Despite news of algorithms trailing poor and ugly creators and President Trump considering banning the app in the United States, TikTok was one of the most interesting and notorious apps last year.
It was the first major social media app to be launched outside of Silicon Valley, and the popularity of the Chinese platform has grown to include WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter, despite much controversy.
The app popularized the creation of short videos and its suggestion algorithm made it one of the most important video platforms in the world. But while some serious people were reviewing the security threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party and thinking of separating the Internet between the United States and China, young people were testing a powerful tool in their hands.
Today, at the end of the year 2020, TikTok has become the most downloaded app of the year and it has changed a lot.
A new era of the digital movement
History will probably consider TikTok to be the most important in the Black Lives Matter movement as it was advertised on the Discover page and its hashtag was viewed more than 23 billion times.
Few people will remember that in the early days after the death of George Floyd, the pages of #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter were not viewed due to some technical problem. Research by The Intercept found that their algorithm was potentially trailing non-white, disabled, and poor creators. But for many, the platform became a very different place, and for many, videos of their meaning began to appear on the suggestion page.
Related: How to Use TikTok Like a Pro
It also became an important place for anti-Trump people. TikTokers has a role to play in the low turnout at President Trump’s rally in Tulsa. Similarly, Trump’s rating on this app was given bad reviews and it was dropped. This year I made a film about the activism of algorithms, how people make something more popular by commenting, liking, sharing. And it all became even more important in the lockdown because of Corona.
TikTok has replaced Internet comedy
Comedy sketches on TikTok are a rare thing. You only have one minute to present your skit and you have to invite your audience to you in the first few seconds. There are some new ways to do this. You wrapped a towel around your head, you were a woman, you wore a golden wig, and you immediately became a ‘Karen’ with sunglasses.
A new way for musicians to gain popularity
The popularity of the trends on TikTok and the process of making audio memes has been on the rise. Mixing the same sound on many delicious trends. Sometimes these voices were from well-known artists, who deliberately approached Tick Tuckers and tried to promote their songs, as Drake did with the Tosi Slide.
But the special thing about TikTok is that unknown singers and artists have got millions of views. An example of this is Lane Lipid who shared her experience on TikTok about how bad an experience she had with a presenter when she was starting music. “Come here, I want to make you a star,” he said. I want you to make progress. ‘But what she was not able to learn was that the presenter was only after money in this matter. And that’s what he said in his tick-tock song. The song has more than 50 million views and now the 18-year-old artist has released his single, without this greedy presenter.
We all became content creators
YouTube has made many people content creators with the help of computers and now TikTok is making even more people creators with the help of mobile phones. Editing also has to be kept in mind while shooting a video for YouTube, but users who use TikTok can turn off the image at any time, edit it, and upload it on the app.
With an app like TikTok, your comedy video is just as likely to go around the world as it is to reach the person next to you, no matter if you have zero followers or 100,000 followers.
The rise of tick-tock this year has forced many of us to consider two powerful things. The habit of scrolling on the Internet to avoid reality, but more importantly, who really controls what we say and see online.
The spread of the Chinese-owned app in Silicon Valley may have sparked a political, anti-Chinese xenophobia on social media, but it has also raised some awareness among Internet users as to who owns their data. Can access and prioritize or influence the content that appears on their feeds.
So far, there is no threat to Tick’s data – and its growing dominance in so many lives has already made it an important place. If the algorithm is still the same, in 2021 a huge wave of life-changing, mind-changing content could get in your way.
For those who know how to make their own videos, expressing an opinion will be like creating content. For better or for worse, consumers around the world are ready to debate.
While platforms like Instagram are becoming a place where big brands get screen time for new, less talented tickers in their marketing budgets, still powerful voice tickers are free, and algorithms, the Internet, and so on. The world beyond is unable to compete with their power.