A Project for Better Journalism chapter

TikTok: What Is It?

What do some people call a disgrace to man and others call the new Vine? If you guessed TikTok, you are correct.

TikTok is a popular app formerly known as Musical.ly. It launched in China in 2006 and has been growing ever since. The basis for the app is the creating and sharing of fifteen second videos. Users can use nearly infinite varieties of sounds and effects to create their videos. This app is mostly used by people aged 11-20, but people of all ages are involved in the popular app. Users create or duet videos usually based on one or many genres commonly found on the app.

First of the seven most common genres is “ironic.” The users in this genre create comedic videos, often making fun of another user. The users making these videos are often gamers who downloaded the app purely to make ironic content. Next are the “musers” who are nearly the polar opposite of the ironic TikTokers. These users usually lip-sync to audio while trying to look cool. Truly, there is no way to describe their movements in words, so look it up if you are curious. Another common group on TikTok are “furries” and cosplayers. They usually wear some sort of costume resembling either their favorite character or a character they made themselves. Dancers are another genre and they usually participate in “dance chains,” trying to complete the original dances of others.

Next, many trends pass through TikTok. First is one of the older trends: the Furry War. This made-up war took place between the furries and gamers (mostly ironic TikTokers), and the “battles” were mostly through either side holding up nerf guns while duetting others’ videos. Another trend is showing support for Pewdiepie or T-Series during their battle for most subscribed YouTuber. Users would often display the difference in their subscribers and show their reactions. Another more recent trend is “point of view.” In the trend, the creator makes a scenario where they talk directly to the viewer, usually recreating a familiar experience. Truly, there are nearly infinite numbers of trends, but these are just a few.

In the end, whether you support the app or not is simply based on preference. With the varying genres and trends, there is something on the app for everyone.