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Casual Learning within TikTok

Abstract: The field of social networks on the Internet is subject to a now slower, but still constant change. In the current market, TikTok has become a serious medium in the field of social networks. Like any social network, TikTok can work as a learning platform. This paper first briefly introduces the development and functions of TikTok to provide a basis for understanding the network. Within this paper, the focus in the content of TikTok is set on the field of Learning Nuggets and Casual Learning. TikTok itself is very suitable for short learning videos, as the network focuses on video content on the one hand and only allows short videos on the other. In the area of Learning Nuggets, practical examples are briefly present with which learning content can be successful conveyed in German-speaking countries. The article concludes with a recommendation on how companies can use TikTok for corporate communications in the context of Learning Nuggets, as well as a conclusion that briefly reflects on the article. 카지노사이트

  1. Introduction
    In the field of social media, the digital environment is constantly changing, as can be seen from the huge number of applications and networks in this area on the Internet. However, it is rare for them to achieve large reaches quickly. On the one hand, this may be due to the general increase in regulation of social networks on the Internet and the Internet itself, and on the other hand, it has become more difficult to reach Internet users from a marketing perspective in view of the existing extensive range of content on the Net. Having long been a serious candidate for new global product placement, SnapChat is now overtaken by the network TikTok and it seems that TikTok might become a new social network star or leading social network platform.

Social networks are suited for learning or better casual learning because people can come together here and pursue their interests. With this, Social Networks are a learning medium itself. In casual learning, a person learns by chance or because he or she is interested in a topic. It happens in passing. Short texts or short videos are usable as learning content. In this article, we will focus on the area of video learning nuggets (short learning videos), since this content is predestined for TikTok.

In the first step of this paper, we turn to the basics of the social network TikTok and analyze its reach, past and current development, and the technical features that make TikTok the network it is. In the context of learning nuggets and e-learning, we will then analyze some practical examples and e-learning areas of TikTok. Next it will be displayed how TikTok can be used for enterprises in the context of e-learning. The paper will conclude with a conclusion.

  1. TikTok – A Social Network with History
    Social networks are constantly evolving (Boyd and Ellison 2007; Linke 2011). This trend continues with the social network TikTok. Some readers TikTok might be a social network that they do not yet know in detail. This subchapter will therefore first briefly touch on the company’s development and market position, and then go into the network’s interaction options and technical functions. 안전한카지노사이트

2.1 A Social Network with History
TikTok grew out of the app musical.ly by Chinese company Bytedance. musical.ly was launched as an app for lip-syncing dubbing and offered (and offers as TikTok) its users the ability to move to or play along with music, vocals, or sound snippets. In addition to TikTok, Bytedance currently offers platforms such as BuzzVideo and Vigo Video. TikTok itself is ad-supported and thus profitable since 2019 (Digitaltrends 2020). In China, TikTok is marketed under the brand name Douyin (抖音短视频) and 抖音 (2022), respectively. At this point, it seems important to note that the Bytedance company has strategic partnerships with state intelligence organs in China as well as the Ministry of Public Security. Bytedance has its own Internet Committee, which works closely with the Chinese Communist Party (The Economist 2019) and describes itself as a manufacturer of AI-driven content management applications.

The users of TikTok itself correspond to the normal 20/80 distribution (Apple/Android) on the cell phone market in terms of the operating system of the mobile device (Statista September 2021). For marketers, TikTok, like other networks, e.g. from Meta, offers the possibility of individually playing advertising and global advertising formats. The advertising is shown on TikTok or on partner sites from the Bytedance network. TikTok itself has had higher barriers to advertising in the past than providers such as Meta or Google. Unlike Meta, TikTok has so far focused on global providers, similar to SnapChat. Local marketers are only supported secondarily (Doyle 2021). As of late, only a budget of $50 has to be spent to place advertisements. Otherwise, no approval as an advertiser is possible (as of December 2021).

