By: Snehal Shinh
TikTok, an application that we all swore to never download, has reached over 800 million downloads. Those who are familiar with the app are well aware of the several communities within the For You page. For those who have no idea what that is, the For You page is your TikTok feed that features content that you might enjoy. Like YouTube, the For You page shows you creators that are popular and as you start to like and comment on videos the app will take that information to personalize your feed. This is how TikTok communities were formed.
There are many sides of TikTok, one could almost say that the number of communities are infinite. If there’s a group of people who are collectively interested in something, there’ll be a community or a side of TikTok that’ll cater to those interests. Some communities started as trends that spiraled into a whole new side of TikTok. One of those trends being The Lego Star Wars profile picture movement that created a little community of people who would follow anyone with a lego Star Wars character as their profile picture. Communities can be uplifting and welcoming as well, such as the LGBTQ+ side of TikTok. Creators on this side use their platform as a way to make people in that community feel accepted and spread awareness. The art side of TikTok is fairly big and allows for smaller artists to get more recognition. Many bands on TikTok have a small following in general but can have a huge audience on TikTok; though it can go the other way around as well. Another larger side is the cosplay community; these creators are able to bring their favorite characters and their stories to life through their cosplays and various TikTok audios.
There are many communities on TikTok that are not very well known. The education side of TikTok is fairly small and includes people who use their platform to help others with certain subjects such as math or SAT prep. There’s even many creators that teach younger viewers how to budget money, start a business, or even just be more aware of things that they’ll have to do as adults. On the subject of communities that are both small and helpful, the decor side focuses on redecorating any room from the kitchen to bathroom. This side is valuable for those that want to change up their living spaces and don’t know where to start. While these communities may be small, it doesn’t take away their entertainment value.
With all these different sides of TikTok, it raises the question of how we use social media platforms. Social media is so widespread and is used daily with endless ways to take advantage of the voice given by these apps. Many use platforms like TikTok solely for entertainment, just looking for something funny or relatable to watch. Other people take advantage of these platforms, using it to educate. This could be from school subjects to niche topics or the current state of the world. Many use it to spread their political or religious beliefs. These platforms can be used to bring people together, like the aforementioned Lego Star Wars community. Many use their platform to amplify the voices of the black lives matter movement, creating TikToks delivering information on the current issues and what you can do to help. Or they simply create content to boost healthier habits by posting daily updates of their workout routines and diet.
Possibilities of social media are limitless. As long as you keep doing what makes you happy, there will be people out there that will support you. How will you use your voice?