TikTok 101: What is it and what are its benefits?

You’ve probably heard of TikTok. Probably so often that you’ve gotten used to it being mentioned everywhere from the news to your family gatherings. You may have even appeared in a few fun family Tik Tok videos!

But what is it, why won’t anyone stop talking about it, and why might it be relevant to you?

What is TikTok?

TikTok is, in a nutshell, a short-form video social media platform. 

It started rising to fame in 2018 when it surpassed Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in downloads. In 2022, it became the most downloaded app in the world. 

TikTok features

Here’s what you can expect to see on TikTok:

  • Short-form videos that you scroll through
  • A ‘For You’ page that is tailored to your preferences
  • The ability to share your own videos
  • The ability to follow certain creators so you will always see their new videos
  • The ability to comment on videos

The TikTok community and trends

TikTok is often the birthplace of new trends, which usually make their way to other social media platforms. This can be anything from a popular coffee order, to a new dance, to a fashion look – there really is no limit. 

As for TikTok’s community, the algorithm is specifically designed to show you videos from content creators you connect with. The more videos you like and comment on, and the more creators you follow, the more personalised your home page feed will be. 

You’ll quickly start to recognise certain creators, and as you follow them and read the comments on their videos, you’ll find communities of people with shared likes and interests.

Why is TikTok so popular?

TikTok became so popular so quickly that it baffled experts. How could such a simple app rise to such rapid acclaim? 

Here are some of the key reasons why TikTok is so popular: 

  • Short video format is easy to digest
  • There’s no shortage of content, so you’ll always be able to find something you connect with
  • Positive social interactions give us a hit of dopamine, and it’s incredibly easy to find these social interactions online
  • The algorithm is designed to show you what you’re into
  • TikTok keeps you up to date with trends
  • There’s always something new to see 

How you can benefit from using TikTok

So, what’s in it for you? The answer is – pretty much anything you want to get out of it. 

Promoting healthy living and exercise

There are huge communities on TikTok dedicated to healthy living and exercise. 

You might find great new healthy recipes to try, different exercise ideas, easy swaps for healthier snacks, motivational quotes and so, so much more. It’s all on there, and there’s enough of it to find content that fits your needs. 

Learning new skills and hobbies

TikTok can be a bit of a rabbit hole. You might sign up, then find yourself entranced two hours later watching endless videos on resin pouring as you become determined to try it for yourself. 

Just seeing all the incredible hobbies out there is inspiring enough, but there are also plenty of videos that will show you exactly how to give them a try. 

Connecting with others and building a community

One of the easiest ways to make a connection with someone is to find something you have in common. So, when TikTok’s algorithm shows you communities full of people with similar interests, it can be much easier to start reaching out to people and chatting about those shared interests. 

You can even start creating your own videos and build a community of your own. 

And of course, it can be a great way to connect with your own friends and family on the platform. 

Tips for enjoying TikTok in a healthy and safe manner

Like anything online, it’s key to remember to follow standard cyber security safety measures on TikTok. 

Managing screen time

According to our Digital Trends Report, over 50s are using digital technology devices 5.3 hours per day, on average. 

Consider downloading a screen time tracking app to keep an eye on how much time you spend on your phone each day.  

Privacy and security considerations

Keep in mind that you need to stay aware while using social media. Don’t click on untrusted links, be wary of new contacts, and if something is too good to be true, it probably is. 

TikTok claims that the most popular scams involve phishing (getting you to volunteer personal information), fake jobs, loan scams, and romance scams. Be sure to stay vigilant and always report suspicious activity. 

If you’re creating your own content, don’t share any personal information. 

While you’re at it

Amongst the many communities on TikTok are creators who talk about finances and insurance. It can be a great resource to learn more about life insurance, or you can always go straight to the source and chat to us