Tik Tok: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

By Ann Lindsey Williams

Where it All Began

Social Media has been a heavy influence on society since the early 2000s. In 2004, MySpace reached a million active users. This achievement seemed like a lot but it is just a fraction of the activity that occurs in the world of social media today. The major social media sites that are used today are Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook, Youtube, and Snapchat. This article is going to focus primarily on the app Tik Tok and the ways that it is changing the world. 

Tik Tok launched in September of 2016 but already has 689 million users as of January 2021. This makes it one of the leading platforms in social media and these apps have been around years longer. Different industries such as music, fashion, and entertainment have been seriously changed since the app has gained popularity. Tik Tok’s number of users have skyrocketed during the Corona Virus Pandemic. With people being in lockdown, they had more free time to scroll on Tik Tok and the app really started becoming relatable. Whether it’s the DIY, food, fashion, music, or dance side of Tik Tok, there is something that everyone can relate to. 

Sounds and the Rise of Music

Sounds are a huge part of what makes the app the hot topic that it is. Users can save sounds that they like and create videos off of them. Almost every video has a song or sound to it that other people frequently use. Songs that haven’t been played on the radio in 10 years have blown up on the app and been a chart topper by the next day. For example, the song “Please don’t go” by Mike Posner was popular hit in 2010 and today it is the top trending song in the world. Gaining recognition that it didn’t get the first time it was popular. Tik Tok is playing such a pivotal role in the music industry because people hear songs being repeated on the app and then that transfers over to them wanting to hear it on the radio or in a store/restaurant. It is also the best place to promote music and artist. This gives smaller artist who might not have the connections or money to make it in the old music industry an in.

Change in Fashion

The fashion industry has remained somewhat stable throughout the years in terms of what models look like and how things are run. Tik Tok is having a huge effect on fashion, particularly fast-fashion. Designers and models are now being discovered just by gaining a good amount of followers from using the app. For example, Wisdom Kaye has become super popular because of the way he dresses. This eventually lead to him getting signed by one of the top agency’s in the world. Fast-Fashion is criticized for being unethical and a huge part of waste. Tik Tok is known the promote places like Shien, Princess Polly, and Zafal. This causes a lot of controversy because it leads to fashion waste and sweatshops. These places are making a ton of money because of the app. If a clothing item goes “viral” on Tik Tok it will be sold out for months. The fashion industry has been changed for good because of this app. 

Entertainment Industry and New Rise of Influencer Culture

The entertainment industry is slowly but surely adding social media influencers as a type of talent or celebrity.  Normal people like Addison Rae, or Dixie Damelio are gaining millions of followers on the app causing them to surpass celebrities who have been around for a lot longer and are more established. These people sometimes do not have a single talent, they just know how to use the app. The easiest way to get famous now a day is to “blow up” on Tik Tok. This allows more people who might not have famous relatives or luck at that “one and a million” shot to become famous. This gives people more access to make money and become an influencer.    

Overall Tik Tok has changed many things about the world and it is only going to continue. This app will only grow with more and more users and will develop as technology evolves. The future is Tik Tok and there is nothing anybody can do to stop it. 

Sources: https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201216-how-tiktok-changed-the-world-in-2020; https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/10/style/what-is-tik-tok.html; https://harvardpolitics.com/the-future-is-tiktok/

One comment

  1. katpaterson · April 27

    I found this topic so interesting when we were discussing it in class and again now after reading your article. It is so crazy the amount of influence that TikTok has on how people dress these days, the music we listen to, and even how we spend our money! I’m wondering how long it will take for TikTok’s influence to fizzle out or if it will continue to influence us for a long time.

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