TikTok is hard to escape these days. The company has reached over a billion users faster than any other social media platform in history. It's gotten so much attention that the US government is launching a probe into the company to determine if the company poses a national security risk. Musical.ly, a precursor company to TikTok was a US domiciled business that Chinese company ByteDance purchased for $1bn without clearing CFIUS and now regulators are miffed. Side note: the national security risk is probably more around our teens obsessing about creating viral 15 second videos that are distracting from actual learning, work, etc. but that's probably the old man in me coming out.
A few weeks ago we talked about the culture of TikTok and how teens are shunning Instagram for "a fun version of LinkedIn". This piece offers another look into the business and becoming TikTok famous.
Many of his friends make fun of him for using the app; they are primarily glued to Instagram, which he sees as “basically a fun version of LinkedIn” due to its emphasis on a polished image. “ A lot of people didn’t take this idea seriously because it’s a sort of goofy social-media format,” he explains. But for a generation that have had smartphones since middle school or even earlier, TikTok’s goofiness is part of its magic.
Teenagers today have watched their peers broadcast their lives online for years, with some even becoming millionaires through platforms such as YouTube, whose first video was uploaded on April 23 2005. As their parents once flocked to Facebook, young people have found their own communities by filming themselves with the front-facing cameras on their smartphones and posting their thoughts to the world through websites and apps. Their infatuation with video has spawned a new media hierarchy with its own pantheon of celebrities.Read more...