Vine is long gone as TikTok has made its way onto nearly 2 billion phones in 2020, making it the number one downloaded app of the year, according to Hootsuite Global Reports. Because of the individual-focused algorithm and anonymous and creative usernames, TikTok can be used to follow trends or to set new ones.
Local Omaha photographer Bryan Tabler uses TikTok to catch the trends to apply to his own page or the influencer pages that he assists with. He also recently began using the app as a platform for his photography business to post behind the scenes content and showcase his photography. With one of his videos nearing 50,000 views and over 10,000 likes, Bryan says he enjoys the usability of the app.
“I love how user-friendly the app is,” Bryan says. “TikTok enables anyone to become a creator no matter what you look like, your age or your gender.”
TikTok has formulated two types of content: “Straight” and “alt.” Straight content consists of the trending dances, commonly used by younger crowds. In contrast, alt can be expected to be the casual and humorous trends filled with memes. Bryan says he prefers the alt trends because of the algorithm’s ability to display like-minded, artistic creators on his feed.
“I prefer the alt trends because I feel like they are more interesting,” Bryan says. “People are showing off their true talents and not just dancing in front of the camera. There are some odd trends on the alt side of TikTok, but I find those comical at times.”
In comparison, University of Nebraska-Omaha senior, Hassan Amoura does not have a preference between straight and al, but he shares the same dislike of the dancing trends.
“I like either trend,” Amoura says, “as long as the video makes me laugh or has some kind of purpose behind it. I’m not a huge fan of the dancing trends because from what I know, it’s not really dancing if your legs aren’t moving.”
Through the use of sounds as the new meme-making machine, users across the world are “Tik Toking” as a new form of communication amongst family, friends and other users.
Allysia Campana is a freshman at UNO, who uses the app as an escape when in need of a laugh as well as for conversation starters on a daily basis with her best friend.
“We talk about our favorite creators, who is doing what, who we like, who we dislike and what trends are happening,” Campana says. “On my feed, I have people reenacting jersey shore scenes, reminiscing about childhood memories or funny and random videos that have nothing to do with anything.”
Campana jokingly says that TikTok might sound like it is all they talk about, but she promises they talk about other topics too. Other topics circling on TikTok aside from trends include resources on the social injustices in the country. Such resources include where to donate, how to help and informative content to bring awareness to the billions of screens across the world using TikTok.