Tiktok has become one of the most influential social media platforms of this generation. If you do not know what TikTok is, here is a quick briefing. TikTok was an application created by Bytedance, a Chinese multinational internet technology company. It is a social media application in which users can create 15 to 60 seconds of short lip sync, comedy, acting, and talent videos with the available background music or audios they create themselves. It was merged with the formerly popular lip-syncing app, Musical.ly around August 2018, and its popularity has only grown since then.
How is it influential?
TikTok is an app that makes connection and access easy. A user in New Zealand can see a video made by someone in Kenya all because of the music they used or the hashtags they chose to put in.
Because of its accommodating algorithm, trends are able to spread like wildfire and the songs and memes that are connected to the trends gain popularity also.
This impact really showed itself in 2020 and it makes sense since TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in that year with 63.4 million downloads in the month of August according to appfigures date. This was most likely due to the fact that users needed new ways to be entertained while in lockdown.
One example is its impact on the music industry. It influences the popularity of a song, Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo. It has been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks in a row.
It gained attention from TikTok because of the speculation about the meaning behind the song, a love triangle. After a while, popular users on the app would use the song and many of their followers would do the same. Not long after, a trend was created.
There are currently over 1.9 million videos under the sound and it has been streamed about 430 million times on Spotify since its release early January.
There are other songs that have been known to gain attention because of the app through dance trends or skit like videos. From Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage dance challenge to transition videos using Erika Bank’s Buss It, there is really no denying that TikTok and its reach has a hand in their popularity.
It became truly noticeable when artists would make dance challenges to go with their music for them to have more streams. This is a huge thing with K-Pop artists who tend to always have choreography to go with their song. With TikTok, they are able to promote their songs using their own choreography as a dance challenge.
One of the most popular trends in 2020 was one that used the song Jojo Pose by Apollo Fresh, where users would recreate stills of popular anime characters. Currently, over three hundred thousand videos have been made using the sound. Not only did that trend give the artist attention, it is safe to say that it gave Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures new viewers.
Even if a user does not directly take interest in a trend, there are characters or sounds they will immediately recognize because of how often they have been boosted on their For You page. One example is the popularization of the anime character Zero Two from Darling in the Franxx. A video involving the character has 19.5 million likes and the top video under the sound is an animation of the character herself.
TikTok is able to personalize a user’s For You page based on posts they have liked or downloaded. This alone can get a user to stay scrolling for hours because what they see most of the time will be something they enjoy. When users are always on the app, they are more likely to see one or two trends.
The videos are also shared on other social media like Twitter and Instagram, making the reach even greater.