TikTok is a unique social media platform that reminds us that an unremarkable classmate, who after another summer, has become a young handsome boy who’s rapidly gaining popularity among his friends. TikTok has singled out the Vine format from YouTube and transformed it into a new form of social media. Currently, there’s no obstacle to gaining subscribers on TikTok. Our editor-in-chief had an opportunity to talk with a guy who’s a TikTok blogger with over 170k subscribers; a number increasing day by day. @turlakov (Все про Tik Tok) told his story of growing into a TikTok blogger, plus he revealed his life hacks for beginners and predictions for TikTok on the way to world domination.

The saying goes that TikTok is the Instagram of 2013. Why?

I’ve noticed one interesting thing – everybody knows what TikTok is; children, teenagers, adults, haters, bloggers, and even those who aren’t interested in it. However, TikTok is still underrated. People also reckon that it was founded for children. My foot! Refresh your memory and think about the Instagram from 2013 – everybody had this stereotypical thought that it was only for girls. Novelty and misinformation force people to be careful with something new and fragile. But with time, people will see that TikTok isn’t only about fun videos but also about money-making.

When do you think people will understand that the frontier between filming videos and making money is crushed?

The TikTok is like a shot from a gun and gaining an audience very fast. Two years on TikTok is equal to nine years on Instagram. To my mind, 2022 will be the point when people start paying cash to specialists, analysts, and marketers to promote their profile. The algorithms in TikTok are changing every day and, even now, engineers are sitting and developing them. To my mind, the situation is changing even as we speak.

Where do you reckon Instagram will be in two years?

That’s a tough question because everything depends on Facebook. In 2017, Facebook made an attempt to buy TikTok, but the aim to overpower it was too ambitious. Probably, actions will take the form of copyright, the same thing that happened to Snapchat which has brought filters and AR to the world, and Instagram will manage to create a project which will be close to TikTok.

What is the unique feature that TikTok has a social platform?

The TikTok video feed is divided into two parts: recommendations and subscriptions. Recommended videos cover all kinds of information, it’s the cherry on the cake – what everyone comes for – and nobody follows their subscriptions. Your TikTok feed offers you a chance to discover all kinds of entertainment. Moreover, the platform isn’t only about dancing people, but also about knowledge sharing. I’ve learned a lot for myself. I know what trends are happening around the world and what content people like. For example, my wife used to spend her spare time on Instagram, and when she sends me a video in direct messages, I can confidently state that I’ve seen it in TikTok about a year ago. As a result, I can highlight two purposes of the platform:

  1. TikTok is a trend generator
  2. TikTok is open to everybody

A regular user can obtain a million views in a very short period of time. Thanks to TikTok, we can become a witness to how amateur video filming is getting a second life and how it’s breaking down barriers between separate video genres.

Where do you see TikTok in 5 years?

Probably the spark will fade away. TikTok might lose its identity when all the marketers establish their work and figure out how to sell goods there. I’m afraid it could become more commercial and have less soul. Maybe in five years, some other social platform overshadows TikTok and will become the next trending app. It’s logical because a great fall follows a great rise.

Do you think TikTok can have influence for businesses right now?

I like the question because I’m a witness to such a phenomenon. I’m a freestyle world medalist and the owner of a soccer club; that’s why I work with children almost every day. When my debut video gained 3.7m views, I’d not told anybody about it. Later that day, I had a training session with children and they met me with a spark in their eyes, showing me my video. Since then the number of training sessions has increased and lots of children want to train with me because I am a blogger. 

My friend is another example of users getting huge numbers. He is a video editor and thanks to TikTok he’s attracted 60,000 subscribers to his Telegram channel without paying a penny.

Let’s imagine that we haven’t got any analytical sources, what’s the average age of the TikTok audience?

I won’t persuade anyone, but the main audience of TikTok are children. Every 14- to 20-year old has a profile on there and then the activity of users on the platform decreases depending on age. Once, I was a participant at a business conference, I’d been speculating about the role of TikTok, and then I asked anyone to raise a hand who’d already registered there. Almost every soul in the hall raised their hand. However, I can say that they’re passive users with the aim only to watch videos. Specifically, this is the reason why I think that soon marketers will expand their influence to TikTok.

Do you have any advice on how not to lose your profile on TikTok?

The paradox is that it’s extremely easy to become popular on TikTok but also to lose all your stats even easier. The platform is experiencing the so-called social valve collapse because the numbers of the audience is growing faster than the content  updates and users don’t have time to keep in touch with them. Due to incomplete algorithms, you can get a shadowban effortlessly. You can’t frequently delete videos. Before my video achieved 3.7m views, I used to download it and remove, because it hadn’t got enough views, I had the feeling that it could accomplish even more. For some time, I used to repeat this scheme, and as a result, the platform rates you as some kind of robot or spam and gives you a shadowban for approximately 3 weeks. My advice for beginners: if you’ve got a feeling that your video is worth more, you should download it and make it private. Working like this’ll show the platform that you are moderating the content.

Tell us your story of how you became a TikTok blogger.

My story is worthy of being in books about self-motivation! Jokes aside, I’m a vivid example that hard work and self-belief is rewarding. Seven years ago I was trying to infiltrate the streams of different social media: Instagram, YouTube, etc. My friends who were following my actions achieved high results and a stable audience while I was failing, one hurdle at a time. I was very upset about that fact, but I made a decision not to give up. Once, I’d been participating in a marathon about Instagram and I remembered I’d received a task to find the most popular video on my profile and download it on to my phone. Something inside spoke to me and told me to upload this video on TikTok. That same evening I went to sleep without checking my profile. When I woke up, I was astonished by the 100k views clocked up on my video. 

The most interesting fact is that I hadn’t added any video directly to TikTok. My phone gallery was full of videos and I just uploaded them to the platform. This was followed by experiments, I started following and studying trends, trying again and again.

I can say that now I understand that if you’re a leading profile on TikTok and over several months you can’t achieve 10k subscribers, you should reorganize your strategy and think about new content to find what can engage your audience.