For marketing, the reach of TikTok is interesting. The network is targeting 1.5 billion users in 2022. As early as mid-2020, 100 million active users of TikTok were reported in Europe and 1 billion worldwide (Firsching 2021; Bursztynsky 2021). TikTok itself describes an active user as a person who is active on the network once a month (Doyle 2021). However, it can be assumed that TikTok users now tend to log on to TikTok more frequently than once a month. Currently (Firsching 2022), active users of TikTok use this network roughly three times more frequently than the meta-network Instagram, which also focuses on image media (Table 1). 카지노사이트 추천

Table 1: Monthly usage time in hours of social networks based aggregated from (App Annie 2022)

TikTok itself has a strong focus on young users and Generation Z. In the U.S., 25% of users are younger than 20; overall, almost 50% of users are under 30 (Statista April 2021). In Germany it is estimated that 80% of users under 30 years old (Statista November 2021).
2.2 General Interaction in TikTok and Technical Functions
This paragraph descripts the application usage basics. When a user starts the application, they have the option to view content from the people they follow or they can have videos and content suggested to them. The focus here is on the suggestions. By default, this area is the active area, which is displayed to the user at the start of the application. The content in this area is suggested to the user based on the TikTok algorithm, which will be presented later. This also leads to the fact that users with only a few contents or few followers can also be displayed with above-average frequency, if the video they have posted is recognized by TikTok’s algorithm as being useful for other users. Here, there may be accounts on the network that have a four-digit average number of views from their videos, for example, but have a video on their profile that may have a view count in the six- or seven-digit range.

TikTok itself provides for their users different usage scenarios. In the area of user interactions for the content area in TikTok, there are two areas. First, there is the content area that users can upload on their profiles, and second, there is the live broadcast area. Users can upload pictures or videos in their profile area. The former, photos or pictures, is hardly used by active users anymore. Compared to Instagram, TikTok is now a completely motion picture-focused application. For the creation of videos, TikTok offers various filters that change the video image (e.g. make it warmer, darker, etc.).

For the length of videos, TikTok differentiates (as of February 2022) between videos that are filmed with the app and videos that are pre-produced and uploaded. Videos with a length of 15 and 60 seconds can be produced with the app itself. If pre-produced videos are uploaded, then the length of videos can be up to 180 seconds (3 minutes). Unlike YouTube, the focus of TikTok’s video format is not on the normal landscape format of a monitor, but on the portrait format of a cell phone.

In terms of the content, that is record directly via the app, the lip-syncing of movie quotes or TV quotes as well as current songs mostly predominate. Particularly in the case of songs, associated Dance Challenges (challenges), as predicted by Instagram’s Trend Report (2021) for 2022 again on Instagram, prevail in terms of content. In this area of dance challenges, an independent content market has developed for younger target groups, in which there are best of, copy cats and tutorial producers. The videos that are prepared outside of TikTok and then uploaded are mostly fun videos (e.g., of recordings from TV or YouTube), videos of events, or explanatory videos.

Another option on TikTok for creating videos is the option of a duet with another video. This involves splitting the screen in the app or in the video to be record. On the split screen a video shared by another creator for a duet produced is shown and converted into an users own video. However, only a live video can be record here. This makes it possible to react to or interact with an existing video. What is possible here is shown by duets published on TikTok, in which a video produced by the Aldi retail chain showing a dancing cashier is supplemented by videos with a dancing cashier or cashiers from other retail chains. A picture received via WhatsApp can also be used instead of a video of your own.

2.3 Dedicated Interactions in the Network
The content in TikTok can be liked (or “Like”), shared or commented on. It should be noted here that the comment length is 150 characters and is thus quite limited. Since an update in January 2022, TikTok offers the possibility to comment on videos via video. Like the posts, comments can also be liked. Comments that are liked particularly often are weighted more heavily and displayed higher up in the comment overview, as is the case with other social networks. In addition, there is the possibility, similar to Instagram or Twitter, to follow other TikTok users and to write messages to them.

In addition to the ability to upload media content, TikTok also offers the ability to start a live broadcast and interact live with other users of the app. Even though the live broadcast feature is not suitable for Learning Nuggets use, we will still briefly introduce this feature here, as it provides a good insight into the application.

