The Rise of TikTok

Alana John, Staff Writer

TikTok, a social media video-sharing app, has taken center stage.  

Internationally launched in September 2016, TikTok is an app that allows users to create and share fifteen-second lip-synched clips. One billion videos are viewed every single day on the app. According to business advertising site Oberlo, the app has surged in popularity among teenagers, as 41% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. It is the most downloaded app on Google Play and the App Store, with one billion worldwide downloads in January 2019. 

TikTok is reminiscent of past quick video apps Vine and, which achieved similar success back in the early 2010s. Vine was shut down by parent company Twitter due to a lack of revenue and was sold to Chinese developer ByteDance and merged with TikTok.

TikTok uses the motto, “Make Your Day,” and for Ward Melville sophomore Tasnim Loqman, the app truly does. She said, “I like that TikTok never fails to make me laugh and always brightens my day.” She additionally stated, “I’m addicted and watch it 24/7.” The average user spends an average of 52 minutes on the app daily.

Sophomores Sally Gliganic and Julia Lingenfelter recently found success on the app, gaining more than 722,000 views on their video about the difficulties of having an uninterested crush. On the subject of the app’s popularity and prevalence within Ward Melville, Gliganic said, “The majority of people at Ward Melville have TikTok and it’s a way for people to express themselves more openly than other platforms.” Lingenfelter agreed, and said, “If you’re talking with someone, you can make a TikTok reference and the person 8/10 times would most likely understand it.” 

Yet TikTok isn’t only affecting the social scene at Ward Melville. Valley Stream Central High School sophomore Lindsey Jacob said, “TikTok heavily influences the conversation I have with my friends as I very often find ourselves singing or quoting TikToks.” East Meadow High School junior Niah David also agreed, and said that “Everyone always references trends on TikTok, like VSCO girls, or sing songs that are popular on TikTok.”