What Makes TikTok the Leading Platform?

In the last 3+ years, we have witnessed TikTok taking the world by storm, as its multifaceted services have grown stronger. Whether users are selling products on TikTok Shop, looking for quick and easy dinner party recipes, learning the newest viral dances, or simply keeping up with ongoing trends, TikTok has it all.

But what exactly enables TikTok to be the go-to app for people? Studies have shown that TikTok users are more inclined to use the app’s search engine compared to the likes of Google, Safari, etc. While Google can provide a vast amount of examples and sources for a question, TikTok delivers multiple reviews, answers, and original content (if applicable) instantly, without the need to scroll through numerous articles or websites. Now, whether the information given is correct is a different question, but it will present you with the top-viewed and liked videos surrounding that question. This sourcing method is particularly popular for travel recommendations and restaurant reviews, as it presents experiences in a more personable approach.

Regarding advertising, TikTok is not only fueled by influencers but has also experienced the phenomenon of ‘de-influencing.’ De-influencing is when content creators truthfully review specific products or services they have used and whether they are worth the hype. This trend allows people to appear more genuine, as there is a growing skepticism around what influencers are advertising. The relaxed nature of TikTok, compared to platforms like Instagram, encourages users to be honest about their experiences and opinions. The influencer method may have reached its peak, and society is now more vigilant against deception in advertising.

TikTok Shop

However, with the addition of TikTok Shop, it has taken the influencing/advertising world by storm. In February 2023, it was revealed that over 55% of TikTok users have purchased products from TikTok Shop. The ease and ability for users to see multiple videos of the same product being promoted and purchase it with a simple swipe-up link make the buying cycle significantly shorter.

Although people complain about the negative effects of continuous scrolling that comes with TikTok and its impact on us, it is this exact point that gives TikTok its uniqueness. Before TikTok, there was Instagram, which does involve a lot of scrolling, but eventually, you catch up on all posts from your following if you scroll long enough! With YouTube being the leading video media website/app, there was still the requirement to consciously choose a video to watch. TikTok has merged the scrolling of Instagram, Twitter, etc., with the video aspect of YouTube, creating an ongoing stream of distraction. Since TikTok’s launch, we have seen both Instagram and YouTube introduce similar options, such as ‘reels.’

TikTok’s meteoric rise to dominance in the social media landscape can be attributed to a unique combination of factors. Its addictive and engaging content, powered by an intelligent algorithm, has captivated users around the globe. By empowering creators, nurturing communities, and offering seamless entertainment at users’ fingertips, TikTok has unlocked the secret to becoming the leading platform. As the social media landscape continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to witness how TikTok adapts and continues to reshape the way we consume and engage with content online. So, where do we see TikTok heading in the future? Will it remain one of the leading social platforms, or will it eventually decline like other social platforms whose hype has faded, such as Tumblr, Vine, and now Twitter/X? For now, I feel it’s only the beginning of how this app is taking the world by storm one swipe at a time.


Dannielle Hoban Maguire is the Communications and Training Officer at the esteemed London School of Public Relations, where she brings a strong passion for social media marketing and content creation to her role. With a focus on strategic communication and training, she plays a key role in enhancing the school’s digital presence and engaging with various stakeholders.

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