During the past year a series of short videos took the world by a storm. What are these videos? Who’s making them? Well, ladies and gentlemen this is where TikTok and TikTok content creators come in!
Up till around 2020 social media content creators were mostly active on apps such as Instagram and Facebook, but as COVID rolled in and the world briefly shut down, TikTok emerged, much like a knight in shining armour, to satisfy our needs for entertainment and squash our boredom.
As of late, TikTok hasn’t been confined only to the app itself, with Instagram introducing reels which is a similar concept to TikTok and YouTube introducing ‘YouTube Shorts’. Content creators took to TikTok to try out a new platform where it was more interactive and fun!
What is ‘TikTok?’
There have been many ways to describe what the app is but in simple words, TikTok is an app that lets users upload short video skits. The app is used by people as an outlet to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing, and allows users to create videos and share them across the community with durations from 15 seconds to three minutes.
The app rose to fame in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in which users relied on social media to entertain themselves and to spread ‘good vibes’. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, TikTok users gain popularity on the number of ‘views,’ the more views the better.
Many users such as Addison Rae, Charlie D’Amelio and our very own Chethana Ketagoda rose to fame through this social media platform. The algorithm works in a way where the app is able to predict the preferences that you would give to a piece of content based on the activity of similar users to you.
I reached out to prominent content creators on TikTok to have a chat about what they thought about TikTok.
Why go into online videos with so many already doing it?
Says Vishver Swaminathan, “I think the mindset one needs to have when making content is authenticity in the sense that you have to ask yourself what distinguishes you from the rest, what makes you unique? I see a lot of people following the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing – TikTok dance trends, for example. I’m not criticising anyone but when you watch these videos you can tell that some people are trying too hard and their awkward body language clearly expresses it on the video whereas at the same time there are some individuals who make it look effortless.
“In my case I found my niche and I do what I’m good at and I absolutely enjoy doing it, my content lets me be a 100% myself whether I’m talking about facts and issues that majority of society can agree with and relate to or if I’m just making people laugh with a comedic video without offending and/or publicly humiliating anyone with my content. Furthermore, making more content makes me feel good about myself and I feel as though I’m enhancing my self-worth.”
Vishwa is a relatively new face that pops on our FYPs and is known for his hilarious (and brutally honest) TikToks about our island community! See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSerCWagf/
What about nasty or negative commenters?
Sayoni Thenuwara says, “If you get hate, you’re doing it right. It’s normal for people to criticise you when you have a public platform. They’re usually someone who hides behind a fake account. You can deal with it in two ways, either by addressing it or simply ignoring it. I usually ignore it or laugh it off as they don’t really need that attention. As long as your content doesn’t affect anyone else negatively, you shouldn’t worry about it as long as you’re happy with it. Someone behind a fake profile doesn’t have to put you down for all the effort and time you put into it.”
Having being a dancer, Sayoni’s TikTok feed is filled with the latest dance trends and is a feel good account to go through! See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSeheHsDG/
How do you stand out from other creators?
According to Senali De Silva, “Unlike other social media platforms, people on TikTok are more welcoming and they come on that app to feel relatable, have a good laugh and share wholesome vibes with their friends. I think what has worked for me is that on TikTok, I don’t stick to one category. I dance, I sing, I act, dub and so much more! What grabs the most attention on my TikTok profile is my family content! My first-ever viral TikTok was also one with my family! Even if it’s a trend, always think of a way you can do it differently than others. Maybe do with your family or boyfriend or pet or maybe in front of a scenic view! A little tip that I’d like to share is, always try to make content using the trending tracks and use the correct hashtags. Even if it’s a TikTok where you speak, always use a background sound that is currently trending to grab more views!”
Senali uses her platforms to spread good cheer and happiness. Often described as a ray of sunshine, she sticks to her style and is authentic. See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSehdsDnp/
What’s the best part about doing this?
Says Jehan Malicc, “My favourite thing about making TikToks is the fact that I can make content that tens of thousands of people can relate to. From celebrities to massive personalities all the way to ordinary people like you and I, TikTok brings all of us into the same bracket. Unlike platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, TikTok pushes us more to break free and show the world that even the biggest personalities and celebrities are human beings like us after all!”
Jehan rose to fame while being the face of the official Daraz TikTok page. See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSerxAcbp/
What’s the best piece of advice for a newbie?
Liana Lawrence notes: “The best piece of advice I could give to a newbie on TikTok would be to stay true to what makes them happy and not change their personality online because they think it will appeal to others. It’s so important that your content makes you as happy as it makes the viewer. It can be pretty easy for your audience to notice when you aren’t feeling so great about the content that you’ve made, so enjoy it!”
Liana is no stranger to our FYP as she dances her way into our hearts and her account is a safe space for youngsters. She now models for big name brands as well. See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSerx6dfx/
What makes TikTok different from other social media?
According to Shaheer Alam, “It’s a platform where everyone is given a chance to create content. For example, anyone can go viral no matter how many followers you have. It’s an app that gives you content to watch that you specifically like. So the ‘for you page’ is literally tailor made for you. It makes you feel connected to everyone around the globe. TikTok to me is like the original app of its kind. Once it came out, every other social media platform saw how well it was doing and did the same thing. For example, reels, spotlight, shorts, and finally it’s an app that helps you discover latest trends and the latest music.”
Shaheer is a UK-based TikToker who mostly has content on how it is to live life as a typical brown young adult. See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSerVK2ue/
For Chethan Ketagoda. Tiktok is different for many reasons. “I think one of the biggest reasons why TikTok has a higher engagement rate is the fact that anybody can create any type of content in a matter of minutes. The fact that it’s easily accessible and user friendly is a huge plus point as well. Also, it would be an insult to TikTok if I don’t mention how different this platform is compared to other platforms when it comes to promoting a trend. Over here, if everybody does it, it becomes popular and it becomes a success, whereas in other platforms, making something similar or ‘copying’ is considered as ethically and legally wrong. Tiktok is an amazingly unique platform!”
Chethana is a very popular content creator who is a part of the elite few who have a blue tick on TikTok. Her content focuses on humorous skits and a lot of her TikTok sounds are famous amongst Sri Lanka creators. See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSeSj2cs4/
What’s the process of filming and making TikTok videos like?
Amandha Amarasekara explains: “Find your niche (what you like to do). Find a song that’s either thematic or trending. Work out your concept (if you can add a little personal flavour, by all means). Understand lighting and angles. Shoot and work with whatever equipment you have (It doesn’t have to be to a studio standard by any means). And most importantly be kind to yourself when critiquing your work and have fun with it!”
Amandha has been a well-known influencer/model for some time and now has taken to TikTok to spread good vibes. His skits include duets with other TikTok stars and just general humour. See https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSerxj1uT/
TikTok has clearly taken the world by a storm with increasing numbers downloading the app and spending hours on it. When one is on the app, time just flies by! It brings about the humorous side of people, with different trends and jokes and as with any social media platform, when used responsibly, everyone can enjoy it.