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TikTok: When gummy bears singing Adele rule online

BBC    

10 February, 2019 11:43 AM



TikTok: When gummy bears singing Adele rule online

Gummy Bears singing an Adele song was a big hit on TikTok. Photo: REUTERS/GETTY IMAGES

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Have you seen the viral video where a choir of gummy bears sings a rousing chorus of Adele's Someone Like You?

Or maybe the slightly bizarre sight of people putting make-up on potatoes?

Or perhaps you have been out and about and someone has inexplicably shouted "hit or miss" at you?

These seemingly unconnected experiences all share one thing in common - they are memes on TikTok, the short-form video app that you may not have heard of if you are over the age of 35.

For those who use it, it is a big deal and the app is looking to extend its reach to new demographics all the time.

Owned by Chinese internet firm Bytedance, the app was first launched in China in 2016 with the name Doujin and grew to 100 million users in the space of a single year, with a billion views daily.

It went on to become the most downloaded app in China and Thailand by the start of 2018, and in October was the third most downloaded app globally.

And it has not done badly in the West either, with 80 million downloads in the US.

In 2017, Bye dance purchased Musical.ly - another short video music app with which parents of young children may be familiar - increasing awareness and adding 30 million more users.

It now has more than half a billion active users, with 40% of those outside China.

Musical.ly, beloved of pre-teen children, has brought a new generation of users to TikTok

Videos created on TikTok are generally no longer than 15 seconds - although it has experimented recently with longer clips and some star users are allowed to make videos of up to 59 seconds. Adverts have also recently been spotted on the site as it looks for ways to monetize its content.

All the clips are based around themes, such as music, cooking, dance or fashion.

Previously, Bye dance had focused on news, with an app called Toutiao which used AI algorithms to learn user preferences. The same AI is used to provide relevant videos to TikTok users.


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