This week, people across the world watched to see how Instagram would try out a new feature in Brazil that’s very similar to the app Tik Tok, but those that are not familiar with the newcomer to social media were left wondering what about it has an entire generation so captivated?
The new app “Tik Tok” has taken the world by storm with over a billion users– The app reached number one on the app store bringing about big changes for avid social media users who spend at least one hour per day on the platform.
But what exactly is Tik Tok? The Vine-like app features short clips set to copyrighted music and sounds and can range anywhere from choreographed dances and lip syncing to comedy sketches.
The new app has taken the world by storm reaching number one on the app store this year and gaining over– this new trend brings big changes for avid social media users who download the app, with users now spending an average of one hour per day on the platform.
“One time I was sick, and I spent 19 hours and 24 minutes on Tik Tok,” says Elizabeth McFeaters, a high school Junior, on how much time she spends on the app each week.
For someone like Corinne Richter, the Social Media Coordinator for LSU’s Division of Strategic Communications, everyday tasks have changed dramatically since the app’s sudden grasp on youth culture’s attention.
“It’s not like you can supplement your content with a photo or a gif like you can on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook," Richter said. "You really need to think about when you’re creating content is ya know, what sounds are trending, what hashtags are trending, what dances are trending,”
With 41% of users being under the age of 24, teens and young adults are finding fun and fame within the app while hitting the apps creator’s target demographic.
“Research shows that prospective students look at Social Media accounts for universities to see like what the culture of the university is like," Richter said. "So, it’s just another opportunity to reach prospective students, and visually show them what the university is like when they get here.”
The new platform isn’t just changing the way teenagers spend their free time and how institutions shape their social media branding, though, it provides an entirely new platform for a fresh generation of social media influencers.
Abigail Easterling, a first-year student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has roughly 18 thousand followers on the app, all of which she gained in a period of just three months– leading to widespread recognition in more than just her own community.
“He posted me on his story one time and somebody slid up and was like ‘Oh that’s the Tik Tok Girl!’ and I was like ‘Wait! Woah, I’m the Tik Tok girl now?’”
But with great success comes great responsibility, as Easterling now serves as a role model to any of the millions of users that view her videos.
“That’s what I’m trying to do with Tik Tok, is make it positive and good, and make kids look up to someone that they should be looking up to just like the kids I babysit, they just love their Ms. Abby being Tik Tok famous!”
Some influencers even gain sponsorship from the company, with popular users receiving revenue for video engagement and pushing brand merchandise.
While we may not know how long the app will be at the peak of its popularity, users will continue to utilize the best the app has to offer.