A one-stop-shop for new music and interesting dance trends, TikTok has thrived during the coronavirus pandemic. Available in over 150 markets worldwide, TikTok was downloaded over 2 million times, between March 16th and 22nd according to Music Business WorldWide, an increase over the previous week’s 1.7 million. According to eMarketer, there has been a 55% increase in average minutes per user from October 2019 to March 2020, showing that users aren’t only signing up for the app, but are regularly using it.

TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, allows users to overlay videos with popular songs or audio, such as speeches or movie scenes.  TikTok videos are quick (less than :60) and highly entertaining, enabling users to easily share these videos with other users.

A large part of TikTok’s recent growth is a combination of users having more time on their hands and the instant fame capabilities this platform offers. The hashtag #coronavirus has over 60.5 billion views, most of which seem to be in an effort to get videos onto the discovery page, known as the “For You Page”.  Timely content about the virus is front and center, specifically showcasing people passing the time to the now infamous, song “Bored in the house and I’m in the house bored.”

Brands are also getting in on the hype and grabbing the attention of a primarily GenZ (41%) audience, ages 16-24 and 56% male. One company willing to try their hand in the TikTok space is Elf Cosmetics “EyesLipsFace.” They developed a campaign that sparked users to show off their makeup talents by following a list of easy steps and showing one’s eyes, lips and face. This campaign was massive, gathering 5.1 billion views across the platform with 3.5 million user generated videos.  Another campaign, #Pink2020 by Victoria’s Secret has over 2.7 billion views to date. Victoria’s Secret started a campaign revisiting the old phrase “New Year, New Me” and challenged users to share their New Year’s resolutions through the lens of “Same Me, Bolder Goals”.

The sports world has also made the jump to TikTok, which has been largely successful due to the lack of live sports. Prominent leagues such as the NFL, NBA and the recently failed XFL have all tackled the app. The XFL shut down services but faired well on TikTok with engaging content such as memes, fan gifs and using the social media director as the objects of content.

The National Basketball Association took TikTok fame to the next level inviting several influencers to the All Star Weekend festivities (pre-pandemic), such as Addison Rae and Charlie and Dixie D’Amelio. NBA players spent their downtime creating TikTok’s with influencers, including the Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull.

Social Media Today reports that people are spending around 20% more-time year over year in apps during the COVID-19 lockdown. With the current environment and the amount of time people are spending on apps and looking for entertainment, TikTok should continue to grow. While a TikTok account may not be the correct approach for all brands, it does provide a new avenue for companies to be even more down to earth than traditional social media platforms. If your brand is trying to reach a GenZ audience, strongly consider how TikTok may fit into your overall strategy. Just remember that in the face-paced world of trendy videos, quality and quantity are almost equally important.