Tiktok can do much more than dance and hype

Tiktok is not only the app with the dance videos and lipsyncing, but also a place for subcultures. If you take your time, you will experience many surprises.

The first contact with Tiktok often looks like this, especially when people are no longer super young: Open the app. First video shows a group of teenagers dancing to some viral hit. Close app. But if you have ten minutes of patience and diligently use the “Not interested” function, you will soon be rewarded with better content. Tiktok has a lot more to offer.

In the English-speaking world, the story has since spread from various Tiktok “sides”: Only the initiated make it to “Old” Tiktok. “Old” here stands for alternative. According to Urban Dictionary are the “good” side of Tiktoks meant, without Hype House (an influencer: indoor flat share in LA), without verified Tiktokers: inside, without foreign shame and without hyped content. Mashable-Author Jess Joho describes how she went from “Alt Cottagecore Middle-Class Black Girl Tiktok” to “Queer Latina Roller Skating Girl Tiktok” to “Women With Non-Hyperactive ADHD Tiktok” in her initial phase on Tiktok. She describes Tiktok’s homepage, the For-You-Page, as “intimate” and even claims that the Tiktok algorithm knows her sexuality better than she does.

The algorithm naturally prefers videos with high engagement rates, but it is still easier to go viral overnight without building a following beforehand. Tiktok is stalking own information in the service of diversity, which is why videos with a few likes are also displayed on the For-You-Page. (How, of all things, the video of a Russian farmer who films his cow and has six likes gets into the feed is still not entirely clear …)

What’s new: Since July 2021, it has been possible to upload three-minute videos. Of course, this does not automatically improve the content, but it makes it easier for creators who are really capable of uploading high-quality content and not, as usual at the beginning, to refer to part two. The “like and follow for part two!” Practice may, however, have washed one or two followers onto the page.

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As the really specific niches Jess Joho found himself in show, Tiktok, although now mainstream, is also a place for subcultures. These communities are not that small at all, but non-Tiktokers: probably still unknown inside. Here’s a look at the other side of Tiktok.

Creators who post book recommendations on the platform see themselves as part of Booktok. “Books I Read This Month,” “Books With The Best Plot Twists,” or “Sort My Bookshelf With Me” are some popular video titles. Also part of Booktok: sleep aid live streams in which creators read bedtime stories aloud. “I’ll also show the pictures” promises one Creator. The community is so big that they even Influence on the offline book market takes: The author Adam Silvera, for example, suddenly found himself at the top of the New York Times bestseller list four years after the publication of his novel “In the end we die anyway” and could hardly believe his luck. When a shopper told him she bought his book because of a tiktok trend, he realized that Booktok was skyrocketing sales.

Developers and programmers also travel a lot on Tiktok. Of course, memes mainly circulate on the platform, but career advice or tutorials also make up a large part of the content. The contributions under the hashtag #WomeninStem are particularly fascinating. Women who work in MINT professions (math, IT, natural sciences, technology) share their experiences and build a mentorship relationship with their followers. In the video “I evaluate statements that guys said to me when they were studying mechanical engineering” One user tells that she was called a “dishwasher”, but that she took hostility as a drive to study even more diligently. The computer scientist and ex-Microsoft employee Jessica Wang posts advice on job interviews and shares experiences from her career in the tech industry on her profile. She remains calm, objective and, above all, extremely approachable. Authenticity is very important to Tiktok users.

Generation Z will soon be able to apply the career skills they have acquired directly to Tiktok.Tiktok resumes“Available in the US. You can then apply to participating companies using a Tiktok introduction video.

Body Positivity: More Authentic on Tiktok

The body positivity movement on Instagram has been very softened by influencers who want to turn the movement into a business. On Tiktok, on the other hand, the movement is fresher and more authentic than ever. The activists go one step further: While the Instagram influencers propagate self-love, Tiktok creators have adopted a neutral stance on their bodies. A user sums up the concept: “It’s just a body. He deserves love and so do you. ”In addition to the motivating videos with“ Don’t let it get you down ”, there are also outfit inspirations or“ storytimes ”: brief insights into the life stories of individual creators. Another phenomenon: “Come eat with me” videos and live streams for people who either don’t have anyone to eat lunch together or who find it difficult to eat regularly. Overall, the Tiktok community makes an extremely loving and inclusive impression here.

Tiktok has significant political potential. Just think of Donald Trump’s supposed big event in Tulsa, which was booked out by Tiktok users in 2020, only to ultimately stay away from the event and embarrass the then US President. A similar event took place in early July when ex-Trump employee Jason Miller’s new platform called Gettr went online. Calls to flood the network with memes came from Tiktok, among others. In Germany, most of the party’s youth organizations have their own accounts.
The @csuauftiktok publishes videos with titles like “Does Markus Söder have a favorite beer?” and has a stable following of almost 50k subscribers. For example, the state spokesman for Linksjugend Berlin creates for Die Linke, @felixsschulz, the content; the @gruene_jugend still has to work on their sound quality and the @spdbt brings her members of the Bundestag, preferably Karl Lauterbach and Karamba Diaby, in front of the camera.

Professional actors are gaining a foothold

With the rapid growth of the app, Tiktok is becoming more and more interesting for professional publishers. The daily News published her first Tiktok post in 2019, back then with Jan Hofer as the protagonist. Wireless, the content network of ARD and ZDF, of course also has an account, and mirror TV also jumped on the bandwagon in February of this year.

Tiktok knows you – that has advantages and disadvantages

The constant criticism that is leveled at the app: Tiktok has a massive problem with data protection. When you download it for the first time, the app asks for your location and contacts, and also asks for your age and phone number. An expert explains in an interview with the Washington Postthat Tiktok was tapping an “abnormal” amount of data: When he opened Tiktok, he found around 210 network queries in the first nine seconds. The total of the data sent from the app to the network was over 500 kilobytes, which is equivalent to around 125 pages of written data. The information disclosed included the screen resolution of the device used and the Apple Advertising Identifier.

The content guidelines are also very questionable in parts: Internal documents that will be published in 2020 The Intercept templates show that moderators were instructed to limit the visibility of videos from users with noticeable flaws. Tiktok-mandated defects include an unusual body shape, an abnormal face, disabilities, or a “shabby” location. Videos with these criteria should be hidden from new users.

The addiction factor should not be underestimated either: in 2020, the student Niko Nquyen from Cornell University published a essayin which he explains why he is leaving Tiktok with immediate effect. The reason for his departure from Tiktok was the potential for addiction and the time he felt was wasted in the app. After all, Tiktok has a screen time manager that shows when an hour has passed. But to be honest, anyone who: rs that one full hour on Tiktok is willing to do the same for at least another hour.

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