Tik Tok Tries To Takeover

How the Popular App is Changing the Entertainment Industry


Graphic by Amelia Coleman.

Megan Gerold, Staffer

Since its creation in 2018, TikTok has become one of the leading social media sites in the world with over 1 billion monthly users, according to Adobe. With the growing popularity of the app, BBC News said many industries have jumped on the opportunity to use the platform as a marketing tool to reach communities across the globe and that is just the beginning. 

According to a 2022 Pew Research Center study, TikTok has also become a news resource for an increasing number of people. The content on the app has changed to fit the modern day culture, and the popularity of social media influencers and content creators has changed because of TikTok. Artists, brands, and actors have all used this to their advantage, and it’s not gone unnoticed by those like freshman Riley McKinley. Mckinley is a lover of music, and he has observed a change in how music is made to appeal to TikTok.

“If TikTok wasn’t a thing, music would be created differently,” Mckinley said.  “It would have more meaning to the artist and to the consumer than it is now, where it’s like “oh I like this song from tiktok I’m gonna listen to a little part of it,” or the artist [thinks], “oh I need some money so I can just make some music for TikTok to make some quick money”. I feel like it’s not very authentic anymore.”

The change in music is not the only industry that’s gone through perceived transformations. Films have also taken on a different approach to editing and directing scenes in the hopes that those scenes will resonate with TikTokers. Popular TikTok editor @valentInc believes that the people making shows and movies change what they’re producing in order  to follow trends.

 “Edits largely influence upcoming trends,” @valentInc said. “I feel that producers of these films/videos that get edited have the “editability” of what they’re creating in mind,”.

 Not only have industries been changed because of this usage of social media as a marketing tool, but the content on TikTok itself has been reinvisioned. Brands and people follow trends so that they can make the best out of their postings and social media presence. The creator of Strawberry Milk Media, a social media creative agency, Hannah Eddins has been on social media for a while, and believes that the tone of content has transformed even from just ten years ago. 

“If you take a look back at Instagram of 2010, it was very blogger style,” Eddins said. “It was very aesthetically pleasing. Everybody used these very filteresque photos, and now if you go to TikTok, it’s very much people just pulling out their iPhone, filming as they walk down the street and filming as they unbox a package.” 

According to Eddins, less formal, photoshopped content is one that is preferable for promotion due to how genuine and relatable it comes across as. The ability of social media, and especially TikTok, to be able to influence what’s being consumed by the public even extends to the smaller aspects of the videos such as the sound being played in the background, according to McKinley. For McKinley, TikTok has provided useful guidance in growing his music taste and catalog.

“If you stumble across a video using a certain type of sound on your for you page and it peaks your interest you’re gonna want to explore that interest more, so it can expand your music taste buds,” Mckinley said.

TikTok pushes curated content across people’s feed based on an algorithm, but content can differ greatly from person to person, in Eddins’ observation. Using an algorithm is not uncommon for social media sites and according to @valentInc, what you do and don’t like can affect what you watch across multiple platforms.

“I’ll see edits of shows and movies that I’ve not seen, and they reel me in because I’ve seen the edit, and I don’t know what’s happening in the film and I want to know more,” @valentInc said. 

This modern form of advertisement has provided many advantages for companies and businesses, according to Eddins. TikTok has become a new resource for people to find products to buy and places to visit as they’ve seen on social media. Eddins’ said she preferred TikTok over other social media apps because of its advanced promotional and marketing aspects. 

 “It is the number one search engine in the world right now,” Eddins said. “It has surpassed Google and is the number one way to market a product to new customers.” 

However, despite the mostly positive reviews, @valentInc said there is also dispute about whether this new industry and the emergence of this industry has favorable or unpleasant ramifications.  For @valentInc, TikTok is something that has brought her a positive form of solidarity. 

“Honestly, a sense of community is immediately created when you start gaining mutuals and getting recognition,” @valentInc said. “These edits allow people to meet others with similar interests and create a community through that.”

             She also agrees that there are negative aspects about social media, but she believes the positives outweigh the negatives. Eddins is another believer that social media is positive, but she also thinks it depends on its usage. 

“I think it has negative traits, but overall, I think it’s positive if it’s used the correct way,” Eddins said.  “I mean, it’s how I make my entire living. It’s my whole career, so I couldn’t say that it’s entirely negative, because it’s how it’s given me financial stability, for example. It’s also given me the ability to be creative, but at the same time, if you do too much of anything, it will have negative effects.”

TikTok’s popularity is an opportunity that has been utilized by artists and brands alike, and it is one that many are cognisant of. For Mckenly, @valentInc, and Eddins, TikTok has allowed them to discover new musical artists and enabled the creation of fun projects for years to come.