What’s the deal with TikTok?

The addicting app taking social media by storm


Shelby Truitt

Shelby Truitt’s, a Westminster freshman, TikTok videos. Truitt has gained a large following on TikTok.

If you’re a high school student, chances are you’ve sung the catchy songs, attempted one of the dances, or hopped onto one of the many trends from the rising lip-sync app, TikTok.

While it’s more unlikely that you haven’t yet discovered this not so hidden world, for those who aren’t quite sure how it works, the app is filled with millions of light-hearted videos made by teens, with thousands more being uploaded by the second. The app’s users, also referred to as TikTokers, can easily make a video within minutes. First, an audio, normally sampled from a popular song, television show, or youtube video is selected. From there, users have full discretion to film themselves doing whatever they’d like over the sound they have chosen, though comical skits and catchy dances make up most of the content on the app.

Released three years ago, the app is great at gaining both viewers and popularity. TikTok already has 500 million active users from around the globe, and with each passing day, that number only grows. To put this in perspective, in comparison to other popular apps amongst young adults, Twitter and Snapchat, TikTok passes both apps in number of active viewers by 200 million according to Business of Apps. Word of mouth alone makes a huge contribution to the success of the app. Many teenagers shamelessly talk about their accounts and share their favorite TikToks with their friends. Further adding to the app’s fame is its spread amongst other social media platforms. Quite often, TikToks are found on Instagram’s explore page, on Twitter feeds, and even make appearances on Snapchat stories. Another honorable mention is the “fear of missing out” (FOMO). After seeing or hearing about one of these videos, curious teenagers want to know what the excitement is about and impulsively download the app to have enjoyable entertainment at their fingertips and join in on what has practically become a new hobby. All of these things combined reach an enormous number of people and effortlessly draw in even more users to perpetuate the cycle for the company.

“Whenever I have free time, I’m on TikTok,” said Kate Dempsey, sophomore. “I always lose track of time, and end up on [the app] for at least two hours watching other people’s TikToks, or making my own.”

The app’s ability to keep millions of loyal fans returning day after day and to have the same users locked in for hours at a time is a testament to just how easy it is to be engulfed in the art of TikToking. The fact that users can literally scroll forever through the app’s “For You” page is probably what makes it so easy to lose track of time. Featured TikToks that end up here have hundreds of thousands of likes, and the number of comments, favorites, and shares follows close behind. The profiles of active users normally have a ton of finished TikToks posted for anyone to watch if and when fans get tired of the home page – something that rarely happens.

To say the least, TikTok is quite popular and addicting, all with good reason. The fact that it is a fun way for teens to pass the time, share their creativity, and connect with others is the reason why it has become so well-known. Say what you want about the app, but it’s hard to deny that it is a brilliant idea and an even better way of bringing people together.