Know the full story of tik tok and its business model

Basic Information about Tik-Tok

Before getting deeper about this revolutionary app it is worth knowing all the basic details. I will be sharing with you about tik tok in this subheading. It is interesting to note that before tik tok, it was “Douyin” which came into existence in China. Or you can say that before getting named as tik tok this app was known to be Douyin. And it is used still as Douyin in China, but for the remaining world, it is tik tok.

It is developed by a Chinese company Bytedance and was initially released in September 2016. Tik Tok is developed for both the platforms that is for ios and androids. It was launched in 2017, it’s size is 308.3 MB (for ios version) and 80.19 MB (for Android version).

Initially, Tik tok was available in 33 languages. Tik-Tok is available free on google play store and Apple store but now it is available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages.

Basically, this is an ios and android media app that allows a user to create short music videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. Its servers are based in countries where the app is available.

Development and features

Tik-tok came into existence in the year 2017 and was created by bytedance for the markets other than China. Douyin which is the parent app of Tik Tok was developed in 200 days and in a time span of less than a year,

It has got a hundred million users with approximately more than 1 billion videos viewed every day.

Merging with

On 9 November 2017 bytedance spend Dollar 1 billion to buy, a startup based in Shanghai with an office in Santa Monica, California. was a popular social media platform targeting the US teenage market.

Tik Tok merged with on 2nd August 2018 to create a larger video community. All existing data and accounts migrated and summed up in one app keeping the title Tik Tok.

Important Features

Now if we talk about the features of Tik-tok here’s what I found after research.

This app allows users to create a short video of themselves with some interesting features like music in the background. Video can be sped up or slowed down or edited. There is a wide variety of music genres from which users can choose background music to act upon it. Videos also can be treated with filters, the speed can also be adjusted to create a 15-second video.

“React” feature of the Tiktok app allows an individual to record their reaction to a specific video over which it is placed in a small window. This window is movable around the screen.

“Duet” feature allows the user to film a video beside another video.
Accounts can be made private. The video content of private accounts remains visible to Tik-Tok and only to the users who are authorized by the account holder.

The account holder can also choose who can interact with him via message, comments, or “React”, or by making duet videos.
Tik-tok has got artificial intelligence to analyze interest and preferences of users through their interaction with content. In this way, the app displays personalized content feed to each user.

The success journey of tik tok

Douyin launched in Chinese Market by bytedance in September 2016. One year later in 2017 Tik-Tok was launched in countries other than China. It became leading short video platforms in the United States, Asia, and other parts of the world. Now Tik Tok supports 75 languages and is available in over 150 markets all over the world.

During the first half of 2018, it was downloaded more than 104 million times on the Apple App Store. In accordance with the data provided to CNBC by sensor tower, it left Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram behind to become the world’s most downloaded iOS app for that time period. On 23rd January 2018, the Tiktok app ranked one among five free mobile apps downloads on app stores in Thailand and other countries. In October 2018 Tik Tok become the most downloaded app in the US.

In February 2019 Tik-Tok together with duoyin hit 1 billion downloads Globally excluding Android installs in China.

Tik-Tok has been downloaded about 80 million times in the United States alone. It has 800 million downloads worldwide excluding Android users in China (data from mobile research form sensor tower).

Business Model Of Tik-Tok

Now if we know all this information about the rate of growth of tik tok, we naturally wish to know what is the business model of tik tok. How it is making money. Tik tok does make money for its developers and also offers a handsome amount to its content creators. Tik tok is a free app on the app store. Most of the free apps make money through Google Adsense but this is not the case with the tik tok. Now, let’s know how tik tok earns money.

how tik-tok earns money

Tik tok earns money via in-app purchases. Now let’s understand this entire process of making money through an example,

let’s suppose “A” is a content creator (a user who posts his videos over tik tok ) and you are the content viewer. The content posted by A seems interesting to you and you become his fan.

Now to get some special attention from A, you will gift him stickers and coins. These stickers and coins need to be purchased by you by spending your money. These stickers and coins can be converted back into money by A. A part of this money goes to tik tok and another one goes to “A”.

Another way of making money that is used currently by tik tok is through campaigning. Tik tok tie-up with the companies and start a campaign to promote their product. Movie producers also collaborate with tik-tok due to its user base for the promotion of their movie.

Examples of tik tok campaigns are:

  • zero challenge on tik tok
  • Share and win (honor mobiles) etc.

Other possible monetizations

Another way that can be used to monetize tik tok is by connecting it with Google Adsense. Due to its vast user base, it can be used to advertise different products and can earn a huge amount of money. But till now it has not been connected to Google Adsense.

Reason behind success

After observing statistics related to the popularity of tik tok, it is obviously getting interested in the probable reason behind the success of tik tok.

  • One of the main reasons behind its success is its targeted audience in teens who are having enough time to show their creativity by making videos.
  • Tik-tok has given a single platform for both content creators and content viewers. Here both can interact with each other via comments, react feature, duet feature, etc.
  • Videos are of very short length 3 to 15 seconds that’s why viewers don’t get bored. The user interface of the app is quite good that’s why it is still getting popular.
  • Creating content is very economic on apps like tik tok you just need to have a smartphone only to be a content creator and content viewer.
  • Another considerable reason behind the success of tik tok is you don’t need to get any special knowledge or skill and content is pretty humorous and is fun to create and to view also.

So these are the probable reasons that made tik-tok a successful startup.


In the concluding texts, I want to state that this post is created to give you an idea about the success of tik tok and to increase your knowledge about these kinds of startups. I will advise here not to waste your valuable time instead of that you should invest your time and knowledge to build your future.

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