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How To Use Tik Tok

Posted by Jamie on February 28, 2019

If you’re new to the app or have kids who live on it, this tutorial will show you how to use Tik Tok and offer a high level overview of what goes on there.

Tik Tok can be difficult to describe to anyone over the age of eighteen. It is part Musica.ly with its lip syncing videos, part Snapchat with its filters and chat and part something else entirely. Aimed squarely at teenagers, it’s a social network full of short videos that seemingly came out of nowhere to take over the phones of anyone of a certain age.

The app didn’t come out of nowhere though. It came from China. It is huge there and translated across to the west to become equally popular here too. Tik Tok is so popular that Snapchat and Facebook have named it a direct competitor and has taken the top spot in the Apple App Store download charts for a few months now.

Setting up Tik Tok

As Tik Tok is a mobile app, you need to download it onto your phone from your relevant app store and install it. Then you will need to set up an account and then you can get started.

  1. Download Tik Tok from the App Store or the Google Play Store and install it.
  2. Set up your account by following the wizard.
  3. Start browsing the app.

That’s it. You’re in and can now start enjoying the social network.

Using Tik Tok

Once you log in, you should see the ‘For You’ feed which lists the most popular videos right now. Select one to watch and like it if you want, to show your appreciation. If you play a video, it will loop until you stop it or choose another.

If you want to have a look around, hit the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen to search. You can search by trending hashtags, most popular user, hot songs or video. Select a video to begin playing it.

If you like the video, you have the option to like with the heart icon on the right or add a comment with the speech bubble. If the user has a number of videos you like, you can follow them by selecting their name and add them to your feed.

Tik Tok uses your likes and follows to build up a profile of what you like watching and what you don’t and will tune your For You feed accordingly. Once you have been using Tik Tok for a bit and have liked a few videos, you will see a Following tab at the top of the main screen which will feature videos from the people who made the videos you liked. It’s a shortcut to content that you may or may not want to use.

Uploading your own video to Tik Tok

Browsing and consuming media is only a tiny part of Tik Tok. It’s real strength lies in helping you create your own video, perform some basic editing and then uploading it to the site. It isn’t compulsory of course, but you’re missing out if you’re not contributing.

Tik Tok is all about the short video. Fifteen seconds of fame wrapped up in a social bundle. As you would hope, Tik Tok makes it super easy to create your own content to add to the network. If you have used Snapchat or Instagram, the process isn’t that different.

Here are the basics of adding your own video to Tik Tok.

  1. Prepare yourself, the setting, the song or sketch and get everything ready beforehand.
  2. Rehearse what you’re going to do until it’s perfect.
  3. Open Tik Tok on your phone and hit the ‘+’ at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Select any audio you want to add by select ‘Add a Sound’ at the top.
  5. Press record when you’re ready.
  6. Press record again to stop if it doesn’t stop automatically.
  7. Add any effects, text or edits to your video in the next screen and select Next when done.
  8. Select any friends you want to tag and select Next.
  9. Select Post when you’re ready to publish.

The main thing to remember when shooting a video for Tik Tok is that more time is spent on the things you don’t see than the things you do. Preparation and rehearsal is key. It could take an hour to get your 15 second performance just right and several takes before you’re happy. That’s okay and something most people on Tik Tok accept as normal.

Hopefully now Tik Tok isn’t as bewildering as it once was and you have the basics of how the network works and how to contribute. The rest is down to experimentation, trial and error. Good luck with it!

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