Tik Tok rises nationally, and at LHS


TikTok: The social media application that many teens at Libertyville High School and all over the country seem to be completely immersed with. It allows teens to make 15-second videos using music, filters and a variety of creative effects. According to Forbes Magazine, the social media platform has over 800 million monthly active users — 300 million more than in January 2019. This makes TikTok one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. Additionally, it’s the most downloaded app on the Apple app store.

Many users are looking to get their videos on the “For You” page, which is the recommendation feed personalized to each user based upon the types of videos they typically view. Getting your videos on this feed is this easiest way to rapidly obtain likes and followers. According to TikTokker Matthew Richardson, LHS graduate and a current freshman in college, “if you get on the For You page, you’ll get famous really easily. Usually your video has to follow certain trends in order to make it on there, but it doesn’t have to. That’s how I gained so many followers. I just posted videos based off of other people’s ideas and videos I thought people would like watching.” 

Richardson, whose TikTok username is @matthewrichardson32, was able to accumulate over 560,000 followers on TikTok in a fairly short amount of time. He discussed the large amount of hate comments and direct messages he received as his account grew in popularity. However, he wants teens to remember that “there are going to be a lot more positive comments than negative ones. For every bad comment, there’ll be 10 good ones. I want people to remember to only focus on the good ones because mostly focusing on the bad ones will end up hurting you a lot.” He then shared that he is currently not posting as many videos as he used to due to the immense amount of stress he felt from doing so.

Although there are numerous trending types of videos users typically post, junior Hannah Wilson (@hannahw on TikTok) encourages teens to “just post! Don’t be afraid to post what you want. Post fun things and post as much as you want. Step out of your comfort zone, and make whatever kinds of videos you want.” She said that she started posting for fun, and she hopes other students do as well.

For some students, TikTok is more than just a place to post humorous videos with friends and family. It’s also a growing business platform. Wilson explained how she thinks “it’s cool how all different brands are on TikTok. I got my turnabout dress from a company called Tiger Mist. I saw it on my For You page and just ordered the dress straight off the website they had linked in their bio.”

Many food and cosmetic brands, such as Chipotle and Colourpop Cosmetics, have recently started using TikTok as a form of brand advertising. The social media platform recently launched an advertising process and hyperlinking capabilities for companies to use. According to Business Insider, TikTok provides the “perfect target audience” for many brands looking to increase their publicity. 

Another increasingly common way of marketing is contacting large TikTok influencers and asking them to promote their services and products on their accounts. For example, influencers may post exclusive promo codes so that users can save money on their purchases.

Sophomore Maka Alapai, a frequent TikTok user, absolutely loves the app because “even though people like to judge you, there are so many other people in the world that will just be there to support you in whatever you do. It’s a good place to be yourself and post things you want with your family and friends.”