Who was the creator of TikTok? + 10 curiosities about this social network

Have you ever wondered what is the history of TikTok? Who is the creator of TikTok? how and when did it come about? surely when you read the word “TikTok”, you automatically start doing some challenge in your mind, right?

We have all fallen into the clutches of TikTok at some point. Some users became fans, others only had it on their cell phone for a few months and others still have the app, but no longer use it. However, very few know the history of TikTok. Therefore, in this article we tell you all about it.

Start by setting the mood: play a list of famous TikTok songs and read to the end. you’ll be surprised by some of the facts!

Zhang Yiming: the character behind TikTok

are you one of those who are curious about everything related to the history of the most famous social networks and applications of recent times? Then welcome to the team! Part of TikTok’s history has to do, of course, with its creator: Zhang Yiming.

Later we will see all the curiosities of this social network that captivates millions of centennials around the world, but now let’s get to the important part: Who exactly is the creator of TikTok?

Yiming is not only the creator of TikTok, but also the head of ByteDance. This entrepreneur was born in Longyan, southeast China, in 1983. He worked at Microsoft and Kuxun (later bought by TripAdvisor).

Here are some curious facts to learn more about the creator of TikTok:

Zhang Yiming started his company with a news aggregator (Toutiao) based on artificial intelligence.

He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2019.

He began studying Microelectronics at Nankia University, but soon after switched to Computer Science, majoring in Software Engineering.

According to Forbes magazine, the creator of TikTok is the ninth richest person in China.

He created and developed ByteDance in a four-room apartment. Today, his company is worth more than 100 billion dollars.

He is the son of a civil servant and a nurse.

Shortly after creating a company from scratch, he led a team of nearly 50 computer scientists.

In 2020, he made a $10 million donation to Therapeutics Acceleration, a coronavirus-related project.

In 2021, TikTok consolidated a partnership with Shopify, one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, with the aim of broadening its horizons beyond entertainment.

creador de tiktok retrato

Source: Elife

what is the biography of the creator of TikTok?

want to find out more about the biography of the creator of TikTok? are you curious to know more about who Zhang Yiming is and what his career as an entrepreneur has been like? Here we tell you all about it!

Little is known about the creator of TikTok. What you do know is that he was born in 1983 in Longyan, China. In 2001, he entered Nankai University in Tianjin, China, to begin a career studying microelectronics. Soon after, he decided to change his university course and switched to Software Engineering. interestingly, it was there that he met his wife.

Yiming completed his studies in 2005. The following year, he was already working at Kuxun where, after a year of work and training, he was promoted to the position of Technical Director. A great milestone in the biography of the creator of TikTok, isn’t it?

This fact about the creator of TikTok will catch your attention. Then, in 2008, Yiming joined Microsoft, however, his stay did not last long because he did not feel comfortable with the company’s rules.

Subsequently, he founded 99fang, a company he also left soon after. in 2012 he founded one of the most important startups in the world: Byte Dance, which we mentioned before. Today, Yiming is one of the richest entrepreneurs in China.

herramientas de creacion de tiktok

Source: TikTok

what was TikTok called before?

Now we come to the first curious fact. Here we will tell you what TikTok used to be called because, of course, its name was quite different. This is due to its oriental origin and its later success in the western world. To achieve this, its name was changed to a more usable one for all languages.

As we already said, TikTok is a product developed by ByteDance, a Chinese company created by Zhang Yiming in 2012. This company launched an application called Douyin in September in 2016 and it quickly became one of the most downloaded apps in China.

According to Walk the Chat, the success of Douyin, configured 100% in Chinese, was so great that it began to be used in other countries. The app had achieved 100 million users in one year, with more than one billion videos viewed every day.

Butwhat was Douyin? It was an application that allowed creating and uploading short videos, adding music and other details, just like TikTok. Its name, in fact, meant “shake the music”. Some of Douyin’s influencers could make as much as $20,000 in a day. wow!

In short, Douyin became what we know today as TikTok. Now, do you want to know what year TikTok was created? In the following section we tell you when and how it came about.

did you also feel like jumping to fame for your digital content? We recommend our online courses on Social Media, where you can explore all the skills you need to be a true content creator and go down in the history of TikTok.

aplicacion de tik tok abierta

Source: Pexels

what year was TikTok created?

It is only after seeing the success of Douyin, that the history of TikTok as we know it today begins to take shape. Determined to conquer the global market, in September 2017, ByteDance creates the TikTok brand to market Douyin in the rest of the countries of the world.

