Tik Tok goes viral

Social media app gains mass following among young adults.

Giana Serrano and Sara Saleh

TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, is the newest in a growing line of creative content-based social media platforms aimed at teens and young adults. Popping up on news sites around the world, the app is owned by ByteDance, one of the most valuable private technology firms in the world, reportedly worth $75 billion. Both TikTok and its predecessor, Musical.ly, are built around user-created lip-syncing and dancing videos. 

The use of the app has blown up around the world and Curtis High School has not been immune to the craze. Many students post content on TikTok or watch videos made by other creators. “I really like the app because it gives me a sense of positivity,” said sophomore Janavia Simon, admitting that she initially downloaded the app because of the “hype” surrounding it. A handful of Curtis students have gained a following on the platform after their videos were put on the “For You” page. This aspect of a user’s exposure to content is based on an algorithm within the app that highlights the most widely liked videos across the platform and puts them into one section that other users can scroll through. There is no agreed-upon theory as to how selection for the For You page works, but many creators emphasize that having a video on the page is a goal.  

We asked two members of the news staff, one that doesn’t use TikTok and one that does, for their opinions on the app. Greer Gerney, a junior in the IB program, does not use the app but her younger sister and many of her friends do. “I am not super into social media, mostly because in the past I have found it to be a black hole that eats up time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, though and I’d rather my sister be making something silly then mindlessly scrolling.” 

Giana Serrano, a sophomore in the JROTC program, says that she creates videos as well as watching the content of others. “The app is filled with really funny people. Creating TikToks has helped me to become more confident about myself and my humor. There are many people who enjoy the things that I enjoy.” Curtis students, like the rest of the high school population around the world, have taken a liking to this latest bit of creative social technology.