This social video platform allows users to shoot, edit, and share 15-second videos complete with music and sound. The entire process, from filming to sharing, is self-contained in the TikTok app. Users can select from a variety of background music and comical sound effects to post attractive videos singlehandedly. Its ease of use has made it especially popular among teens, giving rise to a type of influencer known as a “TikToker.” The app is not only popular among the public at large: celebrities and artists also have official accounts, and there are any number of corporate collaborations. At present, the main trend is to imitate popular clips in which users dance and/or lip-sync to music, adding various effects or camerawork for a touch of originality. TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide in the first half of 2018, with a fan community that spans the globe.
A few years ago, we moved from an age in which words and photos on a blog took several months to become globally widespread into an era where Twitter and Facebook can reach a worldwide audience within 24 hours. Instagram’s debut shaped that concept—and even contributed to our language. Even though it has been said that video media has been slow to catch on, TikTok’s debut symbolizes the age of social network diversity and has undoubtedly created an era of user choice. Video editing is not easy, but it is remarkable progress that this well thought-out interface provides a tool for users of all cultures and languages to express their individuality, their creativity, and how entertaining they are. The multifaceted video platform TikTok has truly revolutionized the world of media entertainment. (SAITO Seiichi)