A fear of missing out and endless opportunity within have allowed for TikTok to develop into one of the biggest global phenomena of the 21st century.
Snapchat captivated an audience and demographic and so did Instagram. But something so obscure as TikTok, has, well, steamrolled across the globe, engulfing generations and multi-national corporations on its way — this exponential growth isn’t something to be missed, no matter what your motivation is.
As much as you might want to, you cannot deny that there is something special about TikTok. It is, after all, one of the fastest growing social media sites on the planet.
For those of who you somehow don’t know what it is, you’ll most certainly have heard someone talking about it. TikTok, not the song once released by pop sensation Kesha, is an app which allows users to upload short videos, customised and personalised with music, text, and filters.
In this article, we detail what exactly this new-found craze is and what trends have bounced of the back of its rapid growth.
The history of TikTok
Initially launched back in September 2016 in China as Douyin (the name that TikTok uses in the Asian nation), the app focuses its attention on providing entertainment in short, digestible snippets. TikTok’s mission, as detailed by its owners is: “to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone.
While hashtags have allowed users to successfully navigate the channel and promote its popularity, challenges have been the main fuel behind TikTok’s ability to get everyone involved.
If we cast our minds back eight years to 2012, we can find what some would see as the predecessor to TikTok. Vine had around 200 million monthly users worldwide and focused on an idea of allowing users to produce short clips or videos. In 2016, Vine was no more after Twitter decided to discontinue it.
TikTok’s algorithm allows users to like videos that will, ultimately, then refeed clips of a similar style while also providing a ‘For You’ section which entails material that users wouldn’t usually interact with but feels as if you may enjoy. Whatever they’re doing, it works, which is why there are more than 800 million monthly users worldwide.
Now we’ve briefly explained what TikTok is, let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends that have helped link the world together while turning millions of internet users into overnight celebrities.
Browse for more than 30 seconds of your feed on TikTok and you’re almost guaranteed to stumble across a choreographed dance. Since lockdown ensued in early March, one of these said dances to gain serious popularity is the “Blinding Lights Challenge”.
Based around the Weeknd’s top hit In Your Eyes, the challenge begins with a group of people walking around aimlessly, bouncing up and down, or simply doing something that involves no synchronisation whatsoever. The beat drops, however, and boom — choreographed dance moves galore.
While former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger managed to boost her followers with a carefully constructed video, it’s more been the number of failed attempts by parents and grandparents roped into by their youngers that has provided us all with a giggle.
Here you can see Lymm Fire Station’s interpretation of the challenge.
Kids and Dogs
What do kids and dogs have in common? Well, according to TikTok it is a severe lack of patience. Parents and pet owners around the world have been feeding into the hashtag #patiencechallenge which now has more than 25 million videos.
The method is pretty simple, the parent or pet owner sets a tray of delicious sweets, buns, or treats in front of their child or furry friend. They then get up and tell them to wait until they come back before they eat it. Sounds easy, yes? Well, no, not for the kids and canines – so many have struggled giving all us viewers a little chuckle!
Why not take a look at youtuber Dailylifeofdad putting his toddler to the test?
Perhaps one of the largest influxes of individuals that we have seen since the beginning of lockdown is sport stars. When live sport got cancelled, the theme became one of bored, bored, in the house bored (a TikTok related joke for all the fanatics out there).
The quarantine meant sports stars from all disciplines were now residing at home, meaning plenty of time to display their skill in front of the camera. We’ve seen free runners, cross-fit athletes, and premier league footballers showing off what they can do. We were even treated to the one and only Ronaldinho knocking out some keepy-ups!
However, one of the most popular sports we’ve seen splattered all over TikTok is skating – hardly surprising when so many of us have reignited our love for the board over the course of lockdown.
Here we see a compilation of ‘TikToks that make me want to skate’. Disclaimer: some are successful, some aren’t!
If you haven’t already, chances are that you’re going to get involved in TikTok in the very near future – it’s intergenerational and more importantly, incredibly entertaining. Moreover, it’s here to stay.