TikTok’s meteoric rise to fame has been truly incredible. Nobody could have predicted that when Musical.ly became TikTok back in 2018, the app would enjoy such staggering popularity. Current estimates suggest there are more than a billion monthly active users on TikTok, which has risen from around 680 million in November 2018. You don’t need a calculator to see just how astonishing that growth rate is. It’s safe to say that TikTok is taking over the social media landscape in a big way.
So, what does the future hold for TikTok? Will you always be looking for ways to get free followers for tiktok as an influencer, or is this as high as the platform is going to climb? Of course, it’s impossible to fully predict the future, but we can make some informed guesses about what might happen to TikTok based on data we already have and the way similar services have gone. Here are some of our predictions for where TikTok is going to be in the year 2025.
More popular than ever
Given the rate at which TikTok is growing – and not just among the Gen Z demographic either – it’s entirely possible that TikTok could be more popular than ever in four years’ time. After all, the app has been around for about three years already and hasn’t fallen off in that time, so it’s feasible to imagine that in another four years, TikTok could be even more popular than it is right now. As younger and even more social media-savvy generations discover the joys of TikTok, we could see the app rise above even Facebook or Instagram to become the most popular social media platform of all time.
The way of Vine
TikTok’s closest predecessor is probably the short-form social media video platform Vine. That app was unexpectedly killed back in 2016, leading many creators to protest against its shutdown. Sadly, their protests were in vain, and Vine now rests in peace. There’s a chance TikTok could go the same way; if it reaches a point where it’s no longer profitable for its creators – an unlikely outcome given current trends, but certainly possible – then in the next four years, we could see TikTok die, its users forced to flock elsewhere for their content fix.
Political turmoil could see it banned
TikTok hasn’t exactly had a completely smooth ride to the top. The app is completely banned in India, and while this doesn’t necessarily mean that Indian users aren’t on TikTok, it is shutting out a huge potential demographic to ByteDance. TikTok is also currently banned in Pakistan, with regulators citing ByteDance’s inability to remove content deemed objectionable to the regime. Luckily, TikTok has managed to avoid a ban in the USA, but given potentially increasingly hostile relations between China and the rest of the world, TikTok’s days might be numbered in some places.
A format change?
While the potential for content you can create on TikTok is vast, it’s certainly not limitless. TikTok doesn’t really allow text-based content or photos; you can create montages of still images if you know how, but you can’t simply post a photo or a piece of text, for example. We could see TikTok expand its format to incorporate more potential types of content, thus allowing it to compete more directly with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This could happen if ByteDance decides it wants to consolidate its power base and build a more holistic app.
The power of copyright claims
You might have seen how zealous copyright claims are getting on other social media platforms. Many content creators on platforms like YouTube and Twitch have seen their content taken down because they’re using copyrighted music or sounds, and TikTok could go the same way if it’s not careful. If you Duet or Stitch another user’s video, this shouldn’t be an issue, because the original creator has the right to decide who gets to do that. However, if you’re using music to which you don’t own the rights, that could get you – and TikTok as well – into trouble. The app could see increased scrutiny due to its permitting users to create content in this way.
Videos will only sustain for so long
There’s a good chance that TikTok – which only allows users to create short videos, as we’ve said above – could be old hat by 2024. While the app is certainly currently enjoying a huge wave of popularity, users may simply grow tired of what it offers, choosing instead to flock to a different app. There’s no telling what the next generation after Gen Z will want from its social media platforms, and while we may not know this by the year 2025, we certainly could start seeing a trend that moves TikTok away from the public consciousness by that time.
Cream of the crop
With all this in mind, however, it’s pretty unlikely that TikTok will be completely gone by 2025. Whatever form it takes – whether it’s pretty much identical to how it appears now, or whether it’s undergone significant changes – we’re almost certain TikTok will still be around in four years’ time. It may not have the user base it once had – after all, most social media apps experience some kind of drop-off after an initial buzz – but TikTok’s longevity is all but assured thanks to its simplicity and ease of use. Whether you love or hate TikTok, one thing’s for sure: it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.