DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Author: Gorana Risteski, Media Researcher, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Only Elite TikTokers know about the two sides of TikTok. If you’re on Straight TikTok, this is the first you’re hearing about the apps’s two sides and you’re likely to have no idea about the muffins in the freezer 🧚♀️
TikTok cults and how they came about
TikTokers have been organizing into groups and communities for a long while, seeing that the app itself represents one big community. Officially, the communities started forming with the arrival of Step Chickens and other TikTok cults. A relatively famous TikToker named Melissa Ong took to her account @chunkysdead and shared a video inviting her fans to use her blue-tinted photo as their avatars and join the Step Chickens army. In addition to her fans, a number of celebrities and TikTokers — and even outlets like The Washington Post — have joined the cult and started recognizing one another in other videos’ comment sections as fellow Step Chickens. She had no clear-cut objective to cultivate this kind of community, she just came out with something along the lines of, “Hey, I think we should start a religion. Let’s start a cult.”
This is not the first time that the users are taking sides or creating their own communities.
The recent events in the US have had a significant effect on both the users and the social media platform itself. TikTok officially endorsed the #blacklivesmatter movement, and the users who wanted to show their support changed their profile pictures to black fists or writing against a black background: Black Lives Matter.
On top of that, June 2 was designated as Blackout Tuesday to commemorate a day of mourning on the platform by removing all music from the song selection section and showing only black circles with the explanatory #TheShowMustBePaused.
Trends on TikTok are triggered off by the comments
A good chunk of TikTok trends emerge in the comments, reflecting the forming of a community or the affiliation of users to a particular group. In addition to the Step Chickens cult, recently profile pictures were showing Lego Star Wars, with a major portion of users had their Lego figures as avatars. The latest fairy trend also demonstrates how strongly the comments on TikTok influence its users. A fairy emoji is included in a comment with a compliment or praise that has a mean ending that makes the comment funny. For example: Oh, wow, your confidence is through the roof! 🧚♀️🥰 For no reason though. ✨ 🧚♀️
Essentialy, these comments are those familiar smirks on the faces of people who don’t mean well. The fairy trend also originated on Elite TikTok.
And how come TikTok has two sides?
If you come across a comment in the vein of, “Thank God, I thought for a second I was on Straight TikTok” — you’re watching the video on the Elite side. Straight TikTok is made up of videos of well-known TikTokers, most often Hype House members, dancing and this is the standard side of TikTok with video content with no surprises or weird stuff.
On the other hand, Elite TikTok parodies the Straight side featuring its peculiar sounds that are mostly funny and pointless. But still funny. This TikTok side can be explained as TikTok’s meme side. Some of the songs and sounds used are the same as on the Straight side, but the endings are replaced with something unexpected that parodies the original sound. Elite TikTok — in addition to the parody songs and sounds — also has its own songs, to which even the most popular Straight TikTokers came up with dances. Of course, we expected nothing less.
Some popular Straight TikTokers even created their alternate accounts where they post content that better fits the Elite side, which just shows that they realized how important this side is on TikTok.