TikTok infographic created in Illustrator © Clare Davey 2020
The intention of this was to be a light-hearted piece about TikTok and some of the fun stuff you can find there. Yet, in recent days the situation has become darker. With a ban threatened in the US and Australia, and India already having removed TikTok from their app stores, what is going on with TikTok?
According to Forbes, TikTok is no worse than any other social media platform. The much-mooted copy-paste issue is also used by LinkedIn, Reddit, The New York Times, and the BBC News app (according to their own news piece).
TikTok has insisted user data is collected and stored outside China. According to Theo Bertram (head of public policy, TikTok Europe, Middle East, and Africa) any request for data from the Chinese government would be refused.
So the danger is minimal to the individual but could present a danger of misinformation to society as a whole (we only need to look at what Cambridge Analytica managed to achieve with Facebook to see that).
So if you do venture forth what should you be looking at? Follow my handy guide to find out…
Of course, TikTok started off as Music.ly a lipsynching app in China. The lipsynching DNA has carried over to TikTok and music is a huge part of its content, with each video often being accompanied by a popular song or viral hit.
There are a lot of great accounts in this category. My favourites are @jaydecandance and @lewisleighh. Jay does a lot of challenges sent in by her followers such as dancing on a moving car, in a tree, or on her parents’ bed while they are sleeping. @lewisleighh often dances with his parents or gets his nan to do a TikTok dance when he drops her shopping off. It’s rather sweet and endearing.
Other great accounts in this category @charlidamelio and @georgeakram.
TikTok lends itself well to how-to videos and motion graphics. My favourite account in this category is @tootymcnooty with her cute frogs and rabbit and cat characters. She created the official animation for the TikTok Classic ‘Cars with the Boom’. Colourful, bouncy, it’s hard not to love her animation.
Other good accounts in this category are; @kimberlys.illustrations, @tsa_roc, @william.henderhog, and @hilboldt.
Some of my all-time favourite TikTokers are in this category. When @whatchugotforme lipsynch’s to a Donald Trump soundbite it’s too good. Sarah Cooper is a comedian who made her first Trump parody about injecting disinfectant after hearing the story second hand from her husband. She didn’t think it would take off, but now with over 482 000 followers (last count), it’s an experiment that has paid off.
Also notable in this category is @in_too_deepmp3 whose parody of a Wes Anderson film using household objects is masterful. Her bio says she’s a college drop out but it looks like she should be in film school to me.
© In_too_deepmp3 2020
For social commentary, try the often shocking @dumbbirchtree. Her best TikToks are when she tells a news story (storytime) in the first person. You find out at the end that this is something that happened to a person of colour. What makes it so impactful is it is a nice white middle-class girl telling the story in the first person.
For good cooking tips, @georgiehalfacree is worth checking out. Her fast-paced cooking videos get their point across in 60 seconds. Some are in two parts if they are more complex. Expect to find recipes for seafood pasta, tear and share burgers, and giant cookies. Also worth checking out is @the_eugefood who will show you how to sharpen a knife or choose a watermelon.
I created this category as a bit of a catch-all as these folks are fun and entertaining. @matthewandryanuk have a very funny prank account bouncing their personalities off each other. @emily_gbx talks about how to pass GCSEs in a very amusing fashion. @sammielewiss pranking with her deaf mom (she’s American), and @muslimthicc which is nice and family orientated.
There are a ton of pet accounts on TikTok. Try @jiffpom the Pomeranian and @itshazelthesauasage (a dachshund of course). If cats are more your thing try @zicerzicer. Like something more unusual? Check out the super cute @chip_the_duck or @kaichameleon.
What could be more relaxing than watching someone make earrings or Animal Crossing characters? Especially listening to the soothing voice of @_allyhart using Procreate to draw her sticker designs. Or @valeriewaihandmade making her animal crossing characters…soo relaxing.
© Ally Hart 2020
Take a look at the oh so cool @pettysmart007 skateboarding, often dualling with her male partner. Or @jonnygymnast11 who dresses up as Spiderman and appears at children’s birthday parties by climbing over the garden fence – the stuff of nightmares? Or super fun – most of the kids seem thrilled to see him.
In summary, I would say, download the app, take a look around. If you are a business owner it may well become more grown-up and mainstream, so it is well worth a look to see if it could work for your business.
TikTok phone image credit: Photo by kon-karampelasals on Unsplash