TikTok’s different faces

The secret of TikTok’s success? That users can access the content that speaks to who they are

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Kaylee Hoguet

As a social media platform, TikTok is feeds users whatever they are looking for, whether it’s LGBTQ+ confessionals, iced coffee recipes, hilarious videos, or serious political commentary.

Kiera Loewe, Social Media Director

Over the past 4 years, TikTok has been rising as one of the top social media platforms. This app is extremely popular with people of all ages. What makes this platform so addictive and fun? That’s the question most people seem to have on their minds as it’s popularity increases.

One reason is the different sides of TikTok. Some people might not know that TikTok has multiple sides. However, because of what each user likes, adds to favorites, hides, follows, and comments on. Tiktok customizes each user’s “For You Page” to show content that the user will most likely want to watch. 

Because of these customizations, people get placed on different sides of the platform. This occurs even if the user realizes it or not and many users don’t even know about the sides of TikTok they aren’t placed on.

The two biggest sides of TikTok are called “Straight TikTok” and “Alt TikTok”. Straight TikTok typically consists of dancing videos from large creators like Charli D’Amelio and houses of creators like the “Sway House.”  

Straight TikTok also has subcategories like Fashion TikTok and Makeup TikTok that are more middle ground. “I really like Straight TikTok because I relate to a lot of the content,” mentioned sophomore Apryl Hanneman, “I also really like TikTok dances.” 

On the other side, there’s Alt TikTok which typically consists of darker humor, sarcasm,  LGBTQ+ pride, and sometimes politics. Some of the popular jokes made are teasing “ThatVeganTeacher.” 

Sophomore Mara Torres is on Alt TikTok and she informed us that she commonly sees musical theater, Harry Potter, fairy comments, self-love, Gen Z jokes, and random content like mi pan zu zu zu. “Personally I really enjoy how funny the littlest things can be, especially late at night when I’m getting delirious,” she laughed, “There are also some sides where the creators are very kind and really want to help others with hard topics such as self-love and more. Overall, I’ve become addicted because Tik-Tok genuinely makes me happy and it makes me feel better after I’ve been sad.”

The subcategories are usually for people in more neutral, and sometimes educational, groupings of people. This can include teachers, fashion icons, small businesses, and people protecting the planet.

People placed in these subcategories are usually in between Straight TikTok and Alt TikTok or are very different. To find these categories you can usually search hashtags in the app. Some popular hashtags in these subcategories are #EduTok, #FashionTok, and #PlantTok.

Regardless of what sides of TikTok you’re on, there’s always many more to explore. Tiktok simply takes into account videos you like and shows more that are similar, placing you on these different sides. This causes hours of scrolling and filming to express and find creativity.