How To Change Location or Region in TikTok
One of the newer, more popular social networks online today—especially among younger users—is TikTok, the video-based social network that allows users to create and broadcast short video clips ranging from 15 seconds to a full minute to their fans and followers, racking up an audience as they publish to the platform. Since merging with former (and quite similar) social network Musical.ly, TikTok has become incredibly popular, surpassing apps like Facebook and Instagram in terms of total monthly downloads in 2018. This popularity is, in large part, thanks to the teenagers and twenty-somethings have been attracted to the site thanks to its younger demographic, the ability to create content based around or set to popular media (including music, stand-up, television clips, and more), and the service’s replacement as a video-sharing network that exists in the void created by the death of Vine.
Of course, if you want to get a look at how various other regions use TikTok, you’ll need to change your location. Let’s take a look at how to change your region in TikTok.
Music.ly was a music video app mainly for teenagers that let you record and upload lip sync videos or short music videos like Vine used to. There were millions of videos uploaded covering everything from original short songs to kids lip syncing to Lady Gaga. It was amusing if you like that kind of thing and used to count its users in the hundreds of millions. The app was then bought by ByteDance and replaced with TikTok last summer. TikTok is still all about the short video but less about the music aspect. You will still see cringy lip sync videos but you will also see all sorts of other stuff too.
What makes TikTok so popular? Firstly, a huge Chinese user base. Second, a huge marketing campaign that placed ads wherever the target demographic hang out. Thirdly, the app is actually pretty good. It has a bunch of video editing tools, filters that work like those in Snapchat, a social media-lite feature set and a massive selection of videos to watch.
The videos are limited to around 15 seconds and seem to be about anything. It’s mainly for kids but there are adults recording videos too. Some are creepy, others are just dumb but some are genuinely entertaining. There seems to be no end game with them, just people recording stuff because they want to and because it’s fun. At the end of the day, that’s what apps should be, fun.
As always, there has been a lot of criticism of the app too. It seems to have no age control so there are lots of videos of young kids doing things young kids really shouldn’t do. Then there is a seeming lack of moderation. TikTok users of different persuasions or niche interested get trolled a lot and it seems some people make accounts just for trolling. TikTok seems more Wild West than most social networks so if you’re planning to use it, let the buyer beware!
Change location or region in TikTok
Despite being global, TikTok seems to want to limit what you see to a degree and who sees you by region. That’s fine if your region has lots of users or users you want to watch your video. If you don’t, changing region is actually very difficult. Usually when someone wants to appear from a different country we suggest using a VPN. That doesn’t seem to work with TikTok. It seems to use your SIM region code to decide what you see. So far, the only way to change location in TikTok is to buy a SIM from a different region and use it in your phone.
The reality of doing that is simple enough if you use eBay. Just buy a SIM card from the region you want to appeal to and use it in your phone when you want to use TikTok. It’s a hassle unless you have a dual SIM phone but is achievable if you really want to go it.
It’s a shame that TikTok is limited in this way. You used to be able to change your region in Music.ly from the Settings menu. You cannot do that in TikTok.
A potential workaround
While I haven’t tried it, you may be able to work around region restrictions by using an emulator. Something like Bluestacks for Android. Install it onto your PC, install TikTok into Bluestacks and try from there. While I haven’t tried it myself, you control exactly how Bluestacks is configured and it doesn’t use a SIM but your IP address for location. Here you could definitely use a VPN to appear in different countries.
Bluestacks costs a little money but is useful for much more than just TikTok. It’s a legit Android emulator for PC that you can play games on, test apps on and a whole lot more. You don’t have to use Bluestacks either as there are other emulators available.
Have you tried TikTok? Like it? Love it? Know how to change your region in the app without changing SIM or using Bluestacks? Tell us about your experience below!