- Every internet community has its own memes, and TikTok is no exception.
- In the past few months, TikTok has been a fountain of new memes and funny videos that don’t look like anything else on the internet.
- That’s because TikTok has editing tools that comparable platforms like Instagram and YouTube don’t, giving the community its own distinct meme language.
- That means it’s more disconnected from other platforms, but it also allows creativity to thrive.
Every platform has its own community. Instagram is filled with beautiful people who travel the world. Twitter’s community features politicians, journalists, and Neo-Nazis. And Twitch has a lot of gamers.
And each of those platforms, in turn, has its own memes and culture. Often, they cross over. It’s common to see screenshots of funny tweets show up on Instagram, or videos ripped from Twitch streams to show up on YouTube.
In the past few months, the short-form video app TikTok has been a breeding ground for dozens of clever, funny videos that have turned into memes. The “hit or miss” challenge has invaded real life, and people have made hundreds of videos putting makeup on potatoes and using audio from an old Adele concert – and gummi bears – for funny reveal shots.
In addition to music – TikTok purchased and swallowed the jukebox app musical.ly in 2017 – the memes that uniquely thrive on TikTok all have one thing in common: special effects.
The app’s video editing suits is much more advanced than Instagram’s, or even YouTube’s. While Instagram and Snapchat may have face filters and other bells and whistles, TikTok is the first popular app that allows users access to tools comparable to that of a movie studio.
“We invest in creative tool innovation, and through that we want to empower people to explore outside of their comfort zone, to be brave and put their true self out there to challenge the norm,” Stefan Heinrich, a TikTok executive, told INSIDER. “TikTok is a truly unique platform for content creation and community, providing creators with easy-to-use editing tools like AR objects, special effects, stickers, filters and more.”
Or the #ZoomChallenge, where users make it look like they’re sliding across the ground with a verse from the Lil Yachty song “Mickey.”
TikTok’s own features and culture also helps explain why the community seems to distinct from the rest of the internet. It has its own visual language, and that sometimes means that the same memes don’t translate to other communities. TikTok’s interpretation of the “Ladies and gentlemen, we got em” meme, for example, is totally different than how the rest of the internet has interpreted it.
But it’s also why creativity thrives on the platform. As long as TikTok has its own way of making memes, the community will offer something unique that the rest of the internet can’t.
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