It is not surprising that people have turned to TikTok for 60 seconds of relief in a year marked by the COVID-19 health crisis and social and political unrest.
This week, the social media app shared its list of top 100 videos in America. The videos include a man skateboarding, singing, and drinking cranberry juice on his way to work.
The director of creator community at TikTok is Kudzi Chikumbu. He told the Associated Press that there is a main idea, or “through line,” connecting all these videos.
He said, “The through line is that these are videos that brought joy and inspiration to millions of Americans in a year that has been a bit of a whirlwind for everyone as we all try to figure it out.” A whirlwind is a time filled with quickly changing events and feelings.
TikTok is especially popular among younger people born between 1981 to 2012. They experiment with effects like green screens to add different back drops. Some have even become social media stars called “influencers” with many followers.
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love” inspired TikTok dance challenges that made them the top songs on the app.
For some TikTok creators, the coronavirus itself became inspiration to create a connection with other users. Caitlin Reilly used the app to make fun of co-workers on Zoom. It became one of the top-liked videos. Curtis Roach sang about endless days at home with his song “Bored in the House” -- something people all over the world can relate to.
The second-most popular video was made by an Idaho man named Nathan Apodaca. He became famous with a video of himself singing “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac while skateboarding on a road.
When talking about Apodaca’s video, Chikumbu said, “It’s really about capturing an essence and a moment.”
However, for those who have not used the app, some of the videos may be hard to understand, including the most-liked TikTok video.
In the video, Bella Poarch, a woman with 45 million followers, simply moved her mouth, or lip-synced, to the words of a song. She added a few seconds of well-timed head moving and eye rolling. She has since launched her own businesses and turned her art form into her career.
The app might be aimed at younger people. However, Chikumbu said this year the growth of TikTok has pushed it more into popular culture.
He said, “You’re seeing everyone from the teenager to the college student with their parents and their grandparents all making videos.”
Some of the most-watched videos show people’s homes. Others show people making things like donuts. All signs of the times.
I’m Anna Matteo.
Kristin M. Hall reported this story for the Associated Press. Anna Matteo adapted this story for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in This Story
relief – n. a pleasant and relaxed feeling that someone has when something unpleasant stops or does not happen
app – n. a small computer program, usually on mobile devices
inspiration – n. something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone
bored – adj. feeling weary and restless through lack of interest
skateboard – n. a short board mounted on small wheels that is used for coasting and for performing athletic stunts
essence – n. the basic nature of a thing : the quality or qualities that make a thing what it is
teenager – n. between 13 and 19 years old
donut – n. a small usually ring-shaped piece of sweet fried dough