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TikTok culture is wider (and possibly crueller) than its app


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Many people in the music industry are trying to get a handle on social-video app TikTok: particularly how young people are using it, and what kind of culture is growing around their shared clips.

If you’re one of those people, New York magazine’s exploration of TikTok is well worth a read – especially because it examines how the videos on TikTok are consumed outside the app itself, often in very different contexts.

“The official app is not really how a lot of people consume TikTok. For many adolescents, TikTok is most often consumed secondhand, collected from the app and published on other platforms like YouTube by aggregators,” it explains. “The difference is that the TikTok clips you might see on YouTube and Instagram are presented not as ‘best of’ collections — proof of TikTok’s charm — but as ‘cringe’ compilations, mocking evidence of its users’ ugliness, incompetence, stupidity, and/or lack of sophistication. Those clips have a much wider reach. In effect, there are two wildly different TikToks: the official ecosystem, and the one that breaks free into the wider internet.” There’s more to read on what this means in the piece.

Stuart Dredge

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