The Student News Site of The NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of The NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of The NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

How TikTok changed the world

How TikTok changed the world

“In just a few small years, TikTok has revolutionized the world of social media, changing the way we consume and interact online. From evolving from viral dance challenges, fashion trends, and lip-syncing to influencing the numerous,” said Jordan Miranda.

Once envisioned as a frivolous time waster for a young demographic, an application named TikTok has exploded in cultural force, changing the way we humans communicate, create content and consume media. From this application’s humble beginnings to being nothing besides a lip-syncing app, TikTok has become a huge sensation and one of the most beguiling and maligned app of the year

The internet sensation TikTok was created by Zhang Yang. TikTok had its debut to the public in the year of 2016. When it had its launch day, its original name was called Since that day was rapidly growing in popularity and the public loved the application. Its popularity was so huge in 2017 that people even stated that it was ¨One of the social media giants.¨ In 2020 that’s when it really skyrocketed because according to data that application has gained over 99.8 million downloads in 2020!

TikTok isn’t only your average content-creating app for a young demographic, but it also impacts social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter. TikTok has been a massive game changer to the social justice movement in many ways such as giving activists a platform to reach a big audience easier and quicker than usual. It also allows hashtags such as #MeToo, #Never again, and soon on to gain popularity. It even led to more creation of hashtags.

With a generation of people that are just on their phones 24/7 looking for entertainment, users of TikTok say that ¨the application is more efficient and reliable for news.¨ Although TikTok is a way to spread news faster considering there are millions of people viewing the application, experts believe that it could also lead to misinformation which is a downside to the application for journalism.

The potential downsides of TikTok

As we know cyberbullying is a huge issue for many younglings who are sensitive and don’t know how to defend themselves. The platform’s anonymity and huge user base can create itself a breeding platform for cyberbullying leading to users easily posting negative or harmful comments without having the fear of being identified by anybody leading the victim of the bullying lost on what to do.

According to Brian Youngblood from Arts and Design NYC High School. He has a word to say about cyberbullying and how TikTok is at fault: “Yes, TikTok can indeed cause more bullying worldwide because there are thousands of people criticizing each other each second. Even right now if you go into any normal video of somebody enjoying what they love to do on the platform, there are many to criticize you no matter how you feel because you don’t know that person’s identity to get them in trouble.”

As a user interface like TikTok, it is to give numerous opportunities to its users. But it is also to deliver some challenges as it grows and evolves through the years. One of the many opportunities it offers is utilizing its massive user base to become a powerful advertising platform leading to more money.

A real struggle this successful application deals with though is it has to deal with regulatory scrutiny and backlash, specifically around privacy, security, and potential foreign influence. The application also needs to balance its commitment to creativity and self-expression with the need to keep a safe and positive platform stable.

From a 24/7 TikTok user, Reilly Himenez said, “A huge opportunity that TikTok delivers to its people is that you could make loads of money from posting every day, encouraging us humans to use the platform more and more doing what we love. A challenge though that TikTok faces is that with TikTok your information/security could be potentially leaked making users worried about using the application because their identity could be in the hands of a person they are not even familiar with.”

TikTok has had a massive impact on many influential landscapes. But how?

TikTok has caught the eye of many individuals because the application has made it easier for numerous people to build a following. Unlike other platforms, TikTok allows you to become an influencer without a massive budget and a massive team to create engaging content. Things like the TikTok category system with topics like fashion trends and lip-syncing videos, it is a very simple process to catch the eyes of thousands.

From influencers like Charlie D’Amelio that started on TikTok with no gains of money or views to now a multi-millionaire from simply TikTok dancing. Or even influencers like Khaby Lame aka “the king of TikTok ” who gained the most amount of followers possible on the app for just having funny reactions. “TikTok has given influencers a platform to showcase their personalities and talents in a way that wasn’t possible before,” said Zach King

As of now social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are very much used very often by the public. But how does TikTok best itself among its competitors?

TikTok’s algorithm is highly more efficient than other social media platforms as it delivers a recommendation system that is perfectly personalized for whoever is using the app which keeps its users engaged and hooked into the content of their choice. TikTok also provides an endless supply of creative prompts and filters, giving content creators more unique ideas.

A social media enthusiast by the name of Joseph Beltran has mixed opinions on this stance. He states, “TikTok is better than other social media platforms in only some aspects. For example, if you’re a user on TikTok you could be recognized way faster than you ever would on Youtube considering the amount of viewers on TikTok nowadays. But the negative aspect of TikTok is on Youtube and other social media platforms like Twitch, you could make money in a snap if you get recognized enough but not with TikTok since every one million views equals twenty dollars.”

Have you ever heard your friend say, “Have you heard that song from TikTok” and wondered how TikTok impacted the music industry to become a new promoting ground for music?

TikTok has become a powerful and stable platform for promoting new music, with songs going viral on the application and launching unrecognized artists into the spotlight. Additionally, TikTok has become a major source of revenue for artists with many signing deals to have their music promoted on the app or with other brands.

In the year of 2020, the song by the name Old Town Road by Lil Nas X has broken the internet all around social media after gaining massive amounts of popularity on TikTok. Because of TikTok, it allowed the stone to reach the top 100 in the billboard charts and even surpass one billion views on YouTube! This shows that TikTok is a new way for artists to connect with their fans and build a following.

TikTok is a major source that has granted the ability for independent artists to find a massive audience and grow their fan base without the need for a huge budget to simply promote their music or without putting their music on classical radio for everyone around the world to listen to. TikTok has made the industry better and more functional than ever before and hopefully, the app continues to help the underrated artists in need of spotlight. 

For applications like TikTok where there are teenagers doing fashion trends and dancing while there’s music in the background 24/7, you wouldn’t expect political parties to take advantage of this app for the best of their party.

TikTok is being used in political groups. This platform is for political organizing, for example, groups using TikTok could share information, mobilize supporters, and coordinate protests. Political groups also consider using TikTok to create viral content to share with political groups and other people to capture attention and spread their message. In the year of 2020, both Biden and Trump campaigns used TikTok as a way to promote their statements to young voters. Biden’s campaign even created a dedicated account with the handle @joebiden.

As with any social media platform, there is a huge risk of spreading misleading information throughout TikTok. This issue could lead to outrage and undermine trust in the political process making political groups not want to use the platform. For example, things like conspiracy theories, AI-generated photos, and deep-faked videos could swarm around TikTok for politicians leading to an untrustworthy platform.

In a matter of years, TikTok has gone from a niche and plain platform to a global phenomenon. TikTok has proven that even the most unlikely of social media platforms can have a major and profound impact on the world we live in. Its legacy will be felt from us humans for years to come and its impact will continue to evolve as the application continues to benefit us and have a big influence on the dreams we want to accomplish.

More to Discover