How to Use TikTok App: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Mobile Apps

TikTok is quite an engaging and addictive social media app. What was initially an app that is popular among teens has now spread across different age groups because of its easy-to-use interface and overall simple functionality. But where do you start if you are new to TikTok? We’ve already taught you how to use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In this article, you will learn how to use Tiktok, from setting up your account and filming your first video down to managing your privacy. 


Inside This Article

  1. What Is TikTok and How Does it Work?
  2. How to Create a Tiktok Account?
  3. Navigating Through Your TikTok Feed
  4. How to Create and Post a TikTok Video?
    1. Make a TikTok Video
    2. Add TikTok Filters
    3. Deleting a TikTok Video
  5. Hosting a Tiktok Live
  6. How to Participate in TikTok Challenges?
  7. How to Message Someone on TikTok?
  8. Share, Comment, and Follow
  9. How to Download TikTok Videos?
  10. TikTok App Privacy Settings and Account Management


What Is TikTok and How Does it Work?

TikTok on mobile phone
Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Tiktok is a short-form video-sharing platform that made its global debut in 2017 after acquiring, an equivalent short-form video streaming app. Nowadays, the app is famous among people who love creating and sharing lip-sync, dance, skit, funny, and talent videos.

Tiktok has generated over two billion lifetime downloads in 150 different countries and a record high of 315 million downloads in Q1 of 2020, according to Statista. But what makes TikTok so popular and special?

The reason for this can boil down to the fragmented videos TikTok allows people to post and the algorithm it uses to let people view the content they will love. Many people nowadays don’t have time for long videos that’s why TikTok’s short-form videos are a thriving form of entertainment. Its fragmented video pattern provides quick bursts of information that somehow encourage people to scroll more. Combine this with a stream created by artificial intelligence according to people’s interactions and that’s what makes TikTok engaging.

Tiktok app also lets you connect with people, discover unique media content, and eventually create your own. If you can’t wait to jump into the crazy world of Tiktok, here’s how to get started.

Download TikTok from Google Play Store

Download TikTok from App Store


Getting Started With TikTok: How to Create a Tiktok Account?

To create an account on TikTok, install the app on your mobile’s purchasing store. TikTok is available on both Android and iOS. It might also be available for other mobile operating systems besides Android & iOS.

guide how to create TikTok account

  1. After the download, choose your interests to help TikTok create personalized video recommendations for you. Your choices may be about: comedy, entertainment, talent, animals, beauty & style, sports, food, etc.
  2. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Google. Choose your birthdate as it is a required field in making an account. TikTok requires its users to be at least 12 years old.
  3. Type the verification sent on your mobile number to finish making an account.
  4. Lastly, Create your username. You will be directed to your TikTok profile after.
  5. On your profile, you can start customizing your major information. Add a profile picture or video and your TikTok display name by tapping the “Edit profile”.


Navigating Through Your TikTok Feed: For You Page vs Following

After creating your account, you can already start exploring and watching videos on your feed by tapping on the home icon on your screen. Your feed will be split into two sections: For You and the Following.

Under the “For You” page of TikTok, a personalized stream created by an AI algorithm will appear. This personalized stream is based on the types of videos you said you are interested in when you were creating your account. TikTok also uses your interaction with videos — such as your likes, comments, and shares — to determine other content you may love. This is what makes TikTok unique because you don’t necessarily need to be friends with or follow someone on the platform before you can start watching.

On the other hand, the “Following” stream is simply a TikTok stream exclusively from the people you follow.


Creating and Posting Your First TikTok Video

As we already discussed, recording and sharing videos are the main purpose of TikTok. Taking a video is easy, but making content that will make you famous is the hard part. To gain more followers on TikTok, you need to be consistent with your posting habit. Ideally, you should post at least one video per day. Using social media management tools can help you maintain a good TikTok feed.

Also, you have to post videos that have context and are original. Sure, you have to follow a trend. But never forget to encrypt it with your personality.  To kick start your journey to being a TikTok celebrity, here is how to make your first ever TikTok video. 


How to Make a TikTok Video?

a guy taking a selfie
Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

Step 1. To create your first own TikTok post, click the plus sign found at the bottom of your screen. To shoot a video, grant access to your phone’s camera and microphone.

Step 2. Press and hold the red circle to start recording a video. The recording will stop when you take off your finger or it hits the 15-second mark.

There are different icons on the right side that will help make your video. You can flip the camera, adjust the speed of the video, or use the beauty mode. There are also filters to choose from and a timer.

You can also upload your pre-taken videos saved on your phone and post in on your TikTok. Simply click “Upload” and choose the content you want to upload. You have the option to trim videos, put effects and filters, and add text to them.

Step 3. Post your video once you’re done editing them. Adding descriptions may include hashtags and tagging friends. You can also limit the number of people who can view your video from public, friends, or private. At the bottom of the screen, you can share your video with your other social media accounts. Click “Post” to upload.

There is another way to post a video on TikTok. Alternatively, you can click “Sounds” at the top of your screen, then choose a song from the trending list. There are different genres to choose from. Once the song starts playing, press and hold the red circle, and you record yourself dancing or lip-syncing to it.


How to Use TikTok Filters?

How to remove tiktok filter
Screencap from TikTok App

Step 1. First, record or upload a video on your Tiktok.

Step 2. Tap on “effects”. There are several effects to choose from located at the bottom of your screen. There are visual filters, face effects, transitions, and split-screen effects. To check other options, just scroll through the menu.

Step 3. Tap on the effect you want to add then apply it to your video. Adjust what video portion you want the effect to appear on. Move the ends of the pink overlay to your video timeline.

