By Maggie Crowe, Staff Writer and Fiona Corrigan, Staff Writer
It’s no secret that social media has erupted since the turn of the millennium, with websites and apps including MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram each taking its turn as the predominant form of teen internet sharing. TikTok has recently taken over a unique corner of the internet, where viral trends run rampant and meme culture is the supreme law of the land.
TikTok is an iOS and Android social media app that is owned and developed by the Chinese company Douyin. The app is a creative social platform that specializes in comedy, talent and lip-sync videos. TikTok is often associated with the app Musical.ly, which had a similar approach, and merged with TikTok in August 2018.
With more than 500 million active monthly users worldwide, TikTok stands out from other social platforms because it allows everyone on the app to become content creators, participating in trends that become popular on the app. More than forty percent of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24, which has sparked a unique breed of humorous and trend-riddled content. Creators can film videos that range from fifteen seconds to one minute, and they can edit the videos using a number of tools, including filters, text, slow motion and audio.
TikTok also differentiates from other popular social media platforms in that it focuses less on creators that are already popular and more on introducing users to new content and creators, which allows everyday creators to quickly gain popularity. Many of these creators gain their popularity, or “TikTok fame,” through trends that become popular and take over the app.
Since the majority of its users are teenagers, it is no surprise that memes often become widespread on TikTok. These trends develop quickly, with new videos that correspond to these trends posted every minute. Previous trends include videos to popular songs such as “Old Town Road” or “Mr. Clean,” or challenges such as the “Haribo Challenge”, where users rearrange gummy bears into a crowd of people to look like Adele fans singing “Someone Like You.”
Sophomore Bridget Incantalupo has gained more than 8,000 followers in only one year of actively posting on TikTok, with her most watched video racking up 775,000 views. “I basically live on there. I try to post every day because my follower count is getting bigger mostly every day,” she said. “It helps me stop thinking about stress. The only bad thing about is that sometimes I am worried that the people following me will judge me.”
Young people around the world have become hooked on TikTok, and the students of Trinity Hall are no exception.