Despite having to weather a variety of controversies having to do with its content and its ownership, TikTok persists as a popular video app — and no wonder. It allows you to quickly create videos, add a variety of effects, text captions, and audio backgrounds, and show to the world what you think is cute, funny, politically problematic, deadly serious, or in need of fixing. TikTok is full of cute animals, weird dances, snarky remarks, and imaginative dialogues between the same individual dressed up in two different ways.
In fact, it is hard to say who is having the most fun: those who are swiping through the wide variety of videos out there, discovering what other people are doing, dancing, and discussing, or those who are creating these imaginative videos and enjoying the attention and comments that they engender. (Or not enjoying it, depending on those comments — this is social media, after all, and so there are a lot of angry people out there.)
If you want to know what all the fuss is about and want to give the app a try, either as a watcher or as a creator, we have your back. In The Verge Guide to TikTok, we’ve got step-by-step directions for new users and some excellent tips for knowledgeable creators. We explain how to find what you’re interested in, how to decline what you’re not interested in, and how to deal with the algorithms that determine what you’re going to see next.
We hope you find them useful in your explorations of the wonderful world of TikTok.