‘Please, whatever you do, do not send me a foot-tapping video. I can’t take any more’. I pleaded to my friends on day one of soft lockdown. If I heard ‘oooh nanana’ one more time I could see my head physically exploding. Yet here I am less than two weeks later as an ex self-proclaimed Tiktok hater. Now you can find me uploading new videoes each day with my sister @jade_inghammulliner and @piptoktiktop (go check us out) WE ARE GOING TO GO VIRAL ANY DAY NOW, I CAN FEEL IT. (Probably for all the wrong reasons).
Our videos are of the animasl and us and yes they are a piss-take but this app has hooked me in faster than when Instagram stories started showing which of your mcm had been watching.
I created an account back in December when the world had TikTok split. Influencers were either jumping in or they were vocally taking the mick about how it was juvenile and self-indulgent (which it absolutely is) and how the ‘grown-up’ bloggers were too busy already making meaningful content to join Tiktok. I nodded along, pretended my account didn’t exist and forgot about it and then Coronavirus happened…
Throughout quarantine, it could become so easy to fall into a spiral of self-pity and anger that we are stuck inside but within a millisecond of landing on TikTok home screen, I am crying with laughter, wheezing trying to catch my breath at ridiculous content. The app is a one-hit mood boost, and that my friend is what we need right now.
TikTok started out as Music.ly, an app used by Gen Zs to create audio videos lip-syncing to various songs and famous phrases. Music.ly was then bought out by a company that already owned TikTok, a similar app to Music.ly which had already launched in China. Tiktok took on all of music.ly’s videos and moved them over to the new platform.
According to the grumblers and those who think it is a bit cringe, I am not TikTok’s audience. To be fair I have no rhythm, I cannot sing and I have never expressed any interest in acting so maybe they are right but it has taken over my life to the point where I go on my phone and find I have lost an hour without realising, why do I love it so much? Well as you asked…
Following for all the good reasons
Tiktok makes Instagram look like the popular girls in school, the ones you so desperately want to be accepted into and proved to be worthy of and then you meet new friends [insert TikTok]. These new friends are fun, they don’t care what other people think, they improve your mental health and have you laughing 24/7.
People gain followers on TikTok for being funny and creating engaging content (which is why you will notice I have no followers). No one cares who they are, what shows they have been on, how many likes or followers they have or how polished their feed is. It definitely feels a lot more authentic (obviously the videos and the voices aren’t real) and inclusive. It has given more chances to users who perhaps cannot afford the props and the advertisements it costs to get noticed on Instagram/ Youtube.
Contrary to original belief it’s not just for the young
With celebrities, such a Louise Redknapp, Wayne Bridge, Nicole Scherzinger, etc all uploading videos is proof enough this app is not just for the young. It is what we all thought to start with. I kept telling my sister I was the wrong side of 20 to be on TikTok. Like every app, the young always find them first. Music.ly had a young teenage audience so when they moved all their content over to TikTok the Gen Zs made up most of the audience, but like any organic growth, other generations will always be curious and get involved. Look at Facebook, I was 16 when I joined Facebook but that does not represent Facebook’s user demographic now. So forget that you are counting down to your 30th and sign up.
It boosts creativity
Each day we make a video I always think this will be our last, I can’t think of any more ideas and suddenly there is something else. The good coming from Covid-19 is the opportunity it has given people to explore and create. Tiktok surprises me every day, there are always new videos which I am like dam I can’t believe they thought of that. Yes, some I look at and think that must have taken you bloody ages but it encourages us to think in ways we wouldn’t have done before lockdown.
It’s a little bit of a faff but it is easy
I am now not spending hours trying to navigate video editing software to make something look half decent. TikTok gives you all the tools to ‘edit’ the video in app. No exporting, saving and sharing. There are a few tweaks, in my opinion, they could make but on a whole, it was a relatively user-friendly app.
It’s so feel-good
Don’t get me wrong there are some incredibly attractive people on there, and I am still hit with the ‘she is so beautiful and talented’ but that is just life. I would have to stay in quarantine forever with no phone if I wanted to believe no one like this existed. Despite the small margin of comparison this app is so feel good. It has a community feel of joy and freedom and isn’t that what we are all missing at the minute?
The barriers feel lower
I have always felt for influencers such as Zoella who is a 30-year-old woman who is often told her audience is Gen z and she should accommodate for them only. Which is difficult when you are 30 and not 15. With TikTok, it feels like anything goes. A voice-over could be used by a 15-year-old, a 30-year-old and onwards and still be relevant and funny.
The list could go on but these are just a few, so if you have been holding back joining TikTok I hope this post has changed your mind. Even if you sign up just for some easy laughs. It is really family-orientated my nephew loves it so don’t be worried about making it a family account, they are all loved. Just keep it kind and positive!