TikTok Platform Takeover

Chance to go viral sparks uptick in screen time, desire for internet fame

If you are one of the few people left that hasn’t downloaded TikTok, consider yourself lucky. 

Ever since downloading this app, my screen time has increased by approximately 30% and all of my free time is spent chasing TikTok fame – and once you achieve it, the thirst just strengthens.

When I first heard of TikTok, I wasn’t that interested in it due to the reputation of Musical.ly, an app where users can create short lip syncing videos. According to Billboard, Musical.ly and TikTok merged in August 2018 creating a unique platform where users can create short videos using popular songs and sounds, similar to the app Vine.

Vine was known for turning six second looped videos into viral memes and as a popular platform where many now famous YouTubers got their start.

My personal internet hero, David Dobrik, got his start on Vine and now has over 16 million subscribers on YouTube. Due to creators like Dobrik, a lot of kids now want to be famous “YouTubers” or social media influencers when they grow up. I think TikTok is a more accessible way to achieve this fame.

While Vine and YouTube fame both have these unspoken rules about moving to Los Angeles, buying super expensive camera and lighting equipment, hiring a video editor, and getting brand deals with major companies, TikTok provides an easier and simpler route to fame, and here’s how:

Step 1 – Film your friends doing something funny, weird, or unconventional for 15 to 60 seconds with or without a trending sound.

Step 2 – Post it.

Step 3 – Pray, wish, hope that it will appear on the “For You” page and people will like it.

Step 4 – Turn off notifications, because getting a notification for every time someone likes or comments on your viral TikTok is annoying.

Step 5 – Sit back and relax.

Step 6 – Do it all over again.

While a viral TikTok may only get you a true 15 seconds of fame, it is possible to build it up to a much more popular account such as creators Charli D’Amelio and Chase Hudson, also known as Lil Huddy, have done. D’Amelio has over 30.6 million followers and 1.7 billion likes on her account, an incredible feat for a 15 year old from Connecticut.

TikTok has also boosted the fame and success of music artists whose songs go viral on the app. Ant Saunders’ “Yellow Hearts” was released in January 2019, but in October of last year reached over 125 million listens on Spotify due to its popularity on TikTok.

And with music comes dancing. “ROXANNE” by Arizona Zervas has reached 510 million listens on Spotify, rocketing to the top of pop charts due to its popularity on the app and the re-creations of a popular dance to the song on TikTok. Many other songs have also been granted their own “TikTok dance” such as “Say So” by Doja Cat or “Toes” by DaBaby.

I think no matter how you look at it, TikTok has been life changing for many Millennials and Gen Zers. If you’re lucky enough to have TikTok fame or clout, you might be recognized on the streets; if you’re just a viewer, you probably have a new bedtime routine involving scrolling the “For You” page before bed; and if you don’t have a TikTok at all, you’ve heard the name and have definitely been asked why you don’t know the “Renegade.”

Overall, while TikTok does take up a lot of my time, I’m grateful for the entertainment it provides and for the Chinese government collecting my data. And with that, Good Luck Charli (haha without the e get it bc of Charli D’Amelio).