TikTok has been available in the United States for just over a year. That was enough to attract close to 27 million users in the US alone, while the app has been downloaded more than 660 million times in 2018.

For the uninitiated, TikTok is a free mobile video app where users share short clips, often set to music.

TikTok was the most downloaded app on Apple's App Store last month, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat. News organisations, however, have been hesitant to make the jump to the platform.

But not the Washington Post.

Since launching its account three months ago, it has attracted more than 78,000 fans and more than one million 'heart' reactions to its videos that range from behind-the-scenes clips of working at the publication to its takes on trending memes.

Dave Jorgenson, video producer, Washington Post, said its 'wholesome dad' approach to the platform and adopting a style similar to American version of The Office has been well received by users who are largely pre-teens.

"These kids are discovering the show for the first time and I know they're watching those zooms on Jim Halpert as he stares at the camera, so filming it like that made a lot of sense to me and was the best way to show them what's behind everything we do."

As well as building a greater awareness of its brand, this video content has also sparked an interest in journalism among some of the followers.

"They see us as something that's relatable and something to look forward to once they are out in the real world reporting on the news, and I think that's the greatest compliment."

The TikToK content is not just all memes. The publisher also covers news in a way that fits in with the culture of the platform. For example, Jorgenson created a skit to cover the news that Spiderman will no longer appear in the Marvel cinematic universe, due to a dispute between Disney and Sony.

Production time varies from as little as ten minutes to as much as two hours, depending on the video. Jorgenson films on his iPhone and uses Premier Pro to perfect timings and add text, then creates special effects in the app before posting.

Going forward, he wants to create five weekly posts, with three being directly news-related and two other being more fun, whilst still featuring the newspaper in some way.

He also hopes that TikTok will eventually become a new revenue stream for the publication, although there is no clear monetisation strategy at the moment.

"People on this app are the people of the future, whether you like it or not. From a business perspective, I don't know why you would ignore that.

"It's a great creative space and a really collaborative space perfect for a newspaper."

For journalists trying out the app for the first time, TikTok can be quite daunting. As soon as you log in, popular videos featuring the latest trending challenge automatically start playing.

"When I opened the app for the first time, I was completely overwhelmed," Jorgenson said.

Although it can be confusing, spending time browsing through trending hashtags, music and effects being used is the best way to get a grasp of how to use the app and what is popular on the platform.

And for those thinking that TikTok is another trend which will go the way of Vine, which shut down after less than four years, Jorgenson thinks that the platform is here to stay.

"They have all the tools to last a long time and, as far as I can tell, they're not going anywhere."

Looking to discover a new approach to social media? Sign up for our 'Social media content strategies' course with former BBC journalist Sue Llewellyn here.

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