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Popular TikTok trends make their way into the real world

Oct 2 • Arts & Leisure • 355

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First, it was Vine. Then, it was Musical.ly. Now, TikTok is the leading platform in short-form video content.
This app allows users to add sound bites to their videos, whether they be snippets from a song or a piece of dialogue. Users can also opt to record their own audio.
TikTok, which launched in 2016, currently has one billion users. This is about one-half of YouTube, a site that has been around since 2005.
There are millions of videos that follow each trend on TikTok.
Although these videos are created using the app, the content created has taken over other social media platforms.
These include Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Even though I don’t have the TikTok app, I’ve watched hours of short videos by getting lost in a wormhole of compilations on YouTube.
This just shows how much reach this app has on influencing others.
What interests me is the music that is used on these videos.
Users are able to cherry-pick from songs in order to make a joke or get their point across.
All it takes is for one video to get popular and the memes will start to flow.
It is impossible to predict the songs that will become popular on this app.
Some songs that have been used like this are “Wait a Minute!” by Willow Smith, “Needs” by Verzache and “Pretty Boy Swag” by Soulja Boy.
I’ll give it to the users of the app, most of these videos are funny.
Although, these songs end up tainted for me. I can’t listen to these songs without thinking of TikTok.
How much I like a song cannot outweigh the cringe that comes with the memes.
Even though a specific song can be ruined for me, I am intrigued to check out the artists of those songs.
It’s also interesting to see how the use of a song on TikTok can lead to the song and/or the artists becoming popular and getting regular radio play.
This just goes to show how much influence TikTok has on our culture without us even realizing.
What we like and what we consume has been altered by the trends on this app. Just look at how many Hydro Flasks and (fake) silver chains there are around now.
All based on a few videos shorter than a minute.
The power of a meme should not be underestimated.
I wonder if this culture shift will influence how things are marketed to the public.
Could this app be potentially used to make a song gain popularity?
Will marketing teams create, or have young users create, videos featuring a song they are trying to promote?
Money will follow the trends.
Honestly, how long will this app stay around? A couple of years?
Even if TikTok does get shut down, content in the form of short-form videos will always be popular.
This is because they are easy to consume. You need almost no context to understand and laugh at these videos.
The influence that TikTok has over music popularity, let alone pop culture in general, is a little scary.
Trends move quickly nowadays, so it’s hard to predict how long anything will be popular, but I don’t see the success and influence of TikTok diminishing any time soon.

RACHEL MACKOWIAK
mackowia001@knights.gannon.edu

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