This creation arises almost in parallel of ByteDance deciding to buy Musica.ly, a social network focused on the creation of music videos. After the acquisition, ByteDance kept both applications running, until finally, in August 2018, it unified them. It is at this point in TikTok’s history, that the App starts to grow in an extraordinary way.

By the end of 2018, TikTok already carried more than 80 million downloads in the United States, and 800 million in the rest of the world. It was also available in 75 languages and had a presence in more than 150 countries.

However, we can say that its biggest growth period was two years ago. According to Statista Tiktok had, at the beginning of 2020, 800 million users, achieving the podium in the ranking of the most popular Chinese applications in the West.


Source: Giphy

Chronological summary of TikTok’s history

So far, we’ve seen a summary of how and when TikTok was created, in which country it appeared and who established it. But we know that’s a lot of information, so we’ll summarize it for you below. Here are some of the most important milestones in the history of TikTok:

2012: Zhang Yiming creates ByteDance in Beijing, China.
2016: ByteDance launches Douyin in the Chinese market.
2017: TikTok’s history formally begins. ByteDance creates the app to market Douyin internationally. In the same year, it buys Musical.ly for $1 billion.
2018: TikTok and Musical.ly merge. TikTok downloads soar worldwide. 41% of users belong to generation Z.
2019: A new TikTok challenge emerges every day. The app achieves more than 500 million monthly active users. Advertising is introduced in TikTok in this year.
2020: TikTok is the second most downloaded app in the world and the most downloaded Chinese app in the West. It is no coincidence that in this same year its direct competition was born: Instagram’s Reels function.
2021: a partnership with Shopify, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, was consolidated, opening the door to a new era for TikTok, beyond entertainment.

aplicacion tiktok en interfac se smartphone

Source: Unsplash

Controversy in the history of TikTok

The history of TikTok seems very normal, successful and organized. But in reality, not everything was rosy for the creator of this app. In the course of its few years of existence, TikTok went through some controversial moments, involving fines and bans in certain territories.

We are talking about controversies revolving around countries such as India, Pakistan and the United States, human rights and very sensitive situations. want to know what they are? We present them to you:

Country bans on TikTok

In June 2020, TikTok was banned from use in India, along with 220 other apps of Chinese origin. The country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology claimed that they were harmful to the country.

In October of the same year, Pakistan was the next country to completely ban the use of TikTok, citing problems with the content displayed by this social network. Undoubtedly, both bans were a serious problem in the history of TikTok.

The controversy was even stronger in the United States after the then president, Donald Trump, banned the downloading of TikTok in that country. It didn’t take long for viral challenges to arise in the application, against this situation. However, after some judicial comings and goings, the ban was lifted at the end of 2020.

TikTok controversies with its users and contents

Throughout TikTok’s history, there have also been other controversies and controversies related to the users and the contents of the app. Some specific problems were:

Addiction concerns: some users admitted to having trouble quitting the app. This is related to technology addiction, an ever-present problem in the world, and which develops mostly in young people (main users of TikTok).

Content problems: in some countries, the app was temporarily blocked on the grounds that its content was obscene, immoral, vulgar and encouraged pornography.

Disinformation: this problem occurred after the outbreak of Coronavirus in the world. Many users began to spread unconfirmed information about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cyberbullying: people around the world expressed concern about the application’s lack of privacy policies, which could encourage bullying activities.

Privacy issues: in 2020, a company discovered a security flaw in TikTok. Fortunately, hackers did not detect it earlier, otherwise they would have logged in and breached users’ accounts via text messages (SMS). Also, Reddit director Huffman pointed out at the time that TikTok was spying on users.

Since 2019, the Chinese government had stated that it was going to hold app developers, such as the company behind TikTok, ByteDance, responsible for certain types of content shared through these social networks. This is because it is considered unfavorable to the political party that governs the country.

For this reason, TikTok has restricted and deleted accounts that broadcast videos about Xinjiang re-education camps, abuses of minorities, content linked to certain politicians such as Donald Trump or Barack Obama and everything related to human rights in China.

One case that caused a stir was that of an Afghan-American user who uploaded a video – disguised as a makeup tutorial (because she was already aware of the restrictions on certain types of content on TikTok) – to highlight the internment camps for Uyghur Muslims. That account was suspended, and TikTok later apologized and reinstated the account because it was a mistake.

