Generation Z, typically people born in 1997 and onward, is known for social media usage. One of the fastest growing platforms is TikTok.
TikTok is considered the social media of Gen Z, and with a potential ban from the U.S. Government, it was a popular topic this summer. TikTok has taken over, and LSU is no exception. In fact, the second most followed TikTok account belongs to Addison Rae, a former LSU student.
Users of TikTok know that once you’re on the app, it’s hard to put your phone back down.
LSU student Katy-Ann Mcdonald says that once she started using TikTok, she found herself using it more than other social media apps like Instagram.
“I became addicted... I was on it all the time,” says Mcdonald.
Hailey Holmes, another LSU student, wasn't on TikTok until around two months ago. “I am generally on TikTok a few times a day," she says. "It’s never for long, like in between me doing my work."
But TikTok is more than just dancing videos. It’s a platform Gen Z uses to communicate about topics that are important to them.
“Sometimes it will be some music stuff," says LSU student Donovan Simmons. "I’m into music, and I like talented TikTok musicians.”
Mcdonald gets information about what is going on in the world from TikTok. "It’s nice to see stuff from elsewhere, not just what’s going on in your area," she explains.
With multiple companies like Microsoft and Oracle looking to buy the social media app and Instagram introducing a similar platform called Reels, it’s clear that there’s a big demand for TikTok.
Julia Terpak runs Gen Z Connect, an account where she posts facts about Gen Z and a variety of other topics.
“The eight-year-olds of our generation are interested in it with the dances, but the twenty-three-year-olds are interested in it because of the serious or important topics," she explains about why her videos are popular among so many people.
Julia says that TikTok’s success can be attributed to authenticity.
“I think what makes it different is that it’s very authentic," she says. "It’s how things aren’t overly edited, overly flashy. People are really relaxed, just making videos in their room. It’s more relatable.”
Julia recognizes that people in Gen Z are relying on social media for their news and warns about the potential dangers.
“I think it’s good because we get the news instantly, but i think we also have to be careful with what we are taking in for our news," she explains. "There’s not a lot of fact-checking going on.”
TikTok has recently started the Creator Fund, making it the only other platform other than YouTube that directly pays its content creators.