For the second part of my article series, I want to discuss how content creation has evolved as well as how this change is something that brands and business owners must pay close attention to.
I hope that you all find value in reading it!
In October 2022, TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance was valued at around $300b. Although unlisted, it continues to grow as one of the world's most valuable private tech companies, and it's plain to see why.
Best known for its short-form video content, Tiktok is a hit among younger audiences and increased tremendously as even people over 30 have started picking it up throughout the pandemic. As we move away from traditional media such as TV and Radio, our attention as audiences become shorter.
Back in the 90s and 2000s, people had to take the time to rent movie DVDs and change the disc midway, nowadays streaming platforms provide movies on demand allowing subscribers to watch a movie with one simple click. This increased accessibility had made it easier to consume more content than ever, which often results in people spending as much time choosing movies than actually watching them.
I'm not going to lie, I've done that myself as well. As people who often follow strict schedules, we want to make sure that the media we consume is worth the time that we invest in it. This dilemma is called decision paralysis and it seeps into many aspects of our daily life, from choosing which flavor of ice cream to go for to which 30-minute #Youtube video you'd watch.
This dilemma is exactly the problem that #TikTok addresses. It's widely documented how social media platforms make use of user data to present content that a person might be more likely to engage with.
#TikTok takes this to another level by having videos autoplay one after the other, eliminating the need for users to choose and making them engage with the content straightaway. Of course, this is not an uncommon practice and we see video services like Netflix and YouTube do this, even blog sites unsubtly direct readers to content that they might like.
So, what's the secret ingredient that makes #Tiktok stand out? It's something that I've already said earlier: short-form video content. The length of an average #Tiktok video only lasts as long as 34 seconds. 34 seconds of direct, immediate value, and then the next piece of content automatically plays.
The structure effectively eliminates the dilemma of wasting time invested in content that isn't worth it. For many people, it's easier to choose a 30-second clip over a 30-minute #Youtube video, which is why it's not uncommon to hear stories of #Tiktokers that have spent hours on the platform without noticing it.
If ByteDance's estimated valuation isn't enough to convince you, then maybe the other companies following their formula will: #YoutubeShorts, #InstagramReels, and the failed #Fleets from #Twitter are all different takes on the Tiktok formula.
Why does all this matter? In an age where media is consumed faster than ever, it's important to create content that attracts your audience and provides immediate value to them. The way that #socialmedia works now is that even if you don't have a million followers, you can still get your post seen by thousands of people who share relevant interests.
It's something that many people and companies are failing to understand. Creating relevant content centered around community building and engaging with existing communities, that's the focus. Building impactful, valuable content comes before amassing followers for your brand. I believe: it's something that many of you will see as a significant game-changer.