TikTok’s rise to fame

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

TikTok, an app that allows people to upload a variety of videos up to one minute, has taken social media by storm. The app allows people to share their talents, as well as become famous and build careers on social media because of viral videos. The app allows people to share their favorite videos on other platforms, helping spread awareness about the app and bringing new content creators and app downloads.

In an article from  How to Geek, Matthew Hughes explains the basics of the platform. 

“TikTok is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance,” Hughes said. “It’s the result of an amalgamation between two existing apps: musical.ly and douyin. TikTok is unusual because it’s the only internationally-successful Chinese social network, with an appeal that extends far into the Western world.”

Because of its origin, TikTok has caused a bit of controversy with the United States. In Hughes’ article he explains that lawmakers in congress see the app as a security threat, and two senators, Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), are calling for an intelligence probe into the app. TikTok has been known to censor content that it finds inappropriate, especially about topics concerning the protests in China, which is not shocking considering China shields its citizens from most information that Westerners can receive online.

Though it might be controversial and a little dangerous, TikTok has amassed quite a large following. DeAnna Jones, author of the article “What in the World Is TikTok? A Beginner’s Guide to the Fast-Growing Social Media App,” notes the widespread usage of the platform. 

“TikTok now has more than half a billion monthly users worldwide, with nearly 80 million downloads in the United States,” Jones said. “And here’s another nugget of a stat: In the first half of 2018, it was the number one downloaded app in the iTunes App Store.”

Clearly, TikTok has a mass appeal to everyone worldwide with the creative content that swirls around the app.

Many people have taken the opportunity to become famous online by using TikTok. Known as Kombucha Girl, Brittany Broski (@brittany_broski) uploaded a video of herself trying kombucha for the first time, and it went viral. Today she has over 2.6 million followers and 44.4 million likes on TikTok. 

Though there are plenty of others who have gained quite a following, one user at William Jewell College, Evan Sanders (@e_sand) has become quite a star on the app. Since his debut on TikTok, Sanders has gained more than 24,000 followers and over 1.1 million likes. How did both gain such a following? The answer is consistency. By continuously uploading videos, more people are brought to their pages, causing their views, likes and followers to increase. 

Sanders consistently posts a TikTok about once per day, gaining about a few thousand views and likes from each video, though some earn more than others. Since Broski is much more famous than Sanders, she doesn’t have to upload as often to keep her stream of fans happy, allowing her to post up to a few times a week.

Unlike Instagram influencers, TikTok stars are not paid what other influencers might be earning on different apps. The monetization comes from the live streams that the famous people do, allowing their fans to send emojis that can be transformed into actual money.

TikTok has become a fun app for all to enjoy. People of different ages, beliefs and backgrounds are able to find their type of humor and content that they enjoy because of how international the app is.

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