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Is TikTok Becoming Like Every Other Social Media Platform? The Lack of Unique Trends Suggests Yes

The launch of TikTok back in March of 2020 turned out to be a watershed moment in the world of social media. Coinciding with the start of the pandemic, TikTok’s launch gave locked in consumers a brand new app that was almost miraculously capable of keeping them entertained. Many of the trends that started out on TikTok seemed to harken back to the era of early YouTube, when everyone was a consumer and a creator and anyone could go viral regardless of whether or not they were professional content creators.

TikTok allowed people to create silly and funny videos, and many of these videos got millions of views. In spite of the fact that this is the case, recent changes that TikTok has made and the influx of professional content creators on the platform has made it seem like a different platform entirely, or rather it has started to seem like more of the same with all things having been considered and taken into account.

There was a time when TikTok created unique trends that became memes that were enormously distinctive, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that this seems like it is a thing of the past. Instead of original content that seems like it came straight from the heart, TikTok is now full of recycled memes that can be seen in pretty much every other social media platform out there.

One change that may have brought about this drastic difference is the rollout of a feature that notified users whenever someone visited their profile. Users became hesitant to check out someone’s profile because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up sending them a notification that could result in some embarrassment.

This is resulting in the demise of weekly trends that used to be so central to the manner in which TikTok became popular. Context is now ever more important, and trends are usually carefully tailored rather than being organic.

TikTok’s own updates and new features certainly have a role to play in altering the landscape of the app. Pop culture trends used to originate on TikTok, but now they are just hollow mimics of what is occurring on other platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or occasionally Twitter.

Much of the initial charm of TikTok is starting to fade away. It used to feel like a community of people who were just publishing their unfiltered content which was meant to be wholesome in nature, but now it seems like just another cog in the content machine. This is not an entirely bad thing, since it also means that there are more people using this app every day.

However, one might wonder what the app would have looked like if it had stayed the way it was. It filled the hole that Vine had left after it was discontinued, but that impression may not hold now that the app is trying to compete with the likes of YouTube. Only time will tell what TikTok will look like in the coming years or how different it will become.


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