As social media usage rises during these times, new trends emerge. Never before has there been a social media platform that has brought the whole family together.
TikTok has become chock-full of intergenerational dance challenges and entertaining comedic skits. Celebrities, athletes, politicians, and reality star families like Andrew Cuomo, LeBron James, Jessica Alba, and many a Bravo Real Housewife are front and center creating wholesome content.
With 800 million users and more than 40% aged 16-24 years old, TikTok’s primary demographic is mainly Gen-Z; however, families and people of all ages are now bonding over TikTok. Here are the reasons why it has taken off.
We are all at home
The most obvious reason for this trend is that we are all at home with more time on our hands. Parents want to understand how their children are spending time online and they want to find activities to do together. Partaking in learning a new dance or creating a how-to tutorial has become commonplace. For Sheri Easterling, mother of one of TikTok’s largest stars, Addison Rae, TikTok is a family affair, “Tiktok has been so great for our family. We love spending time together, making videos, and making memories. It’s definitely brought us closer as a family, and it’s so much fun to share our videos with so many people and in so many parts of the world. We love bringing positive and fun content, hopefully putting a smile on others’ faces.”
It is a positive place
Because cyberbullying issues permeate throughout social media, as a newer social channel, TikTok promotes creating positive and joyful content. They curate this by featuring inclusive trends like #StayHomeStayStrong, #TransvisiblityDay, #CelebrateDoctors, and many more.
Within these trends, there is amazing content that inspires and entertains. TikTok stars focus on providing content that delivers happiness to their audience. Scotty Sire, who has 2.4 million followers and has worked with non-profits to discuss mental health, enjoys TikTok for its positivity, “TikTok is a place where I can co-create with my friends to make short, fun, goofy videos. Learning TikTok dances is great exercise and an awesome alternative to just playing video games or watching tv all day.”
This aligns with Generation-Z and Millennial’s ethos of accepting others and finding outlets for their mental health and self-care.
TikTok encourages collaboration
With many Gen-Z’ers home from college now living with their siblings and parents, TikTok is a way for families to unlock creativity with the hopes of going viral. Recently, the trend #BlindingLightsChallenge led to a lot of videos with parents and siblings involved. One in particular from @Cloudtalk garnered over 26 million likes and 83,000+ shares, which led to many remixes — including one with celebrity Jason Derulo — and follow up videos that gained additional visibility.
This viral nature is due in part to being featured on the For You page on TikTok, where videos garner millions of views worldwide. Brian Freeman, CEO of influencer platform Heartbeat, expands on how trends encourage collaboration with the hopes of getting on the For You page, “TikTok’s duet feature lets users piggyback on the videos created by the platform’s rockstars. This allows a new creator to follow an already popular dance while simultaneously promoting the original video. Whether the creators are piggybacking on top stars like Charlie DeAmelio or dueting in-person or remotely with their friends.
You can also spin-off content from challenges, where there is an original dance that takes off, and people start making tweaks to the dance and ‘sounds’ associated with that dance in order to add their own unique spin. By applying the original challenge hashtag, they can leverage that momentum into possibly creating a new trend which then gets dueted, or adopted by others.”
Collaboration leads to a higher chance of viral fame, and right now, many families are doing just that.
With TikTok becoming a place to express yourself at any stage of life, it is heartwarming to see people of all ages create a diverse array of videos that help them stay positive and connect during these tough times.