If you choose to add effects from the Visual tab, tap and hold on to the effect to apply it to the video. If you want to apply the effect to a portion only, release the button when that part of the timeline has changed color. But if you want to add the effect on the entire video, keep holding until the video has completely changed color.

Step 4. Tap the play button to see a preview of the video effect. Tap “Save” at the top right corner of the screen. Once done, you can now post your TikTok video on your profile.

Also read: How to Remove TikTok Filter


How to Delete a TikTok Video?

  1. Head to your homepage and click on the video you want to delete. Click the three-dotted icon at the right of the screen. When the options appear, swipe left until you see the delete button.
  1. TikTok will ask you to confirm if you want to delete the video permanently. The deleted video will disappear quickly upon confirmation. The screen will redirect you to your other existing videos.


How to Use Tiktok Live?

Hosting live streams on TikTok is a great way to reach more users and get some extra cash at the same time as fans may gift you with tokens. However, not everyone has access to go live on TikTok. The requirement is, the users should first have at least 1000 followers.

  1. For those who have a thousand followers and more, open and log in to your TikTok account.
  2. Click on the plus button at the bottom of your screen. Then click on the “Go Live” button.
  3. Add a description for your Live Video so your followers and mutuals know what you’re on about.
  4. Refrain from adding banned words to your description such as bff, duet, follow, etc.


How to Participate in TikTok Challenges?

Things to do on TikTok App
Photo by TikTok on Google Play

Among the newest trends in TikTok are the different dance challenges that users can copy and video themselves into. To find a TikTok challenge, go to the Search bar and type the hashtag or song that you want to do. Choose from the existing videos that will appear and study the movements multiple times until you get to memorize them. To join these challenges, use the same audio clips that are used on existing videos. 

You can also start your TikTok challenge. The sound you will use could be your original audio or songs from artists, TV shows, and video clips. Choreograph your TikTok movement. You have full control over what concept or kind of content you want to produce. After you have successfully taken a video of your challenge, publish it on your TikTok profile. In the description, don’t forget to include your creative Tiktok challenge hashtag.


How to Message Someone on TikTok?

You may be wondering whether you can message people on TikTok. The answer is yes. Like most types of social media apps, TikTok also has a messaging feature to allow you to connect with your friends. However, you can not message every user of the platform. There are a few restrictions to avoid spamming and harassment. Here’s how to message someone on TikTok.

How to DM on TikTok?

  1. To start messaging someone on TikTok, make sure that you are already a follower of the person you want to message.
  2. Go to their profile and click the “Message” button. Unless the person has set his/ her DM to everyone, your message will remain unsent if the person does not follow you back.
  3. When you follow each other, go to the person’s profile and click “Message.” This will redirect you to the Direct Messages page. You can start chatting and even add stickers and emojis to your messages.

How to Create Group Chat on TikTok?

  1. Go to your inbox section and click on the message icon at the top left corner of your screen. This will lead to your friends list (people you follow and follows you back).
  2. Select a friend that you want to add to a group chat.
  3. Inside the DM page, click on the three-dot icon at the top left corner and select group chat.
  4. Finally, select more people you want to add to the group chat and click on “Chat.”


Share, Comment, and Follow

Discovery on TikTok App
Screenshot from TikTok App
  1. Click the search button at the bottom of your screen to search for your friends’ usernames and follow them. You can also discover new people by checking out the hashtags. Or follow those that are already on your feed. Just swipe left and it will redirect you to the user’s profile page. Look for their other videos by scrolling underneath.
  2. To comment on a TikTok video, click the three-dotted icon on the right side of the screen. Click “@” to tag your mutuals. You can add emojis by tapping the face button.
  3. If you want to share the TikTok video, click the “save” button. Share it on your other social media accounts like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and more. There are also other options like reporting or saving the video on your device. You can also share it as a GIF, or add it to your Favorites.


How to Download TikTok Videos?

  1. Downloading TikTok videos means saving them on your device. First, go to the video you want to save.
  2. Tap the “Share” button.
  3. Click “Save Video” to start downloading the TikTok video. Wait until it finished the download process. After this, you can locate the video on your camera roll.

Take note that downloaded TikTok videos will have a watermark for copyright protection. Here’s our guide on how to download TikTok videos without a watermark if you intend it for personal use.


TikTok App Privacy Settings and Account Management

A key and a key hole
Photo by Arek Socha on Pixabay

How to block TikTok users from the app?

  1. Go to the user’s profile you want to block.
  2. Click on the ellipsis button found at the upper right of the screen.
  3. Select “Block” and then tap to confirm.

How to make your TikTok account private?

  1. On your profile page, tap the ellipsis icon at the upper right part of the screen. Go to Privacy and Safety.
  2. Enable “Private Account”.

How to delete a TikTok account?

  1. Go to your profile and click the ellipsis button at the top right of your screen.
  2. Go to “Privacy and Settings”, then “Manage my Account”.
  3. At the bottom part, click “Delete account”. Your account will be permanently deleted after 30 days.



With its growth and the influence it brings to people, the TikTok App is indeed rewriting the world of social media. The impact is most evident from Millennial to Generation Z. It doesn’t only kill one’s boredom but lets you be creative in so many different ways. The way it holds our attention and subconsciously invites us to explore the whole experience is just amazing.

After learning all the basic features and dynamics of the TikTok app, you are now capable of handling your account. Create videos of your interest, search your mutual, and discover new friends. As much as you enjoy participating in the hype, remember to not lose your identity. Keep your personality and use the TikTok App to improve your interests and your talent. Most importantly, let it be the way to enjoy yourself confidently.