If you’re a teenager (or a parent of one), then you know TikTok is an app for making short music videos on your phone, with tens of millions of users and its own set of bona fide celebrities.
And if you’ve been following this sort of thing for a while, you know that in August 2018 it merged with Musical.ly to become the world’s largest short-form video platform. If none of this sounds familiar, it’s time to get up to speed – because TikTok is quickly becoming one of the definitive apps in global youth culture.
Using just your phone, easily film yourself lip-synching to your favourite tracks, sharing a dance routine, or working up another performance for the latest TikTok trend – just keep it under 60 seconds. Need inspiration? Watch some of the millions of clips already uploaded.
Every video has a background “sound” – pick anything from Top 40 songs to movie quotes to special tracks made especially for the TikTok community (power users often create “challenges”, where others deploy the same background audio to make their own version of a dance or sketch).
From there, start shooting your own video. You film in “segments”, allowing you to pause midway – to break up your video into multiple scenes, say, or to film a portion in slow motion. Then add effects like filters, face masks and earthquake shakes (which add a visible thump to punctuate dance moves) before sending your creation off to your followers.
If you’re more of a lurker than a filmmaker, TikTok makes it easy to find new content. Follow discoveries from the For You page and dish out likes on your favourite videos. Use the hashtags to browse through different challenges, or hop onto a livestream of one of your favourite creators to leave a comment.