First Week On TikTok

An intro for fellow millennials.

Sorry, Gen Z. The quarantine has thrown off the shackles of screen-time guilt and got us all glued to our phone screens: millennials have discovered TikTok, and there's no way back. A sincere apology for the overwhelming amount of content my fellow millennials are flooding your timeline with. Is timeline even the correct term? When creating content for Cereal & Chill, I had always kept in mind that the videos we'd produce would have very specific purposes: a 15 second Insta story, a 1 minute video ad, or even long-form content on Youtube. Write up a nice post alongside the video, put it on your story, promote it, and you're done. Our followers would be able to see the video on their timeline and interact with it. None of this applies to TikTok. Creating content for it is unlike any of the platforms I've been using, perhaps being most reminiscent of Vine - the discontinued platform we once used to upload chaotic six-second videos. Opening up TikTok, you're thrown into an endless scroll of videos, most of them fifteen seconds or less. The concept, as explained to me, was simple: stick it out for a few days, and the app will actually learn what you like and serve you exactly the type of content you enjoy. This proved to be 100% correct. The first day on TikTok really just only served to make me feel old (and I'm in my twenties). The app would show me anything from teenage girls making fun of other teenage girls to white kids lip-synching to nonwhite people audio bites in ways that ranged from innocently racist to appallingly racist. The algorithm that determines which videos TikTok will serve you pays close attention to your interest and likes: you double-tap your favorites, you swiftly swipe the trash away. And behold, after 2 days, my timeline was looking a whole lot different. It had become a mix of absurd comic sketches and fellow millennials figuring out the app. From time, scrolling through the videos still felt like a fever dream, but the app in all its wisdom has determined that I apparently would love to see this:

Once I was giving TikTok my full attention - as it was serving me what would retain my attention -, I started thinking about how Cereal & Chill would be able to contribute to other people's timeline. How would we able to enrich the community with thought-provoking video commentary? Well apparently, by posting this:

The key difference between TikTok and our other social media channels, is that without us having an established audience on it (the day I posted that video above, we had 2 followers), the app just believes a certain video has potential and as a result puts in on display in a ton of timelines. The result: this video netted over 30.000 views in a week from people that have probably never heard from us. For upcoming creatives, brands and business, I would wholeheartedly recommend to give TikTok a try. The organic reach of your posts and the potential to entertain an audience that is completely foreign to you, is both an entertaining challenge and a business opportunity. For Cereal & Chill, TikTok is going to stay and become an integral part of our content.

Salim Co-Founder Cereal & Chill



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