During 2020, we have experienced a year like no other, with various life changing events and a pandemic that will go down in history as one of the most memorable health, economic and social challenges to ever occur. For some, this year has turned, flipped and thrown tables while compromising the happiness of many with the loss of jobs, lives and ability to socialise with loved ones, taking a toll on many people’s mental and physical health.
A meme suggesting that if 2020 were to be a drink it would be a sip of vodka when you thought it was going to be water is up there with many other memes circulating the internet to lift people’s spirits and bring about laughter. Speaking of lifting people’s spirits we have seen many creative ways of turning a worrying, upsetting or lonely situation into one that involves entertaining our friends and family as well as the wider community. Social media has played an important role in allowing people to comply with social distancing while still continuing to communicate and promote their artistic and creative talent. Other than social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, an app in vogue known as Tik Tok has surfaced in worldwide media and even political conversation (cough cough Trump)!
This year we have seen an incredible and sudden craze over the use of Tik Tok even though it has been on the market since September 2016 formally known as musical.ly. Mainly used by millennials and Gen Z, Tik Tok has caught the attention of people from all different demographics all over the world. Tik Tok is a downloadable media app for IOS and Android smartphones which allows users to film short 15 second videos – mostly of people lip syncing, acting or dancing to popular songs. Users can also string these 15 second videos together to make their stories last up to 60 seconds long. Like other social media platforms, these videos are grouped together with the use of hashtags often affiliated with trending challenges and memes, where other users can browse and interact with videos that provide great entertainment.
First things first, you’ll need to download the Tik Tok app. Once you have downloaded the app on your smartphone, you will be able to view other people’s videos without an account. However, if you would like to produce and post videos yourself, you must create your own account.
Creating an account is fairly simple so we won’t rave on about how to do this but we will provide you with a couple of insights. Once you enter in your details, the app will automatically assign you a username which will be your Tik Tok identity. To update your username, tap the icon that looks like a person’s head and shoulders which says “Me” below it, located in the bottom corner of your screen. Hit the “Edit Profile” button and then click on “Username” and go for gold with a new, unique username! Make sure you press save and if you would like to change anything else, for example, your bio or profile picture/video go back to the Edit Profile section and follow the prompts. Another important thing to know is that by default, your Tik Tok account will be public meaning that anyone can see your content! If you would like it to be private so that only your friends can see your videos, tap on the three grey dots in the top right corner of your profile and press “Privacy and Safety.” Toggle with the setting so that it is set to a “Private account” so that only your friends can view your content and connect with you.
It’s time to get on board with all the latest Tik Toks and trends! Tik Tok has two feeds, one is the “For You” feed which is very similar to Instagram’s Explore feed and the other is a “Following” feed which allows you to view videos of accounts you choose to follow.
Each video will have a series of icons on the right where you can press on the photo to view the creator’s account, tap the heart to like a video, click the speech bubble to comment and hit the arrow to share. If you love the song that is playing during the video, then tap on the spinning record in the same list of icons to view the artist’s name, the song title and every other video that features the same popular or not so popular song.
If a video makes you cringe or makes you wish you never downloaded the app then have no fear! Hard click on the video and claim that you are Not Interested. This will prevent similar videos from appearing in your feed next time.
It’s time to show your friends or the world how entertaining you can be! To create a Tik Tok video of your own, tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen. A red recording button will appear similar to that on snapchat but first of all choose the tune you’d like to dance, act or lip sync to. There is only one little hiccup with this feature and that is that there are only small snippets of each song listed meaning you can’t pick a certain part of a song. However, filming with a song playing in the background through a loudspeaker will solve this issue! If you are undecided, you can film your video first and add a song later, so don’t stress!
Before you begin to record, choose a fun beauty effect or filter by clicking on the beauty or filter icons on the right side of the screen. An effect may add a filter across the whole screen or over part of your body to make it more engaging, for example, changing the colour of your hair or eliminating dark circles underneath your eyes! How handy!
The next step is to set the timer for your new video. Click on the timer icon on the right hand side of the screen which will enable you to film yourself or someone else without having to keep your finger on the record button while you bust your moves! The important thing to remember is that they can only be recorded for 15 seconds long, however you can string these videos to make one 60 second video!
Feeling clever and creative? Try doing a duet video with your bestie by tapping on the share button and clicking duet. This will allow the two of you to share the screen together and sing or dance to the same song!
You can keep up to date with comments, likes, shares and views by scrolling to the bottom and tapping on the notifications icon on the home screen.
So there you have it, a very brief guide to get you started on the latest trending app!
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