The livestreams are not categorized or organized with hashtags. A targeted search for livestreams is very difficult to impossible. When a user starts a livestream, those who follow the user receive a message. Tangentially, livestreams are meant to be shared via the algorithm. Livestreams, like video content, are displayed to TikTok users in the general data stream when the app is launched. The user also has the option to press a “Live” button to view and swipe through only current livestreams. The user is shown new live broadcasts by swiping. The selection of broadcasts seems to be arbitrary and based on who is online. The broadcasts themselves showed a low number of viewers (under 100 viewers, mostly under 25 viewers) in several attempts. TikTok does not require a minimum reach for streaming. Anyone can go online at any time and get confirmation or interaction from participants. Basically, micro-influencing takes place here. So every participant can become active as an influencer here.

The livestream itself has three other main functions. First, several streamers can connect to a stream to increase their reach. Live battles are also possible within this framework. In this case, the aim is to gain approval from participants in the livestream through interaction or gifts. The participant of the stream who has reached a certain score first has won the battle. As a further function, the stream offers the possibility to make comments. However, these comments, like all comments, are very limited in length. Here, too, a maximum of 150 characters is possible.

However, from TikTok’s point of view, the most important function in the live broadcasting area is likely to be tips, or gifts. Participants in live broadcasts can give tips to the organizers in the form of gifts. From the tips, the organizers receive 50% (Agarwal 2020). Likewise, content creators can earn money through virtual gifts (ibid.). These gifts cost between 1 and 20000 Coins. The virtual coins are acquired by making deposits in the respective local currency (Table 2). It should be noted that TikTok currently makes little use of the usual discounting of coins as the currency used increases.

The gifts themselves correspond to emotions, items, animals, or environments that can be used to reward, support, or respond back to the content creator. Most of the gifts correspond to a value of under 100 coins. For ByteDance, selling virtual goods is definitely a profitable business. In the last quarter of 2021, revenue within the app was estimated at over $824 million. Overall, TikTok reported total revenue of over $2 billion for 2021 (Table 3).

2.4 The TikTok Algorithm
Now, of course, the question arises as to how the generated content gets from the creator to the user of the app. Here, it seems important to note that the search function is available in TikTok, but it is not the focus of the application. There is also the option to search for friends and existing contacts, but this is also an option that the app itself only focuses on secondarily. The focus is on creating a taste and preference profile of the user based on his interaction in the app. The already mentioned TikTok algorithm does this.

Jechorek (2021) states that, ostensibly, the TikTok algorithm primarily evaluates user interactions, suggests new content, and distributes advertisements based on them. User interactions include sharing videos, posting comments, choosing whom you follow or who follows you, whether or not you create content, and the number of likes posted and the type of likes. In the content, one interacts with or posts, the description, the sounds and video filters used, and hashtags are analysed. In addition, TikTok is said to use device data, such as location and device type, as well as user settings, such as language and technical settings in the application, to better select content for the user. On this basis, the algorithm creates categories based on which users are provided with further content.

Users on TikTok additionally point out that the spoken word is also analysed and selected terms are censored and posts with these terms are only displayed poorly or not at all in the general overview. This is the case, for example, when product names of competitors are pronounced or when the Uyghur people are mentioned. It is then exemplarily only spoken of the network with I or Insta. Censorship takes place in the form that these videos tend to be ignored by the algorithm and are not displayed in the suggestions or when swiping.

Additionally, according to prevailing social media influencers, TikTok ignores certain hashtags that reference advertising, country based banned content or generally socially undesirable content. Additionally, TikTok is committed to preventing psychologically problematic content, such as suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts, from being shared. TikTok refers users in German-speaking countries in these cases to psychological help.

With regard to the previously mentioned speech analysis by TikTok, it is still worth mentioning that it can be assumed that TikTok also analyses the image content, similar to YouTube. This image analysis, which runs in addition to the speech analysis, can include text, representation, image content, and meaningfully, motion patterns. Especially motion patterns should be useful because of Dance Challenges and similar events. To ensure security for users and to prevent unauthorized use of names, TikTok now offers account verification, similar to Twitter (Jechorek 2022). This aim at professional users in particular.

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