TikTok: An App That Influences Trends

Khadija Naeem, Staff Writer

TikTok Logo

TikTok is a trending new social media platform where users can publish creative videos on different topics to the world. This app is used by millions of users worldwide on a daily basis, and is continuing to grow in pop culture.

TikTok is a social media app made by ByteDance, a Beijing based company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. The app was launched in September 2016 and in three years the app has over 500 million users worldwide. Users known as “TikTokers” can create short videos related to singing, comedy, lip syncing, dancing, drawing, and other types of talent videos that are up to 60 seconds long. The app was previously known as “Musical.ly” in the US, but merged with the Chinese app, “Toutiao” in 2016 to create TikTok. Toutiao was founded in March 2012 and was originally a news information platform.

The app later became a video sharing network for China. Musical.ly was launched in April 2014, and was a popular app with over 200 million users worldwide. Users known as “musers” could create short 15 second lip sync videos and share them with the public. Musical.ly was then bought for $1 billion by ByteDance, the company to buy the app “Flipagram”. ByteDance was founded on March 9, 2012 and is one of the world’s most valuable private tech companies, worth $75 billion. TikTok is available in 150 countries and 40 different languages. In the beginning of this year, TikTok was the most downloaded iPhone app worldwide with a total of 45.8 downloads. 

Many new trends are created by TikTokers. Videos become trending when using hashtags or when put on the “For You Page”, a section in the app that features videos from creators relating to the users’ personal interests from previously liked videos. New fashion trends called dressing like an “e-boy/girl”, “VSCO girl”, or “soft girl/boy” had emerged from this app. An e-boy/girl is a person who dresses with a more grunge/skater style, usually wearing darker colors, chains, black nail polish, and striped shirts. A VSCO girl is a person who usually dresses in oversized t-shirts, shorts, scrunchies, and shell necklaces. A soft girl/boy is a person with a more 90s/80s style. They usually wear light pastel colors, overalls, floral prints, and usually like to paint. These are only some of the popular fashion styles on TikTok. Other trends related to dance, art, music, comedy, and photography have also been created. Usually the trends on TikTok die out in a month or two and new trends are made. 

“My favorite thing about the app is that you can express yourself,” said freshman Yash Gulati. “And you can find people who you can relate to.” 

At Old Mill High School, students have also been downloading the trending app and creating content. Some popular creators at Old Mill include freshman Clair Mitchell (“_clairmitchell” on TikTok), freshman Yash Gulati (“_yashgulati_ “ on TikTok), and junior Sofia Wahlla (“issadurag” on TikTok). Hundreds of students at Old Mill watch and create TikTok videos on a daily basis. TikTok continues to thrive and grow more popular everyday.