Infographic by Jenna Crowley
Cathedral Catholic High School student Travis Miller ‘21 enjoys posting comedic and relatable videos on his Tik Tok account. However, he was astonished when his content began to trend on the massive social media platform, with multiple videos accumulating thousands of likes.
In a recent post, Miller garnered more than half a million views and more than 140,000 likes from just a fifteen second clip he created.
“Its strange,” Millet said. “For two of the videos, I had no idea how the community would react. I was simply posting them for my own enjoyment, and when they went viral I was surprised.”
Massive social media platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter have topped the technological world for years. However, when Tik Tok arrived on the international scene in August of 2018, more than half a billion downloads across the globe occurred. While a variety of people use the application, a majority of accounts are held by teenagers, including CCHS students.
Internet technology company ByteDance released an early version of the application solely available in China in late 2016, dubbed Douyin. After purchasing musical.ly, a popular platform created for sharing lip-sync videos, ByteDance merged the application with their United States debuting edition of Douyin in August 2018, creating Tik Tok.
In one year, Tik Tok gained a strong reputation among corporations and consumers alike.
According to online trade magazine Digiday, Tik Tok’s algorithm is influenced by a recommendation system. Users like, comment, and share videos from their feed, which the app collects to provide viewers with content they will likely find appealing.
Tik Tok recommends more attractive videos to consumers as an individual’s feed becomes specific to them. The recommendation system will present interest-based targeting when Tik Tok advertisements officially launch, and corporations can modify their profile’s content for target audiences.
While Tik Tok advertisements are still in the beginning stages, many large businesses have created accounts with their own content on the platform to appeal to youth, including the San Diego Zoo, NBC News, and Marvel Studios.
Individuals find the app unique in how companies strive to appeal to viewers, but most significantly in the structural differences Tik Tok has compared to other social media sites. A notable contrast includes how Tik Tok promotes creativity and talent on their platform.
“Teenagers have used this application more than others because they do humor videos with friends or by themselves that can be shared across the world,” CCHS student Edna Luna ‘22 said. “Tik Tok presents humor and creativity. That is what the app is all about, to think of new ideas and create content.”
In an age that strongly values technology, young adults can find themselves enveloped in the technological world and its happenings. According to students at CCHS, and many users around the world, Tik Tok provides a fresh contrast to commonplace platforms.
“It is more entertaining than just seeing pictures every once in a while, and you get to see new content every day,” Luna said.
Tik Tok’s arrival this past year seems to offer a different perspective on social media’s influence, especially to the myriad of adolescents who use the app.
“The community comes from every aspect of life,” Miller said.