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Video platform How is TikTok going? A guide for beginners!

Real People. Real videos. TikTok is the social network for uploading short mobile phone videos. It all started with Musical.ly. Most of the clips uploaded there in which you - in sync with your favorite song - moved your lips or danced. At the end of 2017, the platform was taken over by the Chinese group Beijing Bytedance Technology and has significantly expanded its portfolio. In order to be able to monetize uploaded music, TikTok brought Modern Sky on board as a partner in February 2018. Since then, TikTok has increased its sales many times over. At the beginning of 2020, the app drove Instagram, WhatsApp and Co. from the top of the worldwide download charts.

TikTok is that easy!

On TikTok, users can upload short videos accompanied by music. The app provides filters with which the uploaded clips can be adjusted and edited. Then they can be shared and rated with others.

Download and set up your profile

The TikTok app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store. If you open the app for the first time, a video appears that explains the functions of TikTok. Under the navigation point "Discover" you can watch the first TikTok videos of other users.

If you decide to become part of the community, you can register via the navigation point "Profile". You can do this with an existing Google, Facebook or Twitter account or with your own account with a name and password. With "Edit profile" you can change a name and profile picture, add biographical information and - very important! - set the account to "private". Otherwise, any TikTok user could see what they post on their profile.

Home: "For you" and "I follow"

Once you have installed the TikTok app, you land on the so-called home page every time you start it. There you can choose between two streams: "For you" and "I'm following". The Tik Toks of the users who are being followed are displayed under "I'm following". Under "For you" you can find TikToks that match your own interests. The longer you are active on TikTok, the more real is the chance that it will really work.

Like, share or follow?

If a TikTok video is so good that you want to show it on your own profile, you can share it with your followers. The function for this is hidden on the right in the navigation bar on the long side: an arrow. There you will also find a heart symbol for likes, or a speech bubble for comments or the opportunity to follow the author of the TikTok. And: There is a function to save the music of a clip so that you can use it later for your own TikToks.

Create your first TikTok

To create a video yourself, first click on the plus symbol in the middle of the menu bar - and a camera view with the round shutter button appears in the middle. Using the menu bar to the left of the camera, you can apply a filter to the clip, change the speed, etc. You can search for suitable music for the video using the note symbol.

When you are finished with your video, you tap on "Stop". Then you have the opportunity to look at it again, edit it if necessary - and finally publish it. It is recommended to give the video at least a title and to provide it with the appropriate #hashtags - and of course to mark the friends. And: You should always think carefully about who should ultimately see the video. All TikTok users, all TikTok followers - or just a selected group of friends.

If you regret the publication, only one thing helps: delete the video. To do this, select the video again, click on the three dots - and away with it.

Again and again in criticism: TikTok - a controversial platform

When it was still called Musical.ly, the TikTok platform was of little interest to adult users. Who wants to see wriggling teenagers in the prime of their puberty - if it's not their own granddaughter? In the meantime, the profile of the platform has changed significantly. Numerous stars now also maintain their own accounts. More interesting.

If only it weren't for the numerous criticisms that TikTok has been subjected to over and over again. On the one hand, there is a platform from China. Do you indirectly support an authoritarian regime by using the app? One thing has been proven in any case: TikTok censors its platform according to economic goals and government guidelines. Videos of the protests in Hong Kong, for example, are hard to find.

"Unpopular" content is not deleted. However, they are assigned in such a way that they cannot be found in other users' feeds. And: What, from our point of view, does not belong in a social network for decency and reasons of piety, is allowed to stay. For example one Anorexia Challenge among minors, which is more than harmful to health and should not be imitated under any circumstances.

Particularly sad: Disabled people are also "punished" by TikTok. People with disabilities, fat people, and homosexual users end up on a "special user" list. Your content is only displayed sporadically and in small amounts. Do you really want to support such a form of discrimination in 2020? Everyone should decide for themselves.