The Uprising of TikTok
January 22, 2020
TikTok was released in the US in 2017. Its predecessors were Vine and Musical.ly, which both took the world by storm. On TikTok, users can create three to sixty-second looping videos where they dance, do skits, lip synch, and show off their talents. Over 1 billion people have downloaded TikTok since its release (myself included) and have fallen in love with the platform. Teens spend hours on TikTok scrolling through their “for you page,” which features videos that the user will enjoy. It is a great way to procrastinate and waste time; whenever I go on TikTok, I spend about half an hour on it. Having a TikTok up until recently was embarrassing to some and funny to most people. It was an app with children and preteens making weird videos but over the summer of 2019, that all changed. People began getting TikTok accounts just to see what was happening and not soon after, the world was hooked.
TikTok has also become an outlet for artists to share their work. The most common artist TikToks features singing, dancing, and painting. Many singers will cover popular songs on TikTok or even sing original songs. TikTok allows self-made singer/songwriters to get their music out there. They are more likely to be heard on TikTok than they are on popular music streaming services, such as Spotify or Apple Music. Artists also share their work through short videos of their artwork. A popular trend is to paint something every day until someone notices. This content is enjoyable and beautiful and frequently ends up with hundreds of thousands of views.
Many teenagers on TikTok share a common goal of becoming TikTok famous, which is when thousands of views, likes, and followers are achieved. It is different from Youtube because there aren’t ads to make money from, but many TikTokers with millions of followers on TikTok and Instagram get partnership deals with brands, where they make money for showcasing their products. I asked people who consider themselves TikTok famous a few questions. My questions were “Why do you enjoy TikTok?”, “Do you take TikTok seriously?”, and “What is your favorite part about TikTok?” Out of the four people I asked, they all answered similarly. In response to the first question, the general consensus was that TikTok was entertaining. They could spend hours on it and not get bored. None of them take TikTok seriously. All of the responders were either high school or college students, and they said that they had more important things to worry about. Lastly, they answered that TikTok allowed them to express themselves and provided an escape from the stress of school and work.