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A-Z of TikTok
(Part 1)

The app Communists, witches and yummy mummies all have in common; Gen-Z’s beloved TikTok, and its dopamine-inducing algorithm were 2020’s saving grace. To all the people lost in the first moments before the app got to know them, those still unconvinced ‘it’s for them’, and those so deep in one side they have no idea what else is hot this month, FW Magazine presents the ultimate TikTok glossary.

Words Lucy Vipond

All credits to creator's own content found in their TikToks

The Basics

The eclecticism of TikTok is what makes it most endearing. Unlike Instagram or Twitter, there is an emphasis on authenticity - it is less about marketing oneself; rather it is about expression and the freedom to express. No side is the same and this individuality is its driving force.

 

Algorithm: The algorithm is suspiciously, terrifyingly accurate. Following the initial tedious feed, which contains the most popular one-minute videos internationally, TikTok tailors to its users based on what they like, share and save.

 

Side: Almost like a genre, where every video is some sort of variation on a topic, ranging from the educational to the completely bizarre. One may tap into multiple sides throughout their TikTok evolution or be loyal only to one. Straight TikTok is the most prominent known for their tone-deaf and inane content.

The Sides

Alt

Created by somewhat ‘edgy’ influencers, this side relishes in their love of black eyeliner, superiority complexes and their hatred of ‘straight’ TikTok.

Communist

“Communism jokes are pretty funny, but only if everyone gets them.” From Angela Davis to Stalin, this far-left side glorifies, teaches and mocks Marx’s political ideology.

Etsy

Resin art began as a creative pastime during lockdown, but if you never got round to making your own, do not fret - scroll through thousands of identical products now listed on Etsy by overeager Tiktok entrepreneurs!

Gordon Ramsay

The celebrity chef couldn’t contain his tired jokes to Twitter – instead, he joined TikTok. It is safe to say that there are now too many cooks in the kitchen.

Inmate

This inherently political side sheds light on life inside prisons, whilst breaking prejudices with an impalpable sense of humanity.

Kink

Educational, inclusive and also a bit cringe. You are either here to learn what a rattan cane is or you want to watch a grown man practice his growl.

Barbz

The cult dedicated to Nicki Minaj has a presence on TikTok that outweighs any other fandom. They successfully bullied other users to help secure their leader’s first number one single with Doja Cat’s ‘Say So Remix’.

Deep

Made by trolls for trolls. Deep TikTok is the internet’s biggest inside joke; it truly makes no sense.

Furries

Perhaps the most universally hated community on TikTok. These animal suit-clad outsiders have engaged in digital warfare, created their own lingo and attempted to integrate us ‘non-furs’ into their habitat - the last thing 2020 needed.

Houses

The place where the most prominent ‘straight’ TikTokers have accumulated to spread their cheesy videos, but - get this - they’re paid to live there and produce content. Paid to slander the good name of TikTok!

Junko Enoshima

The abundance of cosplayers on TikTok have transformed it into Disney Land on steroids, but rather than Mickey and Minnie, on offer is this anime darling, Willie Wonka and the rather fabulous Dragpool.

Lip Sync

People on TikTok will lip-sync to anything. American Bella Poarch lip-syncing a remix of child Blackpool grime star Millie B’s diss track remains the platform’s most liked video. Even lockdown can’t excuse such poor taste.

Matthew Morrison

After people rediscovered Glee during lockdown, they had nothing but criticism for the lead actor, whose sleazy role included him serenading his new bride with the Thong Song. TikTok found a new target for its wrath. An obvious choice, but what in 2020 compelled you to watch Glee in the first place?

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*N - Z to be continued in Issue 5!*