How to use TikTok: basic guide to handle the fashionable ‘app’
TikTok went unnoticed by the vast majority until the coronavirus quarantine arrived. Confinement has meant that the app that was successful among young people, or rather among adolescents, has suddenly landed on the mobile phones of all audiences. It no longer distinguishes age and that is especially noticeable among celebrities. Just as Rosalía uses it, which premiered in January, Jane Fonda uses it, who opened it last weekend with an aerobics session. It could not be otherwise.
In the Apple Store it ranks second in the list of most downloaded free applications, and in Google Play it ranks third in the general ranking. Google searches have been increasing as the quarantine days have passed. They look for what it is, they look for what it is for and, above all, they look for how it works.
What is TikTok and when did it become fashionable?
TikTok is yet another social network. The difference with the rest —Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn— is that it is a video social network. Of course, very short videos, from 15 seconds to 1 minute. Nothing more.
It has existed since 2016 but its first golden age in Spain came in August 2018 when TikTok bought the app for teenagers Musical.ly and absorbed all its users, who migrated directly to this app . It was the first boom , the second came in the last quarter of 2019 and since then it has not stopped growing. In February 2020 alone, 113 million downloads have been made, a quarter of those made during the entire previous year , according to the specialized website Sensor Tower .
What is it for
Basically to make short and mostly funny videos. Although there is a bit of everything. It’s like some kind of variety show. A mixed bag where you find jokes, memes, montages, cooking tutorials, musical performances and even claims. Of everything and almost everything from humor. Made to entertain and viralize.
How to create a profile and how to interact with people
TikTok is a social network and follows the same dynamics as the rest. Everything is very intuitive.
- Once the application is downloaded, the user is created. Here you have the option to link your account to your Facebook, Google, Instagram or Twitter profile, or start from scratch by adding an email and mobile phone.
- From there you can follow people. In Start you have suggestions For you and in Trends you can see what is being talked about or search directly for people by name.
- If you like a video of another you can give the Like (heart), make a comment (sandwich), share it through another social network (Compartir/S hare ) or search for videos with the same music by clicking on the disk icon (part lower right). The first icon in the column (TikTok) takes you directly to the profile of the author of that post.
how the videos are made
This is the essence of TikTok and, unless you want to gossip, the main reason to open an account.
To record a video you have to go to the central button of the lower bar (the one with the plus symbol). Once inside the camera you can choose if you want a recording with the rear or front camera. You just have to hit Rotate in the upper right to change it.
But grace is not recording; it’s all you can do with the video , both before, during and after the recording.
Before clicking on the red button, you have several options in the upper right margin to choose how you want the recording.
- Speed: normal, fast or slow motion.
- Beautify, to improve your face with makeup or small changes to the nose, eyes, lips, etc.
The button below (Time) is a timer that starts a countdown so you can leave the camera in a fixed point and record from afar.
- Filters, similar to those in Snatchap or Instagram Stories, are added to the Effects button at the bottom left. On the right there is a button to go to the gallery and add videos that you already have recorded.
The best thing is the music or dialogues that can be added to the videos with which to make montages. They are found by clicking on the upper part ( Sounds ), where there is an infinite gallery of audios. All are integrated to be able to use them directly.
Finding the one you want takes a while so there is a Favorite option so you can save them in a folder and find them easier next time.
The thing is that the audio (song or dialogue) starts playing once you hit the red button, so the recording can be done by directly interacting with that sound.
Those effects are not always added before, you can also improve the video afterwards by changing the sound or adding emojis or text.
If, for example, you want some butterflies to roam the screen you have to hit Effects-Visual (bottom), to make the sound louder you have to go to Volume (top right) and the emojis or GIFs are in Stickers . It’s all a matter of messing around. Trial-error, trial-error, trial-error.
Click on Next and you reach the final option: Publish (to share with your contacts) or save in Drafts.
Why save a video in drafts?
Videos don’t have to be done all at once, montages can be made changing clothes, scenery, protagonists… That’s where Save to Drafts comes into play . As long as a video does not reach 60 seconds, you can add fragments, that same day, the next or even a week later. You leave it in drafts and you’ll get it back.
To recover a video and continue manipulating it, you only have to go to Drafts within your profile, click on the video and hit Back. There you can go to the screen to add filters after the recording or to Continue recording, in the upper right, to go to the camera and continue adding recordings.
The last thing would be to publish and share with your contacts. As in other networks, you can tag other people or add hashtags .
How to do transitions and other tricks
In the transitions from one recording to another where your level in TikTok is noticeable. The more natural the jump from one video to another, the better.
YouTube is full of tutorials that teach you how to use TikTok like these two, which will help you go to user level 1 in a matter of minutes.
one last tip
This is a matter of practice. As you use it, you will find more filters, more sounds or more stickers and you will come up with more and better ideas. Because on TikTok, originality and time are two values to keep in min