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A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok

With over 800 million active users worldwide, TikTok has taken aback social media competitors such as Snapchat and Instagram to become one of the most popular video sharing networking services today. 

Given TikTok’s fast-paced and somewhat confusing navigation structure, this beginner’s guide will provide you with some easy tips to get you started on this popular app.

Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up using your email, phone number, or even Facebook account, you’ll need to click on the icon on the lower right that looks like a figure of a person. On this page, you will be able to edit and update your profile including adding a username, photo, and bio information.

The home tab on the bottom left hand corner is your video feed. It splits into two sections, a ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ page. Similar to that of Instagram’s Explore page, the For You feed provides you with algorithmically produced videos that will usually include random trending videos. Whereas, the ‘Following’ feed will show you uploads from people you follow – so get following if you haven’t already started! 

If you’re not too sure who to follow, one easy way to do so is by clicking the ‘Discover’ button. You can find users by watching the top trending videos (if you like them and want to keep up with their content, press the icon that includes their profile photo and a plus symbol), or searching up accounts or videos based on your preferences. 

You’ll find that to the right of every TikTok video there are multiple icons. The five icons, in order, will allow you to: visit the creators profile, heart/like the video, comment, share the video on other platforms, and see what music the creator incorporated in their TikTok.

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Now, I think it’s time for you to upload your own video! To do this, you need to click on the bottom centre tab. This will take you into camera mode. On the right hand side of the screen, you will see five icons including: speed, beauty, filters, timer and flash. Try experimenting with these as you like. On the top of the camera screen, you will see “Add a Sound” which is where you can choose a song or sound effect you want to include in your video. 

Similar to Snapchat, you can also use effects, filters and text, which is located on the bottom right of the camera. Once you’ve got everything sorted, you can begin recording by pressing and holding the red button. Whether you want a short 15 second video, or a video of up to 60 seconds, this is all up to you.

Once you’re ready to upload, press the ‘next’ button. Here you can add a caption, hashtags (extremely important as they allow users to find your videos when they search it up), and other users account handles. 

Congratulations, you’ve just posted your first TikTok video! 

Don’t forget to visit your profile to see who’s liked, commented, and watched your videos, and/or followed your profile.

Although this may seem like a lot, hopefully this beginner’s guide to TikTok has given you the confidence to sign up and join this popular video streaming app, and explore all the other features it has to offer.


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