TikTok: What You Need to Know About the World’s Trendiest Social Media App


Sarah Herbster, Reporter

With 500 million monthly users, “TikTok”, is slowly catching up to big-names such as Facebook and Instagram. The app officially launched in August 2018 when “ByteDance”, a Beijing-based tech company, merged “TikTok” with “Musical.ly”. Appealing to Gen Zers with its short length videos, ranging anywhere from fifteen to sixty seconds, the app features dance routines, lip syncs, and much more.

Since TikTok allows users to upload sounds and videos from outside the app, the possibilities for new trends are endless, as long as they remain within the community guidelines. Although you may stumble upon the occasional cosplayer, the majority of the videos on the platform are comedic. As Emma  Schoenecker (‘20) shared: “I enjoy making whatever videos I want and making people laugh…I like it more than other social media because I can post as often as I want and it doesn’t matter.” But besides creating new content for their followers, users appreciate the social aspect of the platform.

Although the app is mostly used for entertainment, the student also mentions the new relationships she has built from it. The app includes a duet feature in which two creators can collaborate while also offering direct messaging for users to communicate. “I also like it because it’s helped me make friends who I value a lot,” Schoenecker shared. In addition, Celia Gossow (‘21) added that TikTok is “creating a subculture that convinces [her] that [she is] part of a greater community but at the same time continues to leave [her] isolated within a world few others understand.” But what is it like to have your videos viewed by thousands of strangers?

Andrew Herbster (‘22) revealed: “When one of my TikToks started getting thousands of views it was a great feeling… Around mid-June it reached 100,000 likes and I was ecstatic. I’m currently at 715,000 views and that’s the most my content has ever received.” For many users going viral seems out of the question, but not entirely impossible. Herbster added: “I posted the TikTok when I had around 100 fans but still reached over half a million people. People who don’t have a major view base can still go viral.”

The future of TikTok looks bright as the number of users keeps growing daily. “Though it gets a lot of hate, it’s actually a pretty good app,” Schoenecker concluded.