Controversies about biometric data on TikTok

As if that were not enough, a new controversy was added to everything else regarding the biometric data of users who make use of the TikTok application. This is due to the fact that one of the latest changes in their privacy policy states that they can collect this type of information from users.

what does this great controversy of TikTok in 2021 mean, then? That this social network can collect information such as facial prints or the voice that users use in the application. Although this change only applies to the United States, for the time being, it is likely to start expanding to other countries.

I invite you to continue discovering the history of this famous application, one of the most used social networks worldwide, in recent months.

avatars de tiktok

Source: TikTok

what are TikTok’s most impressive metrics?

So far we have seen in detail who is the creator of TikTok, some key facts of its history and some of the controversies it has installed in the world. But we know that every fan of social networks is also a healthy addict to metrics. Let’s take a look at some of the most surprising facts about this application:

Active users

TikTok has 800 million monthly active users worldwide and this data makes it the ninth most popular social network in the digital ecosystem. this means that it is ahead of well-known sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.

It is also important to note that TikTok is the social network with the fastest growth in the shortest amount of time. For example, Instagram took 8 years to reach the same number of active users, and TikTok less than three. Another curious fact is that 150 million of its users are in China, but proportionally, India is TikTok’s main market.


On the other hand, the TikTok app has already accumulated more than 2 billion downloads in AppStore and GooglePlay, with 2019 being the year in which it accumulated its highest number of downloads, 44% since its launch. In this same year it also ranked as the second most popular app, just behind Whatsapp but before Facebook and Instagram, its biggest competition.

but its success does not stop there! In March 2020 it marked the first place in the ranking of downloads with approximately 115 million downloads, which represented an increase of 98.4% compared to March 2019 and positioned it before Whatsapp.

Source: Giphy


The social network of short videos is the most popular among young people, 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old.And this data is not minor, as it demonstrates the deep knowledge of the creator of TikTok and its developers, who understand perfectly what young people are looking for in a social network today. Among some of its features we can highlight:

Ability to create highly creative and personalized content
Play with image, video and sound editing
The immediacy and brevity of the content
The great capacity for viralization
The content themes are dedicated to entertainment, art and culture

are you intrigued to know in which countries TikTok is most used? In first place, we find India, followed by China and the United States.

Time in app

A study by Oberlo showed that the average number of sessions in Mexico is 6 times per day and its users spend up to an hour at a time on TikTok. in addition, 90% of its users log in daily to watch other people’s videos but only 55% upload their own content.


Now it is time to count some of the most impressive metrics of this social network that is TikTok. every day, 1 billion videos are played. Moreover, the concentration of content traffic is especially focused on a number of creators, leaving as a result that the 50 most relevant creators of the platform accumulate more than 500 million followers.

Currently, thanks to the TikTok Creator Marketplace, users of the social network can buy tokens using real money and then give them to their favorite creators during their Lives.

Finally, we would like to tell you which were the star contents of this social network:

Charli D’Amelio is the most popular person on TikTok, with more than 141 million followers.

Best TikTok ever: In 2020, Bella Poarch posted a TikTok that managed to get the most likes in history and 632 million reproductions.

rewards en tiktok

Source: TikTok

is TikTok useful for companies?

Something that the creator of TikTok definitely never imagined in the early history of this social network, is that it would become a powerful tool for brands. Just as you read, thanks to its new product TikTok for Business you can exploit your creative side and reach new audiences.

The great advantage of this product is that it adapts to both small and large companies, as well as advertising agencies that work with TikTok campaigns. It also has its own AdsManager, as we must remember that it is the only social network of the big ones in the market (Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp) that does not belong to Meta.

As you can imagine, the creators of TikTok for business do not intend to create problems, but solutions, so its operation of TikTok advertising is very simple:

Choose a target for your campaign
Select your audience
Set a budget
Design your content and start advertising

all this information made you want to create your next ad? Download our ad spot proposal and organize all your ideas in one place.

As Laura Figueroa, teacher of our online TikTok course for companies, points out, “with TikTok, your company can explore its creative side”. In addition, this social network is super relevant for integrating video content into the branding strategy of startups and booming businesses.

Now that you know all about TikTok’s history, as well as its present, we know youcan include this social network in your digital marketing strategy, start taking advantage of it for your next advertising campaigns, or maybe tell all your friends that you already know who the creator of TikTok is.

we hope to see your videos succeeding out there!

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