Editor’s Note – Our latest guest blogger Charli Deamelio is here to show you how to take advantage of your newfound free time and hack the world’s fastest growing app. I know what you’re thinking and no, you are not too good for Tik Tok. If you are on this blog , you’re clearly not too good for anything.
As always, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to guest blog.
So You Want to be TikTok Famous
You’re quarantined in a house in the suburbs, slumped on a couch and refreshing twitter. Someone a couple years younger than you (sooo much younger, like a whole 24 months, so naive..) suggests that you learn a tik tok dance. You roll your eyes- this silly app again? But in an effort to be more active in all your free time, you agree and get off the couch. Within minutes, you’re desperately trying to ‘throw it back’ and ‘helicopter’. Who is Charli? What is whipped coffee?
No, I am not looking through your windows right now. I know you, because I AM you. Well, you a couple months in the future- because I’ve already cracked the tik tok code. That’s right, I know how to be Tik Tok famous. With these techniques, my friends and I have garnered 300k-8 MILLION views on multiple tiktoks, and not just by chance. That’s why I’m qualified to give this dissertation, and why you clicked on the title, desperate to know WHY and HOW this app has taken over the world faster than any virus. Let’s break it down:
Why it’s Addicting
As with all social media apps, tik tok has an algorithm that notices what you engage with in order to show you more content along those lines. Their algorithm happens to be much quicker and better designed than other social medias- as it needed to be, in order to break through in such a saturated media market. Within minutes of scrolling, it has already started showing you videos that suit your interests, along with things that have been popular in your demographic.
The algorithm also recognizes which videos are more successful than others, and tries to boost ones that appear similar. Videos filmed in bathrooms, have celebrities’ faces in them, and bright lighting will get boosted by the algorithm, because they are visually similar to videos by the most popular creators on tik tok.
Of course, I am not the first person to realize this. Almost every single person on tik tok is trying to get a video viral, and they will all follow the trends on a basic level- imitating the most mainstream of creators. Today, I will be teaching you how to look into the commonalities of viral tik toks and UNDERSTAND the trends. …Ok, I’m starting to realize I spend too much time on this app. Whatever.
I need to briefly mention that it has been proven that tik tok’s algorithm disproportionately favors white, skinny, able-bodied, straight creators. No, really, it’s in the algorithm. What is ALSO in the algorithm is to automatically ban any videos that show too much skin, drugs, or alcohol, since tik tok has a large underage audience. So, while you may think tik tok is about looking hot and young for teen boys, instead think of it as being hot to like, a colonial-times catholic suitor. Yeah, it’s terrible, but that’s for a different article.
Good lighting and quality with a clean and bright background is also preferable. It doesn’t have to look like a set, but does need to be a pleasurable viewing experience. Part of that is being able to see your face- facial expressions are important in creating a good viewing experience, and tik tok facial expressions are easy to pick up on if you watch enough Addison Rae, Lil Huddy, etc. (all the greats).
Think of it like acting- you wouldn’t want to watch your brother walk around like a spider, yet we pay $15 to sit in a theater and watch Tom Holland do exactly that for two hours because it’s fun to stare at his face and the cinematography is cool.
Here are some tips for some of the major categories of trendy tik toks:
- Dance: do the dance with a friend or two, and upload multiple videos in multiple locations of the same dance. If it’s a trending dance, you’re guaranteed to get 300-3000 views.
- Baking: that’s right, baking is trendy- and something you’ve probably been doing a lot of lately. You can bake or cook anything, just record a voiceover explaining the steps and make sure to oversimplify everything about it. Bonus points if you have an Italian Ma or Nonna to really sell the Cake Boss aesthetic.
- Thirst Trapping: Your naive little minds probably think this is the ticket for getting tik tok famous, but if you get one thing out of this article, it is: DO NOT THIRST TRAP.
- First off, thirst traps are targeted at the under 18 crowd that has yet to discover porn, and why do you want to be porn for tweens you creep?
- Secondly, if you’re a straight girl, the market is already oversaturated and you have missed your window to blow up simply for being hot. Straight boys, you have a slightly better chance, but you have to be willing to engage with your followers and totally submit yourself to the cringey trends and sexual nature of being a tik tok thirst trap boy- something that won’t look good in any future google searches of your name by potential employers, significant others, or just about anyone (but if you want inspiration or a pure laugh, look up Cayden Morack).
- But, if you are a queer woman, this may be the genre of tik tok fame for you- girls are more likely to become loyal to their favorite tik tokkers, and queer females are in the minority on the app- it’s a perfect storm. You can build a solid fanbase basically by doing absolutely nothing except wearing a beanie. For more on this, cite tik tokkers like Avery Cyrus and Maihua Lee (queens of a classy thirst trap).
- POVs: honestly, this one is so uncomfortable that if you’re willing to try it, you already are a better tik tokker than me. The basis is, you create a plotline in which you are talking to the camera and the story takes place from the viewers point of view (duh). This is a major trend on tik tok right now and if you’re willing to commit, is a great pathway to fame. My favorite POV creator for the cringe factor is @tyler.brash, but if you want more real examples, you can just search “POV” and get all kinds of craziness.
- Comedy: if you’re reading an article in order to try and be tik tok famous, you are not funny enough to be a comedic tik tokker. Don’t even try.
And now we arrive at my bread and butter- storytimes. A storytime is when you tell a personal anecdote, explain a tik tok, or tell any type of story to the camera. This is how you become famous, point blank. Any tik tok with a personal plot WILL get engagement and multiple views per person, putting you right in the algorithm to be featured on people’s timelines.
Two of my friends uploaded tik toks pretending to throw up on other people (fake, but realistic looking) and garnered half a million views. One pretended to have two boyfriends that were brothers and gained 8 million views on multiple tik toks. You don’t have to faux vom for fame, though- here are some tips to create a viral storytime:
- Just like in movies, people love plotlines with suspense, drama, and an underdog to root for. Create a plotline that is so unique and insane that people think “you can’t make this shit up”. Examples: you found your long lost brother on tik tok, you found adoption papers in the basement and didn’t know you were adopted, your mom dated Michelle Obama in college, etc.
- Don’t give too much backstory. You want people to watch multiple times to try and catch more detail, comment asking questions, and go to your page for explanations.
- If the plot can involve you being the underdog in a stage of downfall or prevail, bonus points. You want people to root for you, whether that be in a major glo up or in getting revenge on a bully.
I put this theory to the test myself, two days before writing this article. I uploaded a video of myself sitting, doing absolutely nothing- no makeup, no facial expression, not even looking into the camera- and captioned it: “my middle school bully posted a cover of a song on tik tok and went viral. Give this video the same energy.” Is there any bully? No, I was hot and cool in middle school, of course I wasn’t bullied (ok, maybe I was a bit of a freak but people only said that behind my back). Within 24 hours, I garnered over 200,000 views and 50,000 likes. Not even implementing all of my own guidelines (crazy factor, full story) I succeeded in winning minor viral fame by doing the bare fucking minimum. If I can do it, you can do it.
You now have all of my tik tok wisdom and hours upon weeks upon months of free time in your home- why not get a taste of fame and power? Use this knowledge responsibly, and stay safe WRDies.