Why is TikTok So Famous?


Courtesy of TikTok

Over the past year, TikTok has become one of the most popular apps of the decade.

Kayden Mandley, Photojournalist

From Myspace to Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat, it seems like almost every year, a new app emerges and reinvents how we use social media. This year, TikTok has taken over.

In 2020, TikTok made its first appearance in the App Store. Its platform incorporates a mixture of lip-syncing videos, video entertainment, dance content, and it continues to gain popularity amongst younger generations. However, the question still stands: why is TikTok so famous?

For starters, TikTok’s rising fame could be a result of the app’s content discovery feed, which is most commonly known as the “For You” page (FYP). The FYP runs off of an extraordinary algorithm that incorporates one’s FYP with the most desired content. This unique algorithm also creates relationships between videos based on the type of content that a user interacts with (liking, commenting, sharing, dueting). Since the FYP has an accurate understanding of the type of content each person enjoys watching and focuses on optimizing what they see, anyone can fall under TikTok’s trance and spend hours scrolling through videos without feeling bored or distracted.

Another reason TikTok is dominating the social media world is due to its pervasiveness of trends. There are several dance challenges that include popular songs, fun filters that can be used on the app, and more than enough lip-syncing audios to choose from. Kendall Cook (12) claims that her favorite TikTok trends are the ones that promote body positivity. “I’ve seen a lot of the social media vs. reality posts [on TikTok] where they show the models posed and unposed,” explains Kendall, “…nowadays I feel like a lot of teenagers struggle with body image and this trend personally makes me feel better.”

Lastly, as previously mentioned, TikTok’s algorithm produces a very diverse range of content throughout its platform. As a result of this, communities on TikTok have been formed where video clips and creators are characterized and matched up with other similar videos, sounds, and hashtags. These so-called “TikTok communities” are basically niches for a specific subject where thousands of TikTok users can interact with a specific topic, promoting the use of the app. There are TikTok communities based solely on laying bricks, scooping out ice cream, mixing paint colors, building wooden houses, and so much more! 

Overall, TikTok has managed to shape how we use and look at social media as it prevails across the World Wide Web. It is obvious that TikTok is reliant on its users to advance the growth of certain types of content within its platform. Fortunately for the creators of TikTok, seeing as Gen Zs and other younger generations are still constantly turning to TikTok as a way to stay occupied and entertained, TikTok is here to stay for quite a while until another app pops up on the App Store to take on the media.