It has been well over two years since TikTok arrived in the US in August 2018. offer a rejoinder to anyone who thought social media was lost. The app had it all: social comments, comedy, crafts, memes, challenges, makeup tutorials, and of course, dances. Even those who weren’t completely convinced couldn’t avoid the videos that were spreading on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

TikTok was until April 2020 downloaded more than 2 billion times;; in autumn it had an estimated one 850 million monthly active users.

Despite its growth in size and scope, the uninitiated still largely view the app as a tool for other, much younger people. “TikTok is a kids dance app where kids upload videos of themselves for kids and adults to enjoy,” says comedian Nathan Fielder recently joked. While it is true that TikTok has transformed dance culture onlinethe platform has grown into a rich social and entertainment network. And in 2020 there was hardly a corner of society that it did not touch.

The most obvious effects of TikTok can be seen in the entertainment world. “More than any other social network since Myspace, it feels like a new experience, the emergence of a different kind of technology and a different kind of media consumption,” said journalist Kyle Chayka wrote in November.

Primarily responsible for the uniqueness of the TikTok ad experience is the For You page, an algorithmic feed that delivers the content that you are likely to find appealing. You don’t have to follow or be chased by a single person to see the videos you want to see or to let the target audience see your videos, which has made a rapid rise to fame for many people. In 2020 alone, top users such as Charli and Dixie D’Amelio and Addison Easterling accumulated tens of millions of followers and became household names. The D’Amelios even landed a Hulu show.

The app has also reinvigorated the music industry and has become a place to discover talent, market new songs, produce new music together and mix tracks.

TikTok has an undeniable influence on what people wear and buy. In 2020, TikTokers appeared in campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Prada signed with agencies such as IMG Models and shaped trends (Superior Cottage core and the Strawberry dress). Gucci took on a challenge that taught people how to style items in their wardrobes to look like Alessandro Michele’s runway models. (If you have a headscarf, turtleneck, and some brightly colored accessories, you’re halfway there.) Mass market brands have adjusted to influencers too. Hype House Merch is sold at Target, for example.

“It goes beyond the outfits and into the creative expression,” said Kudzi Chikumbu, the director of the community of creators at TikTok In December. “TikTok is a place of joy and offers the fashion industry a completely new way of presenting its art and personality.”

While physical stores closed in the first few months of the pandemic, new brands and stores emerged on TikTok that used the platform to drive online orders. Vintage resellers Use TikTok to sell their goods and revive old styles. Big retailers like Sephora, Dunkin ‘and GameStop even encouraged her employees to become TikTok influencers.

Service reps were some of the first to choose TikTok in 2018, and in 2020 people got a whole new perspective on their lives. Warehouse workers, fast food workers, and baristas all turned to TikTok to sometimes give others a glimpse into their lives finding unintended fame along the way. In 2020, many of their industries were hard hit by the pandemic and used TikTok to promote fundraising and relief efforts.

As the coronavirus continued to spread, TikTok also played an important role in the public health arena. Nurses, doctors and other frontline health workers used TikTok to talk about the risks of contracting Covid-19, explain the importance of wearing masks, and Eliminate misinformation about vaccines. (Many have also documented their vaccinations on the platform.)

Patients suffering from coronavirus and other diseases have recorded their health journeys and connected with the outside world from their hospital beds.

As the Black Lives Matter Movement TikTok was supported across the country that summer, becoming a place where young activists could talk about police brutality, what it means to be an ally and criminal justice reform the app’s own relationship to Black creators.

Political activism was fruitful in the app too. In June, TikTok users organized a campaign for Increase attendance expectations for President Trump’s election rally in Tulsa. Photos from the event showed a sparse amount with plenty of free space. After the event, Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist, wrote on Twitter: “The teenagers of America dealt a wild blow to @realDonaldTrump.”

One of the earliest and most visible trends at TikTok in 2020 was the renegade, A dance that was choreographed by Jalaiah Harmon (15) for the song “Lottery” by rapper K-Camp from Atlanta. Most popularized by white influencers, the dance opened a dialogue about black creators and gave recognition where it is due.

In 2020, the viral food culture migrated from Instagram to TikTok. The platform became popular Pancake cereal, Coffee beaten and Carrot bacon. It also helped young professionals like the 18-year-old culinary treasure Eitan Bernath, discover and teach millions stuck at home during quarantine how to cook.

TikTok songs and audio tracks provided the soundtrack until 2020. The platform freed new artists from the darkness Never seen guess from the music industry. It put songs like Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” back in the spotlight and introduced new ones to the mass audience.

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