Trending challenges. Reimagined pop culture. Bite-sized content. Lip-syncing musicals. Dance covers.
These are just some of the ways this social media app is described. It is where endless entertaining content is created and where people have found their community by making or watching videos.
TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service that rose to popularity around 2018. From duets, comedy skits, to video tutorials and challenges - the platform is filled with creative content, any of which has the potential to be a worldwide hit.
Content creators are given tools like special effects, filters, and music to help them create original videos. While viewers are provided a personalized stream of content.
It has become part of daily culture due to the engagements that have pushed videos to viral status, and eventually, a mainstay in pop culture. It is being talked about and shared across the internet, so much that even people without the app are enticed to join the fun.
At its core, the platform aims to inspire creativity and bring joy to its users. However, it has become more than just for entertainment, for many people, the app has made a deeper imprint and changed their lives.
Here are some of the ways the platform is making an impact on pop culture and the world.
Students will find videos about informative topics such as language, science, history, and math on the app. Even life skills such as cooking and gardening are making waves. There are content creators on TikTok who make it their mission to help students learn new things or explain certain facts in interactive ways like bite-sized visuals and explainers. Some are finding it a good supplement to what they learn in school and many are indulging in this type of content because they get information in a fun and quick way.
Learning is reimagined on the platform as content creators continuously find new ways to present educational materials for people who want to broaden their knowledge.
With a platform like this, users are free to express themselves as creative as one wants to be. There are no limits and a variety of tools are provided to help them. Anyone can make a trending video, as long as one is imaginative and authentic. It has been encouraging its users to show their true selves, flaws and all, to a community who feels the same, thereby empowering people to express themselves.
Even everyday hobbies are finding an audience as people who relate found a community; like the #clayart, #cupboardcooking, or #PlantsOfTikTok.
No matter what form, talent is recognized on the platform. People who are just starting in their careers can trend just as quickly as established stars. It all boils down to creative, shareable, and interactive content.
Songs that were not popular on its release can suddenly hit the charts once more because of newfound popularity on a dance challenge. Creators have found themselves sharing a seemingly normal video can wake up the next day viral and with multiple career opportunities. Career blossoms and some content creators' lives are changed for good.
One such example is Zendee Tenerefe, a musician who became popular because of song covers and music adaptation videos. She was inspired by her friends to make her account and started doing lip-syncing and dance videos, and eventually, her own content as a singer.
''If you think na magaling kang gumawa ng songs, na alam mo na makamasa 'yun, TikTok talaga yung magandang place para ipakita 'yung talent na mayroon ka,'' the trending singer said.
[If you think you can write songs that appeal to a wide audience, then TikTok is the platform for you to showcase your talent.]
Listen to her story here:
Zendee is not the only one, there are thousands of new talents being discovered on the platform as it has been inspiring people to come out of their shell and put their own spin on ongoing challenges. On the other end, viewers also get to discover talented people they can support or aspire to be.
Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity
It does not matter what race or country one comes from, as long as the content is interesting and shareable it will trend on the platform. It has been promoting cultural diversity and making it cool, bringing culture to a contemporary place that young audiences can relate to. Locally, Filipinos' inherent humorous and optimistic sides are showcased and celebrated.
Take for instance TikTok sensation YanYan De Jesus who has achieved instant fame for his lively dance covers and comedy stints. He is also the Grand Winner of the 2019 TikTok SEA All-Star Championship in the Talent Category. He admits that he loves the TikTok community for being global and for being inclusive, regardless of one's birthplace.
''As a Filipino TikToker I learned how to appreciate our culture more because of the trends that have been going around TikTok,'' the 19-year-old professional dancer said. ''It makes you feel proud of your nationality and what we have here in the Philippines. And I thank TikTok for accepting each and every culture.''
Know more about YanYan in this video
The platform is proud to be a place where everyone belongs, regardless of nationality, gender, background, or any other dimension of identity.
Anyone whether young or old, famous or unknown, has a chance to start trends on TikTok. Even those who have thought their career has run its course. This is seen in the inspiring story of award-winning Filipino actress Gina Pareno.
Influenced by her granddaughter, the 70-year-old veteran actress debuted on TikTok in May 2020. She was happily surprised to realize that she could still attract so many audiences in her twilight years. Known as @yourlolagets, Pareno has amassed 850,000 followers and counting.
''Ang intensyon mo ay para pasayahin ang mga tao,'' Pareno said. ''Dito mo maeexpress yung sarili mo na natural, na gusto mo. Kaya happy na happy ako sa TikTok. '' [Your intention is to bring happiness to others. This is where you can express yourself in the way you want to. That is why I am very very happy with TikTok.]
Know more about Gina Pareno's TikTok journey here
When the current health situation started, many people have found a sanctuary on TikTok as it has given them a respite from what is going on in the world and creators did not disappoint, offering quirky, funny, and informative videos.
While the app may have started as something purely for entertainment, it has grown over the years to be much more – both for content creators and viewers. It has changed lives, especially those catapulted to fame, and brought quick smiles to people simply scrolling. People are pushing creative and inspiring content so much that it becomes part of pop culture, and it is clear that trends are started on TikTok – from a personal experience to one a whole community can relate to and take part in.
Come as you are and start your own TikTok journey today, check out their official campaign page, it starts on TikTok!
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