Is the beloved app, TikTok, on its deathbed? Love it or hate it, we all know the app. You probably can’t go a day without hearing it being mentioned or even getting on it. TikTok is now a staple app on our phones. Sometimes users, myself included, can spend hours on the app. Late nights turn into later nights due to the mindless scrolling of watching the mini videos. But why do I think this app is dying?
First, to the lucky few who don’t know what TikTok is, let me explain. TikTok is a social media platform where content creators can create mini 15-60 second videos. Creators can lip sync, create skits, react to other creators’ videos and interact with other users live. It is similar to its predecessors, Musically and Vine. Creators have a chance of going viral and being able to launch YouTube careers (yes, now it is a career choice) and get a chance to partner with name brands.
With that being said, what I have noticed in the past couple of weeks is the content is repeating and trends from last year are making another appearance. Granted, there are new creators who are going viral, but it’s startling to see trends repeat. That being said, some trends are timeless, such as the renegade and “Cannibal” dance trends.
Every once in a while a new trend will pop up, but after two or three weeks it's gone, and creators go back to repeat the same trends from last year. This, in turn, keeps viewers from jumping on the app as frequently than before. Then those creators repeat the same videos for days in a row, possibly weeks. To me, this is a sign that TikTok is losing its truly creative creators to other platforms, mainly YouTube.
Tiktok created a complex algorithm to allow viewers to see certain videos from creators. If the video a creator publishes does well, then their followers and new potential followers are more likely to see it, like a video and follow a creator. However, if a video doesn’t do well, less people will see it. Also, followers of a creator don’t always see every video a creator has released.
The algorithm selects and tailors a user’s video selection to fit their interests and trends they follow. This is unlike YouTube, where I can see every video of any YouTuber that I want to see. Users on this platform tend to miss a YouTube video only if they don’t watch a video before a new one is uploaded.
The company, ByteDance which owns the app, has also come under a lot of scrutiny by Congress recently. With allegations that the company is selling user’s information to China, it is compromising national security. If the lawmakers at the capital get their way, our beloved app could get slapped with restrictions that could hurt the user experience with the app’s interface.
It is likely TikTok is still going to be around for some time, but I predict if it doesn't start picking up more user interaction, it may end up like our beloved Vine app: only in our memories and quotes daily. TikTok has also cemented itself amongst the most well-known media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Therefore, it won’t go down without a fight. So until that day comes, this columnist will keep on having late nights and mindless hours of scrolling on TikTok and creating videos to show my future children.