Sunday, May 26News For London

TikTok for everyone during coronavirus quarantine: an explainer

Have you wondered what your family is doing dancing around the house and singing all the time? Here you have your answer: Coronavirus quarantine is driving a global TikTok boom. The app has been named as a fun family bonding activity as it brings people together in a funny way and allows you to share your quarantine with others. It’s one of the most downloaded apps around the world and already holds users of all ages.

Animation by Beatriz Bandeira


TikTok is one of the quickest-growing social media platforms worldwide, with more than 800 million active users. If you want to be more surprised, the TikTok app has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. The app aims to record and publish short videos, which can take from 15 to 60 seconds, with humorous lip-syncing and dances choreographies as the focus.

It is accessible, quick, and straightforward to use. Easy to capture and edit in the same application (also giving us the ability to upload videos from our device): filters, music, texts, etc. Creativity has no limits here. It’s part of the application DNA, to dance and interpret the lyrics of any song, usually very light and fun.

Where did this fever start? The app has gone through several changes during the course of its history. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech company that runs numerous popular social networking apps. The app originated from the acquisition of a lip-sync application called, launched in 2014 and which had already made millions of registered users. ByteDance then bought the app and turned it into the TikTok since November 2017.

In an attempt to stay in tune with the current situation, TikTok is trying to convey a civic message, mainly with the hashtag #happyathome or #LifeAtHome. TikTok also created a page with information about COVID-19 fed with data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which, among other functions, aims to debunk “several myths” related to the virus and provide relevant information.

Animation by Beatriz Bandeira


  • Create a video, after logging in, select the “+” button that is available at the bottom of the application and start recording.
  • Search for videos and touch the second tab. Here, you can see other accounts, videos or search by trending topics.
  • Join the Challenges – whenever you are not sure what to create for TikTok, the right way out is to bet on one of the #challenges; you will find challenges of all kinds, involving dances and new experiences.
  • Learn choreographies with the members of your family or play games of “who is more” with two other members. You’re going to have a good laugh. 
  • TikTok allows you to interact with public profiles. You can support each other, like and comment on videos, and send direct messages to each other.


  • Tiktok downloaded more than Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram
  • The app has already been launched and downloaded in more than 155 different countries, with 75 different languages.
  • Although there is no constant way to make money with TikTok, many influencers make a good profit from the app. Most rely entirely on brands paying for advertising on videos.
  • TikTok also has official offices around the world: Beijing, Berlin, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.
  • Facebook tried its luck by launching the Lasso app to compete, but the monthly downloads are just 1% of the total that TikTok gets.

GIF by Beatriz Bandeira


Now you’re asking yourself, why you would want to use an application for Millennials or just moaning that you don’t know how to dance or sing the most popular songs. 

Today, in a global situation a little chaotic for our eyes, TikTok shows itself as an option to guarantee fun moments, and in a way that others do not: Humanised. While other social networks can be no longer attractive, or fake, or overcrowded, TikTok works today as if a friend was looking at you. This is one of the many secrets of the network. The humanization of TikTok is evident when we see videos of people of all types, sizes, beliefs, and at the same time, we see people going through situations or moments like ours. Mainly, Tiktok is a place to see how others are getting through this unprecedented pandemic, like a window into people’s homes. 

With the more time we all have, it’s also good if you get to know the world of younger generations and more easily try to get inside their minds. Sometimes it’s easier to say that they spend too much time on social media; however, every so often can help them to combat insecurity, anxiety and sadness derived from this unprecedented crisis. You can quickly bond with them as you never did. 

Currently, the trendiest videos on TikTok are from nurses, supermarket staff, builders in their workplaces to demonstrate hope.

TikTok seems to be providing an escape during this distressing time and eventually bringing families together while they’re wedged at home. Most of the examples are big families dancing or playing question games with relatives. Believe me when I say that you can find a lot of new things about them. 

GIF by Beatriz Bandeira


If you are above 60 and do not work with social networks, the possibility of not using TikTok is strong. But like Facebook and Instagram started for the young generations, these apps are now used by older ones. TikTok is beginning to get to you. 

During coronavirus quarantine, many families are staying together at home, creating these videos to engage with their sons and grandsons. Given the social success that it has achieved in the last few months, many families have launched to prove the application.

GIF by Beatriz Bandeira

Illustrattions and GIFs by Beatriz Bandeira