era, bringing about shorter attention spans and a change in behavior of creating and consuming content, TikTok has become the preferred platform for creative expression, given its lowered boundaries for sharing, creating, discovering — all made easy on mobile.

According to a recent YouGov study commissioned by TikTok, photo/illustrations (63%), short-form video (51%) and music (44%) are the top three content formats preferred by South East Asian creators. All three are elements inherent to TikTok, making it the standout platform for marketers to engage digital native audiences.

Why do you think the younger generation in particular is turning to TikTok as their social platform of choice?

Today’s generation of consumers craves authentic, frank, engaging forms of entertainment. TikTok offers an entertaining window into a world of relatable, spontaneous, joyful, and diverse everyday moments you might not encounter otherwise. TikTok also gives rise to interactive trends and creative memes that encourage everyone to participate, and its supportive, creative atmosphere lets users become part of a global community.

What kind of innovative video content are creators sharing on TikTok and what are some of the most recent popular trends you are seeing? 

There is a growing interest amongst users in content verticals such as food and comedy, and we’re seeing creators increasingly incorporating video features like transitions, interactive filters and stickers, as well as music and sounds to make their videos stand out.

In addition to being the place for many firsts like Lil Nas X’s smash hit “Old Town Road,” Popular Korean all-girl group, BlackPink’s Kill This Love premiere, Guinness World Records announcement that BTS, worldwide favourite Korean boy band, claiming the record for fastest time to reach one million followers on TikTok, phenomenon like the microwave challenge, the git up challenge and of course, “the woah” have all been trending.

Lil Nas X at TikTok headquartersLil Nas X at TikTok headquarters (photo courtesy of TikTok)

How are creators using TikTok to build and monetise their businesses?

Savvy TikTok creators can earn recognition in many ways, such as getting featured in the app’s feeds or through various in-app contests, and being talent-scouted by brands for campaigns or hashtag challenges.

What are some of the top in-app features of TikTok that keep users engaged?

TikTok is powered by its truly innovative features. TikTok’s integrated editing tools allow users to easily trim, cut, merge and duplicate video clips without leaving the app. Additionally, there is a wide variety of music, filters, effects, and AR objects to take videos to the next level.

Also, what keeps users engaged is the content that is very relevant to their local cultures and trends. We have a robust localisation strategy and our community teams are tuned in to ensure TikTok provides the best community support for creativity and discovery for our local users. Moreover, TikTok hosts interactive challenges and trending topics that anyone can participate in. Challenges give users a feeling of being a part of the TikTok community, enabling them to find common ground while expressing their differences.

We also have built-in features like restricted viewing mode and in-app reporting to remove inappropriate content and terminate accounts that violate our Terms of Service. These tools, alongside policies such as our Community Guidelines, help people understand how to use the platform in a positive and appropriate way.

In what ways are we seeing machine learning optimising digital experiences for users on TikTok?

TikTok has an intelligent discovery process that makes it easy to find and enjoy content that users find entertaining. As users enjoy and interact with videos, their feeds become more relevant and tailored to their individual preferences even as they uncover videos that constantly surprise and delight.

Meet the TikTok team at VidCon Asia Summit, where they’re hosting a platform deep-dive for companies and creators. Your VidCon Asia Summit ticket gives you full access, so book yours today!