Applying the TikTok trend to Professional Learning and Development
If you don’t know much about TikTok, I wouldn’t blame you, I didn’t either. It’s the social media platform which is threatening to take the crown away from the likes of Instagram and Facebook. The problem is anyone over the age of 30 probably doesn’t use it and some people have never heard of it at all. TikTok has approximately 500 million active users and is growing fast. So what if we took the addictive nature of TikTok and instead of serving entertainment we provided education to the professional learner?
In the 1980s and 90s before Netflix arrived, if your family was like mine you would’ve fought over the remote control for the TV. Often members of the household would channel flick continuously from one channel to the next until they discovered something which captured their interest. Channel flicking when there were just 5 channels wasn’t much fun but with the arrival of Sky and Virgin Media, flicking through hundreds of satellite channels was fun – well, at least for the person holding the remote.
If we apply this habit to the modern age, everyone has a remote control in the form of a smartphone, and we have a lot more screens than we did then. Now everyone can channel flick and for those under the age of 30, the way to do this is TikTok. A little bit like Tinder, the dating app where you can swipe left or right to select a date, TikTok instead displays auto-playing music videos and pranks. Some of the videos are very entertaining and the swiping up and down becomes addictive overtime because an artificial intelligence algorithm learns your preferences. The more you use TikTok the better it becomes at learning what you are interested in.
There have been controversies about data, security and privacy with TikTok. TikTok was the result of a merger between Musical.ly an American born social media app and Bytedance. Bytedance is one of the leading internet companies in China and there are concerns on how content is controlled and freedom of speech. Like any platform, inappropriate content should always be removed but there have been reported instances of unfair practice on TikTok.
Irrespective of the content, one undeniable fact is TikTok’s growth in terms of active users and revenue. This phenomenon can be applied to both personal and professional education. This is the opportunity which we have grasped in the Ventures Anywhere team with Watch and Learn. Watch and Learn combines the best features of TikTok, Slack, Whatsapp and Zoom to bring a new learning experience to individuals. Businesses and brands can apply their own look and feel to both apps and websites to provide a new social learning community. Most addictions are seen as a negative habit for a person but becoming addicted to learning is healthy. If Watch and Learn fulfils its mission and vision, then we will have a new platform as popular as TikTok and Netflix with a new genre of content being applied for workplace learning, collaboration and much more.
– Sean Gilligan, CEO