The new hype of social platforms has a name. With TikTok, the youngest generation has recently launched an app from China that is not entirely uncontroversial. But what is TikTok? And how is volleyball represented there?
TikTok (previously Musical.ly) was developed by the Chinese company ByteDance in 2017 and is currently one of the most downloaded app worldwide. The app has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times and its function can be compared to Instagram and Snapchat. You create videos of 15 seconds and edit them with certain effects afterwards.
To what extent has volleyball arrived at TikTok?
So far, I only know a few accounts that are operated by volleyball clubs:
Trentino Volley (@trentinovolley): Trentino recently announced in a press release that they are using TikTok. There are already many videos online and a decent fan base with 70K followers could be generated. You can often see scenes from training, with an average of 1-2K likes. Rarely do videos go viral, once a setters point with over 67K likes, sometimes two attacks over the middle with over 77K likes. By far the most successful video has 300K likes and shows Grebennikov’s reception from a ball machine.
In principle, it works as if you were using residual content from Instagram on TikTok. There is no clear concept recognizable and they don’t go deeper into the special characteristics of the app. Means you don’t use editing effects and even no music from the app. A lot of potential is lost here!
Zenit Kazan (@volleyzenit): Kazan is not very active in TikTok and had no particular success yet. With an average of 50 likes, there is only one video with 500 likes. In comparison to Trentino, the content is presented a little bit better and cuts and music are often used. It is striking that mostly Russian hashtags are used or English hashtags that target the Russian market, which significantly reduces the viral effect. Here they should think more global.
But there is one player who is very successful on TikTok. Tobias Krick (@tobiaskrick1), German national player, has over 45K followers and 800K likes for his videos, which mostly show game scenes from him.
Conclusion: I think TikTok should definitely take place in the portfolio in the social media department of every club. Due to the viral effect that good videos can have, attention can be reached quickly without much effort. Certainly this does not create a sustainable fan base, since you can follow accounts, but you spend most of your time in the „Explore“ tab and any videos that go viral are displayed. Nevertheless, there is great potential to make volleyball more popular.
It should not be unmentioned why TikTok is so controversial. It has recently become known that content that includes people with disabilities has been pushed into the background by the algorithm. Political content is also suppressed. This means that ByteDance (and probably the Chinese government) can decide which topics are relevant and which are not.
Do you know of any other clubs or players that are active on TikTok? Let me know in the comments.