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June 29, 2021

The Gen-Z Tik Tok Takeover

HJ-PR intern Camryn gives a tell-all approach to Tik Tok and how it’s starting to create (yet another) shift in the way we approach social media – specifically Tik Tok vs Instagram.

Let me recall how I woke up one morning after having posted a Tik Tok late one night. I opened the app only to discover that my silly video that I chose to post out of sheer personal amusement had already harnessed over half a million views. I know what you’re probably thinking… How’s that possible? Trust me, I was asking myself the same question considering I went to bed with around 190 followers and woke up with a few thousand. 

Now I’m not saying that I’m destined to be the next Charli D’Amelio or Addison Rae Easterling, but I could be! The prospect of fame is way too exciting to the average person, myself included, which is why I think so many people, no matter the age, have used Tik Tok to present content that they find to be exclusive and interesting. It is now a place for a person to hone in on their brand and originality, something that seems far more unachievable on Instagram. The sky seems to be the limit, and influencers on the app are doing anything in their power to harness their own unique audiences. 

For me, these are just a few reasons why Instagram may be on its way out in the next few years. Tik Tok is a far more casual, humorous and entertaining platform than Instagram has ever been! I’m not bashing Instagram, because I still use the platform and enjoy it from time to time, but it’s not what it used to be. With all these factors considered, Instagram is starting to seem passé in a Facebook kind of way. 

I’m personally tired of seeing ‘highlight reels’ of people’s lives and am myself much more interested in seeing people share their sense of humor, reveal and review a new product or even participate in a dance trend. It’s much more authentic because everything about it seems more available to the average person. Instagram and many of its users have established an air of untouchableness in years past which is why it seems to be a center for such toxicity. 

As a result of Instagram’s algorithm, I feel as though I never see posts of friends and peers that I am intertwined with, but rather, all my favorite influencers trying to sell their latest line of jewelry or makeup. See I’m not complaining, I follow them for a reason, but I always viewed Instagram as a way to keep up with friends from near and far. The reality of it is that now, I have to scroll for hours if I want to see the face of someone I know. 

And yet, Tik Tok’s true claim to fame is the ‘For You Page’, unlike anything social media users have seen before. What set Tik Tok apart from the start was its effective usage of an algorithm; a system that presents users with videos of content that technology deems to be of interest to the person viewing it. 

After the rise of the platform, Tik Tok has other social media platforms following in their footsteps, with Instagram and Snapchat introducing their own platforms by the name of ‘Reels’ and ‘Spotlight’ respectively. These platforms are almost exactly like Tik Tok and serve the same purpose. 

Yet something about Tik Tok still seems especially unusual and intriguing to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been using Instagram for over 10 years and have remained unimpressed with all the updates to the app. The same could be said for Snapchat. While both networks seem to have their own unique goals as they both relate to pictures and videos, both platforms should focus on developing pre-existing features, rather than imitating Tik Tok. 

Instagram’s  algorithm completely ruined my passion for posting on Instagram. Tik Tok gives users a bit more control over what they see on their ‘For You Page’, and by liking and commenting on a video, users will be far more likely to view similar content. While Instagram now offers the ‘Explore Page’ it is a far cry from the entertainment of my FYP on Tik Tok.

My point in sharing all of this was not to discourage anyone from their continued use of Instagram, but rather to explore new avenues and outlets of certain platforms that are at risk of falling off. It never hurts to try something new; if Tik Tok just isn’t your thing, try to approach Instagram with a new lense by sharing content that is most authentic to you, whether your followers enjoy it or not. So long as one is authentic, the appreciation will follow sooner or later! 

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