COM0011 – What is TikTok?

You may have heard of it before, but this new social media platform has only increased in popularity is TikTok. As someone already on social media, I felt quite out of the loop when it came to TikTok and only recently started paying attention to all the news surrounding its growth. What is TikTok? Well if you are like me and had need to research the details, look no further! A Chinese company in 2016, bought an existing platform and renamed it to TikTok. This platform allowed users to post funny memes, stories and videos of themselves, which then is shared amongst other users. Part of the allure to the program is that users are able to apply filters, and special effects to enhance their own videos.

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TikTok has been able to entice users through platform challenges and trending hashtags, which has increased its popularity among younger generations. It began with a large audience in China and slowly expanded overseas, mostly using challenges. It truly boomed when influencers and celebrities began to take part and people wanted to watch what they were posting. Hashtags are vital to TikTok when posting a video as they help categorize the content, gain followers, become an influencer, and know what is trending.

Although TikTok is now a trending platform, it has been hitting some bumps in the road. But were these legal issues just growing pains in a now international company? The first issue being that religious countries had issues with explicit content being easily accessible. In this instance, India files a lawsuit claiming the inappropriate content could lead to “cultural degradation”. After enforcing stricter rules on content, they once again hit a bump in the road over data collection from children in the US. Since they were collecting data from minors without parental consent, they had to hefty fine. Recently in the news, TikTok was once again blasted over the “Momo challenge”. This was a video of the bird woman appearing on multiple social media platforms instructing children to do bad things such as kill themselves or else “Momo” would find them. Although they were not the only platform listed, due to a large portion of their audience being minors, it became a platform for parents to worry about.

Surprisingly, companies have already jumped in the band waggon and started promoting their brand on TikTok. The best example would be Chipotle posting the “Guacamole song” and a bowl of their guacamole, which ended up sparking Guacamole dance challenge. It worked because it aligned with the theme of TikTok, which is to have fun and be silly in a safe environment. Chipotle did a great job at promoting their brand using trending hashtags, a funny song and it sparked a challenge which help the video gain stardom. I think as time goes on, we will be seeing a rise in companies promoting their brands in silly ways in hopes that it will help their corporate image. You look at the chipotle video and you don’t think about them as a corporation, but rather an individual with a sense of humour.

As TikTok gains more popularity with younger generations and celebrities, more people will start to join due to the classic symptom of “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out). More companies will have to learn the new platform to ensure they can start to promote brand awareness. Hopefully TikTok will create stricter rules when it comes to content, children on the platform and predators. Although they cannot control users, parents will have to learn about the program more depth to ensure their kids are safe.


Facebook: Heard of TikTok, yet can’t wrap your head around it? Look no further, we’ve got you covered! Click here for more:

Twitter:  Meme, videos, challenges and more! New social media platform is making strides. Are you on TikTok?

#tiktok #socialmedia #tiktokchallenge #genz

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