TikTok’s Biggest Hits of the Year — and Its Predictions for 2020
TikTok has released the TikTok 100, a year-in-review list that names the top videos, genres, creators and memes that shaped the fastest-growing platform of the past year. The list highlights popular TikToks in topic areas like beauty and style, sports, pets and dance trends.
The most viral videos on the app included a science experiment conducted by YouTube star David Dobrik, a man doing surgery on a banana and a swimming pool stunt gone terribly wrong. Top memes on the app included #TikTokChecks （a format where users show off locations or objects as markers of their identity）, VSCO girls （a youthful subculture consisting of scrunchies, Hydro Flasks and environmentalism） and “walk a mile,” in which people create high-heeled shoes out of absurd objects in a riff on an Iggy Azalea song.
这款app上最受欢迎的视频包括YouTube明星戴维·多布里克（David Dobrik）进行的一个科学实验，一名男子给香蕉做手术，以及一个出了大问题的泳池噱头。这款app上排名最高的米姆包括#TikTokChecks（用户用于炫耀地点或物件，作为身份标识的一种形式）、VSCO女孩（一种包括布发箍、Hydro Flasks和环保的青年亚文化），以及“走一英里”——人们穿上荒谬的材料制造的高跟鞋，踩着Iggy Azalea的一首歌做即兴模仿。
“The thing that continues to inspire me is how much diversity and amazing content there’s been on the app,” said Vanessa Pappas, the general manager of TikTok North America and Australia. She pointed to the breakout success of Lil Nas X and the impact the platform has had on the music industry as a highlight of this past year. “TikTok has become a hotbed of talent, and there’s so much discoverability on the platform that it can be used as this mechanism to discover new voices,” she said.
“一直激励我的是，这款app上的多样性和惊人的内容，”TikTok北美和澳大利亚区总经理瓦妮莎·帕帕斯（Vanessa Pappas）说。她指出，Lil Nas X的一炮走红，以及该平台对音乐行业的影响是过去一年的亮点。“TikTok已经成为人才的温床，在这个平台上有很多可发现的东西，可以用来作为发现新声音的机制，”她说。
The list, which incorporates views, likes, shares and trends into its rankings, showcases TikTok’s power to generate conversation and drive meme culture. It also shows the app’s role in introducing an entirely new type of notoriety into the online attention economy: TikTok fame. Being “TikTok famous” is a mark of status for teenagers. Clubs have sprung up to help those seeking it; countless young people goof off in their bedrooms with their phones for hours, hoping for a hit.
TikTok fame is different from fame on other social platforms like YouTube, Twitter or Instagram. Because TikTok primarily serves viewers through its algorithm-driven feed, you don’t need a single follower on the app to have a video blow up. You just need to tap into the right trend, or do the right dance at the right time.
“There’s something really attainable about TikTok fame. Anyone can post a video and it can be seen by hundreds or millions of people,” said Ms. Pappas. From there, fame happens fast. TikTok creators on the TikTok 100 include Noen Eubanks, who made his first video a year ago in September and now has more than 7 million followers. Others include Chase Hudson, @ThisAintJay and Charli D’Amelio.
“TikTok名声确实是一种可以实现的东西。任何人都可以上传视频，这个视频能被数亿人看到，”帕帕斯说。名声从那里来得很快。TikTok 100排名榜上的创作者包括诺恩·尤班克斯（Noen Eubanks），他在2018年9月制作了自己的第一个视频，现在已有700多万粉丝。其他创作者还包括蔡斯·哈德森（Chase Hudson），@ThisAintJay和查利·德阿梅里奥（Charli D’Amelio）。
“When we think about TikTok it’s this mobile-first platform and there’s so many things about the format itself that speaks to meme culture,” Ms. Pappas said. “Anyone can have a viral moment. Often we see creators take a topic and put their own spin on it and it really does have this viral effect. Because TikTok tends to lower the barrier of entry, creation is really being democratized.”
Predictions for 2020
As the platform continues to birth new creators, Ms. Pappas said helping them make money is something the company is thinking hard about. She previously worked at YouTube and is deeply familiar with the tensions that arise between those seeking to make a living on social platforms and the platforms themselves.
“Creators are such an important part of our ecosystem, and monetization is something we hear often,” Ms. Pappas said. “We’re at the beginning stages of exploring different models and ways we can connect creators with brands and opportunities. We recently rolled out TikTok’s creator marketplace that connects creators to brands. We’re definitely in that exploratory phase, but we’re focused on what ways we can best serve our creative community.”
Serving that community also means broadening what many would consider traditional creators or influencers. “The definition of ‘creator’ is changing,” Ms. Pappas said. “We’re seeing this next generation of creators being born in ways we haven’t seen previously. For me, what’s been interesting is that now anyone can become a creator. People are owning their own voice, not having to express a polished version of themselves. When you look at other platforms there’s different versions of yourself you’re putting out there, TikTok is about being yourself, warts and all, and this new generation of creators is really embracing that.”
It’s not likely that news will be the company’s future focus. “There are so many outlets to find breaking news, so I don’t see TikTok as being a place for that. We’re not a real-time platform,” Ms. Pappas said.
However, the app is becoming increasingly political. Young activists use TikTok to spread political messages; users of all ages have begun leveraging the platform to share opinions on issues surrounding the impeachment inquiry, Trump administration policies, the 2020 election and more.
Misinformation is something the company says it’s deeply concerned about heading into 2020. “I think as a platform of scale you can’t not think about these things today and there’s a level of responsibility we have to take on,” Ms. Pappas said. “We want to make sure we’re safeguarding our users from things like misinformation. We have a number of things we’re beefing up: our policies, ensuring we have expert moderators who know how to define that type of content, what is misinformation, and ensuring we have the technology in place to scan for things like coordinated abuse. We’re looking across the industry and looking at what we can learn from.”
Because TikTok is owned by Chinese tech conglomerate, Bytedance, the app has also faced charges of political censorship. According to The Washington Post, employees of TikTok in the U.S. were pressured to censor “culturally problematic” content that might offend the Chinese government.
由于TikTok属于中国的科技企业字节跳动（Bytedance），此应用面临着政治审查的指控。据《华盛顿邮报》（The Washington Post）的报道，TikTok在美国的员工被迫审查冒犯中国政府的“文化上有问题”的内容。
“This is something that I want to wholeheartedly stress: We do not censor any content based on political sensitivities,” Ms. Pappas said. “Everything from the U.S. market is driven from the U.S. team. We have U.S. moderation team, our head of trust and safety is in the U.S., it’s a U.S.-led operation. We don’t do any type of censorship in that regard and wouldn’t even if we were asked.”
As TikTok continues to scale in the U.S., Ms. Pappas said American TikTok culture has already begun to affect international markets. “I think today’s list of the top 100 is a really good example of everything that’s resonating from the U.S. globally. We’ve seen effects that have gone viral in other markets, like green screen and TikTok text. It’s been great to see how those trends have gone across barriers.”
TikTok stars also are taking on the wider internet as they spread across platforms, racking up as many as millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram. Ms. Pappas has a goal that they don’t abandon the app for greener pastures. “Creators are really the heart and soul of the app,” she said. “We want to make sure we’re supporting them, they’re creating the amazing content people are coming to see every day.”