Operation of TikTok:
TikTok allows users to view music videos, as well as film, edit and share their own clips. The user chooses a song, then films themselves over it for 60 seconds. The application features many titles as well as many musical genres including hip-hop and electronic music. Due to its influence, the application has seen the birth of several viral trends, popularized several songs, propelled users to the rank of personalities on the Web; TikTok is also known to be popular with celebrities.
The success of the application is due to some of its features to be taken over by its competitors, including Instagram which announced a feature called "Reels", and a new similar American platform called Thriller. In 2018, Facebook launched Lasso, a similar and competing application, a project which it gave up in 2020.
Users of TikTok:
Before the platform was banned in this country, a significant portion of users came from India, 43% according to a March 2019 study. A favourite of teenagers forming the Generation Z , a poll YouGov in September 2019 indicates that 40% of Americans from 13 to 16 years using TikTok, as much as Facebook and Twitter, but less than Snapchat (68%), Instagram (79% ), and YouTube (used by almost everyone). However, a January 2019 survey from the Business Insider website notes that 11% of American Internet users aged 13 to 21 consult TikTok daily, significantly less than these other platforms. In France, the platform had 4 million monthly active users at the end of June 2020.
Emergence of celebrities on the TikTok network
The platform propels teens and young adults to full-fledged celebrity status, many of whom go on to sign contracts with sponsors and arts agencies, and whose fame can extend beyond TikTok's scope.
TikTok thus made famous the American teenager Charli D'Amelio , who downloaded TikTok in the summer of 2019 and became known for her dance videos, before being joined by her sister Dixie D'Amelio, whose account is also becoming extremely popular. In November 2019, the two sisters join the collective of content creators TikTok Hype House, which includes 19 influencers / tiktokers including Addison Rae and Chase Hudson. In January 2020, Charli D'Amelio signed with the talent agency UTA and the New York Times calls her the “queen of TikTok”. In 10 months, her account became the most followed on the platform, and surpassing that of Loren Gray , the March 25, 2020. It subsequently reached over 70.0 million subscribers, as well as 20.1 million on Instagram, 4 million on YouTube and over 2.2 million on Twitter. Victim of harassment and mockery over his body, Charli D'Amelio and her sister Dixie join forces with UNICEF to denounce online bullying and the dangers of celebrity on the platform.
Young Briton Amelia Gething began her career on Musical.ly at the age of 17, posting skits, covers of songs and dances for fun, quickly becoming popular. She then created a YouTube channel where she could publish longer sketches and reached 500,000 subscribers, attracting the attention of the British public media BBC, which offered to create her own comedy show. This offer, which she accepts, is analyzed as an attempt by the BBC to attract a young audience, as it faces an existential crisis in its competition with major streaming platforms such as Netflix and YouTube. Amelia Gething continues to post content on TikTok (which merged with Musical.ly) where she reached 7 million subscribers in 2019, seven times the sum of her YouTube and Instagram subscribers.
TikTok app is making famous musicians whose tracks go viral on the platform, such as young American rapper Lil Nas X and his song Old Town Road, French musician Kid Francescoli and French singer Wejdene.
Media portrayal of this app:
With the success of the application among the youngest, various Western media are joining the platform, publishing videos adopting its codes, in order to take advantage of the site's strong audience to try in particular to rejuvenate their audience by reaching a generation whose media consumption is different from previous generations. The Washington Post's head of video creation explains that TikTok is very useful, drawing a parallel with its crossword section, long denigrated by readers before becoming very famous and representing real cash flow as well as a source of new subscriptions. Le Monde newspaper joins the platform in June 2020 after confinement in France which has fostered its growth in the country. The head of its Snapchat / TikTok department says that success on the social and current affairs platform like the # BlackLivesMatter movement is testament to a generation of users capable of taking an interest in complex subjects, and who often ask to tackle “difficult” subjects, such as the situation of the Uyghurs, otherwise known to cause controversies related to censorship on the platform.
Politics and TikTok:
With its popularity soaring in their countries, the platform is attracting European politicians from 2019 and 2020, including Matteo Salvini , Elio Di Rupo and Agnès Buzyn . In Venezuela, it is used by President Nicolás Maduro. In the US, despite the strong success of the platform, it is not joined by President Donald Trump or the Democrat candidate to the presidential 2020 race Joe Biden. In July 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron joined the platform and published a video congratulating the high school students having passed their baccalaureate, in a highly publicized action. The action is analyzed in particular as an entry into the campaign for the 2022 presidential election, not directly targeting users of the platform, mainly minors or among the low-voting age group. Emmanuel Macron is then followed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon , member of the La France Insoumise party and potential presidential candidate of 2022, who responds to him by publishing a parody music video adopting the codes of the platform, and shares the video on Twitter inviting Prime Minister Jean Castex to create an account.
In June 2020, the platform was reportedly used by adolescents and young adults to coordinate an attempt to sabotage an election rally by US President Donald Trump, in particular through videos explaining how to reserve seats for the rally, offered free of charge, but without intention of going there.
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