May 11th, 2022, 10:15 PM

TikTok as the New Wave of Social Media

By Ian Stone
Looking into new social media interfaces, I offer an opinion piece on why TikTok will be the reason Instagram is pushed out of relevancy.

Although India might have closed its market to TikTok after banning the app because of a border row with China, TikTok remains the most popular app globally. Its growth in the face of such challenges means that it has displaced Instagram in terms of user base and this creates the need for investigating the unique features that make TikTok the new wave of social media. Unlike social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, which are more attuned towards social interactions and sharing information, TikTok is unique in that it aggregates user-generated content to turn it into an entertainment platform while still allowing users to engage.

As the next wave of social media, TikTok primarily functions as an interactive entertainment platform. Research found that entertainment is provided in the form of videos where users generate entertaining content like music or videos by sharing existing content or lip-syncing.


A post shared by TikTok (@tiktok)

Still, users can create original content. TikTok’s short videos make the platform highly engaging and attractive to Gen-Z consumers who prefer the short and creative videos on the site. Further, the variety of content makes the platform more appealing compared to Instagram. Notably, TikTok’s lip-syncing feature which is absent on Instagram has attracted leading artists to the platform in the sense that when users lip-sync songs, it drives traffic or popularity of the original songs leading to more revenues for the artists. The high number of creative on TikTok has also reduced the influence of Instagram.

With my own personal experience, I have found that since the pandemic kept everyone at home for over six months, people got bored with Instagram since people we're all on the same playing field, quarantining at home. TikTok took advantage of the global pandemic and executed the perfect app to keep people entertained. Now, with the pandemic over in most places, I believe I have found Tiktok to be more engaging. My main beleif for this is that people would go viral and be Instagram famous by showing off their glam or looks. With TikTok, someone could go viral for showing off, for example, living in the smallest apartment in New York City. I think TikTok puts everyone on the same playing field which is why I think it is the new wave of social media. 

As a social networking site, TikTok allows users to comment on videos and engage in the comment section. Content creators and influencers can use the comment sections to determine the appeal levels of their content. However, TikTok beats Instagram because it incorporates features like spotlight that allow users to highlight some videos, thus increasing traffic or people watching the video. Brands can also use TikTok to highlight their products. TikTok is the future of social media due to its versatility and captivating features that increase its users leading to the declining popularity of rivals like Instagram and Snapchat.