During this age of rapid and highly influential technological advancement, social media has emerged and become a very influential agent for change. Social media has greatly impacted the way in which people communicate and the way they conduct business as well as live their lives. TikTok is one of the social media platforms that has become very influential. This platform has taken the glove by storm since it was launched in 2016. TikTok is a video-sharing application. The platform has become popular for allowing people from across the globe to share short-form, but very engaging content. This approach has both changed the entertainment landscape and brought huge changes to the economy as well as our daily lives. TikTok has ushered in numerous transformations, which include the reshaping of the entertainment industry, influence on consumer behaviour, and impact on mental health, which has demonstrated social media’s power to shape the world in unexpected ways.
Shaping Consumer behaviour
Beyond the entertainment realm, TikTok has had a huge influence on consumer behaviour. The platform has influenced what people purchase, where they shop, as well as how people make decisions. There are several ways through which TikTok has reshaped consumer behaviour. The first influence has been about the rise of the influencer marketing. Over the years since the launch of TikTok, this social media has produced a new breed of influencers. The new influencers include content creator s with huge following. For this reason, they can sway consumer preferences and choices. Brands have been recognizing this phenomenon and for this reason, they are increasingly partnering with TikTok influencers in order to promote their products and services. Secondly, TikTok has been helping in making people become aware of the trends in fashion and beauty. For this reason, The TikTok users now turn into the platform to get fashion inspiration and product recommendation. Such trends include cottagecore fashion and skincare routines have gained a lot of popularity through TikTok (Tiktok.com, 2023c). In the same note, the TikTok platform has greatly influenced the food industry. Viral baking as well as cooking videos on TikTok have inspired people to try new recipes and culinary techniques. Sometimes, this has led to increased sales of certain kitchen appliances or ingredients.
TikTok’s impact on Entertainment Revolution
The meteoric rise of TikTok is majorly linked to its approach to entertainment, which is highly innovative. Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok has adopted a short, user-generated videos set to music. Through the adoption of this unique method, TikTok has achieved to create a type of entertainment that is highly shareable and easily digestible. There are many ways by which TikTok has greatly revolutionized the entertainment industry. The first has been the predominance of user-generated content. It is imperative to note that TikTok has democratized the creation of content. This implies that any person with a smartphone ca become a content creator and post in their profile. This capability has provided many people with the opportunity for talented individuals to showcase their skills and creativity devoid of the need for costly equipment or even production teams. This new trend has greatly empowered people and has disrupted the traditional entertainment industry by eliminating gatekeepers who initially controlled who would enter the entertainment industry. Moreover, TikTok is renowned for its challenges and trends that go viral. With TikTok, users create and take part in challenges, which include lip-syncing and dance routines to specific songs. These challenges and trends go viral within a short time and they reach a huge audience. For example, the The Don’t Rush Challenge reached 1.2 billion views (Sharjeel, 2023). Many entrepreneurs and other content creators used this challenge’s popularity to market ideas, businesses, and services. Such kind of virality has enabled unknown artists and songs to gain recognition. Also, this has helped to revive the popularity of old songs. Furthermore, TikTok has greatly influenced other media and thus it has a ripple effect on other media platforms. Songs and dances that gain popularity on TikTok normally become chart-toppers. For this reason, even TV shows and movies that gain popularity on TikTok also increase their viewership. Thus, it can be argued that TikTok has become a powerful and influential promotional tool for the entertainment industry.
Mental Health and Social Impact
Several studies, including Zhou & Lee (2021), show that even though TikTok has brought about a lot of positive changes, it has also raised concerns regarding its impact on mental health society. For instance, TikTok is highly addictive because of the addictive nature of short-form content (Meral, 2021). The design of the TikTok platform encourages users to endlessly scroll through short videos, which is very addictive. Such constant exposure to content affects the audiences’ sleep patterns, productivity, as well as their overall well-being (Agater, 2022). Another way by which TikTok is affecting mental health is through body image and self-esteem issues. The platform’s emphasis on appearance can contribute to body image as well as self-esteem issues (Savira et al., 2022). This is more popular among young users who compare themselves to influencers, despite the fact that most influencers have realistic beauty standards (Savira et al., 2022). Furthermore, just like other social media platforms, TikTok has been reinforcing echo chambers. In such echo chambers, users are majorly exposed to content that aligns with their existing beliefs. This can substantially lead to polarization as well as limit exposure to diverse perspectives.
It is worth noting that TikTok has opened up new economic opportunities for individuals and businesses. It has done so through several ways. The first opportunity that TikTok has opened is the ease of small business promotion. According to Mou (2020), most small enterprises have leveraged TikTok in order to promote their products and reach a wider audience. This is because, with TikTok, small businesses do not need huge marketing budget in order for their adverts to go viral and reach a huge audience. Instead, just like the other social media platforms, TikTok rewards creativity and authenticity and this allows small businesses with limited resources to compete effectively provided their adverts have incorporated creativity and authenticity. Also, entrepreneurship is another economic opportunity created by TikTok. It is worth noting that the TikTok platform has inspired entrepreneurship, where many people and businesses are creating innovative products or services that are based on trends and viral content (Haenlein et al., 2020). Thus, TikTok has become a breeding ground for entrepreneurial ideas. Furthermore, TikTok has provided an opportunity for creators and influences to monetize their content. It is imperative to note that TikTok offers a Creator Fund and allows creators to earn money through their sponsored content (Tiktok.com, 2023a). Also, through the TikTok Creator Fund, content creators earn a lot of money through brand partnerships, and live streaming on the TikTok platform (Newsroom.tiktok.com, 2023a). This had enabled content creators to turn their passions into profitable careers.
Source: Tiktok.com (2023a)
Even though it is just 7 years old, TikTok has had a lot of influence in society. It has influenced several sectors in society and many aspects of the society. It has greatly influenced the entertainment industry, consumer behaviour, and it has opened up economic opportunities. Also, it has raised concerns regarding its impact on mental health and society. Over the years. The platform has demonstrated the unconceivable power of social media in shaping our economy and people’s daily lives in unexpected ways. As the platform continues evolving and maturing, it will be important for individuals, businesses, and policymakers to navigate its impact thoughtfully and responsibly. Regardless of people’s status, such as content creators, consumers, or concerned citizens, people must stay vigilant and consider the broader implications of social media revolution. Furthermore, TikTok’s journey has shown the safety that digital world is constantly changing, and people must adapt as well as learn to thrive in this dynamic landscape.