Apps Online Phones

What is TikTok?

Video star: TikTok is the hot video app of the moment

No, it’s not that weird sign language thing the bookmakers do at racecourses. TikTok is having its 15 minutes of fame as the must-have app for kids. So what is it?

TikTok – it’s video, innit

TikTok is a Chinese app that’s used to create short bursts of video – little 15-second packages of heavily filtered fun and nonsense that nobody over the age of 23 would see the appeal of.

TikTok is soaring in the app charts at the moment. In the US, it’s currently bigger than Facebook, Twitter and all the other social networks you’ve actually heard of. And it’s starting to gather momentum over here in the UK, too. 

What’s it being used for? One of its most popular uses is to create lip-sync videos. Tap the music icon at the top of the TikTok recording screen and you can select a short burst of a music track to use as the soundtrack for your video. The music library contains everything from the latest streaming sensations to U2. 

Once you hold down the record button to start your video, the music starts playing in the background, letting you pretend you’re Spandau Ballet appearing on Top of the Pops (you cannot deny I am full of contemporary references). 

You can apply Snapchat-like filters while you’re recording and special effects to your video clips once they’ve been recorded. Here’s a little something I recorded earlier (also embedded below). I am in touch with a good counsellor. 

TikTok isn’t only used for lip-syncing and, thankfully, there are people more creative and less mentally disturbed than me using the app. Things like this guy and his pet dinosaur

Not convinced? No, but your kids probably are… 

Now click here: What is 8D music?


About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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