Creating TikTok

Creating TikTok

Bytedancer, 2019

Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


If you live in China, the popularity of Douyin, known more famously by its international name TikTok, may have come out of the blue for you. One day, you suddenly noticed that, everywhere you went, young people were glued to their phone screens watching short videos – one after the other. Creators are sharing all sorts of information on the TikTok platform. Some brands, restaurants, retail stores and tourist locations became viral darlings and commercial hits instantly. As of 2018, the mobile app was available in more than 150 markets and 75 languages. Its success was a surprise to everyone – including ByteDance, the Chinese internet giant that created it. In this engaging narrative, ByteDancer, the official WeChat account of ByteDance, reveals how TikTok was born.


The success of its news aggregator app Toutiao propelled Chinese internet company ByteDance into the big leagues of Chinese tech companies. But China’s market is moving fast, and ByteDance was toiling over how to create the next big hit to keep its audience engaged and away from popular new live-stream platforms. The company was making some headway with its own streaming platform Huoshan Video. ByteDance put together a small project team for TikTok to diversify its product offerings, but no one expected much from the app.

The team consisted of an eclectic bunch of people. The tattooed product manager was a fan of extreme sports; the content supervisor, a fan of various kinds nonmainstream music, had just finished her internship as an event planner; and the guy in charge of user operation, a singing vlogger, was still a junior in college, majoring in broadcasting. Still, they had one...

About the Author

ByteDancer is the official WeChat account of ByteDance. Founded in 2012, ByteDance is the Chinese tech company that created Toutiao and TikTok. 

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