The new social network known as “TikTok” has been credited as a national security threat. The company, which is owned by China, allows people to create short videos and easily scroll through to watch thousands more. The micro targeting makes it extremely addicting for users, and also the data taken from this is easily sold and put out for other crimes.
While there is a TikTok algorithm that allows videos to play to users that matches their exact interests, there is also a bit of a niche that comes with it. Some examples of these are ‘small business TikTok,’ ‘artist TikTok,’ ‘alternative music,’ ‘medical,’ ‘politic TikTok,’ and even ‘witch TikTok.’ While there are many more, these small niches, and many businesses within them, have skyrocketed due to the new network.
Many people have been discovered through the application and have also gained an increase in sales from comedic videos. These videos can get up to millions of views, likes, and shares. Recently users have gone up to 1 billion users. Although it is still a potential threat, it has discovered a new wave of social media use and artistic discovery.
While plenty of people have been discovered from singing and dancing, and have made a monetary value, it is the political power in the users and the companies new ways of advertising that are interesting for students.
When such a new network comes into society and with such a popular demand, it should be discovered and studied. While educators try to grasp TikTok, it is likely that their students are the users.
For marketing, advertising, and social media classes the discussion should be prevalent on tik tok. For example, how to use it in a beneficial way for a company, what can you create with it, and even with the threats, what community can you build there? Although certain professors believe that it is a threat, or that it is not worthy enough to learn, the most popular job for advertising now is to hire a TikTok manager for companies.
Being the user will allow you to learn and get a feel for the network, but it needs to be studied. It is so simple for users to be addicted to the constant stream of videos, but understanding why and what else can be done with that is something that is lacking in advertising research. Not only with advertising students, but even students in computer sciences departments.
An example of a coincidental fame is when a mid aged man created a video of himself skateboarding down a highway while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice and listening and singing to “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. Humble, laughing, and using the caption, “Morning Vibe.” The video was posted on September 25th, and by the start of November held 11.4 million likes. This video not only made Ocean Spray cranberry juice sell out in several locations due to the people trying to recreate the video, the Fleetwood Mac song also hit high charts again after it being released in 1977. What makes the story even better is that Ocean Spray employs 70 plus small cranberry farms, and the company was struggling throughout the pandemic. These small farms have gained notice and were talked about and had light shed on them. On top of all of this, the man's car broke down and that is why he decided to skateboard back that day. His two daughters were the ones to put him on the app, and now his life is forever changed.
This is just one story.
TikTok users have swung political campaigns, such as the Trump events in Tulsa. TikTok has created a saying such as “TikTok made me buy this,” which has increased sales and selling out of products for many small businesses. Skin care companies talked about have been on backorder. Doctors, spiritual healers, and psychologists are popular and relevant. The amount of education, companies, support, and advice on this application is so rich. The list goes on and on.
It would be naive to cut out the conversation in colleges in general of this social media. The communities created from social media will not disappear whether or not it is a governmental threat. Maybe it is up to us to correct, explain, and learn what to do about that.