16 votes

TikTok will change the way your social media works — even if you’re avoiding it

35 comments

  1. [5]
    Grand0rbiter Link
    Good, another social media i won't use. These things come and go. I don't even try to avoid it, i just don't care anymore. I rarely use youtube these days.

    Good, another social media i won't use.

    These things come and go. I don't even try to avoid it, i just don't care anymore.

    I rarely use youtube these days.

    22 votes
    1. [3]
      hamstergeddon Link Parent
      Looks like it's basically just Vine with a bunch of features borrowed from other social media platforms. I see ads and references to it all over the place, but I've yet to encounter anyone in...

      Looks like it's basically just Vine with a bunch of features borrowed from other social media platforms. I see ads and references to it all over the place, but I've yet to encounter anyone in real-life that uses it. Maybe I'm just an old fart, idk.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        Grand0rbiter Link Parent
        Probably the article is an ad itself.

        Probably the article is an ad itself.

        5 votes
        1. Octofox Link Parent
          It does seem like a very forced meme.

          It does seem like a very forced meme.

    2. Whom Link Parent
      Given that the audience still seems to be stuck in "children, pedophiles, and people using it ironically," I don't think you're missing much.

      Given that the audience still seems to be stuck in "children, pedophiles, and people using it ironically," I don't think you're missing much.

      5 votes
  2. [10]
    DyslexicStoner240 (edited ) Link
    This is going to be a stream of consciousness -like rant, i hope it's going to be as liberating as i expect it to. I am extremely fed up with social networks and always have been negative about...

    This is going to be a stream of consciousness -like rant, i hope it's going to be as liberating as i expect it to.

    I am extremely fed up with social networks and always have been negative about them, but TikTok brought my hate towards them to a whole new level.

    It's been marketed in extremely obnoxious ways at first. Not much to explain here, Hit or Miss was one of the worst trending pieces of annoying shit we've had. Period. If you don't know what i'm talking about good for you, i wish i was in your condition, I ain't gonna link it and please don't look it up, it's irrelevant, stupid and will just waste your time.

    Their marketing team is extremely good in making sure some form of gif hits Reddit's front page on a daily basis; the gifs themselves have nothing to do with TikTok itself, more often than not are just reposts that are known to be upvoted, only difference is it has the app's watermark in the bottom corner. And it's just there, as an even more obnoxious reminder that the app exist. Fun fact, in the comment section if you sort by controversial there is always a highly downvoted 'fuck Tiktok' comment. On one hand thank god they exist, on the other fuck em as it still perpetuates the fact that the damn thing exist.

    Lastly it reminds me why i came to often despise Reddit: the users' hipocrisy. No matter how it was said more times than not that Tiktok's a known source of fake challenges to con kids in doing mindlessly stupid stuff that once on the internet, stays on the internet. No matter how some Youtuber's video will every once in a while be posted, condemning the app and hitting the front page. You can be sure that a gif or a video are still going to hit the front page like clockwork on a daily basis, because god forbid we need a funni, possibly loud, repetitive meme of the hour to be relevant.

    Fuck social networks, screw memes, let's not even talk about Tiktok, not positively nor negatively, let's just ignore it exists. Fuckin hope we're nearing the turning point when the majorty of people are going to stop using social networks and all these silicon valley bullshit companies are gonna be swept by the changing tide.

    Edit: oh by the way, don't even get me started how it's Chinese, a country that honestly i'd rather have as little as possible to have to deal with multinational-company-wise.

    13 votes
    1. [5]
      Defluo Link Parent
      I was born and raised in America but I am ethnically Chinese and have a ton of family and friends in China. I see this opinion all the time online and I understand where it's coming from. You read...

      Edit: oh by the way, don't even get me started how it's Chinese, a country that honestly i'd rather have as little as possible to have to deal with multinational-company-wise.

      I was born and raised in America but I am ethnically Chinese and have a ton of family and friends in China. I see this opinion all the time online and I understand where it's coming from. You read all this stuff from reputable sources and form opinions. I don't want to debate you, but I encourage you and everyone else to look into their sources and if possible talk to someone in China about these articles. You'll find that most of it either an outright fabrication, or something taken extremely out of context. My only conclusion is that the media is being coerced by the government to turn China and by extension all Chinese people into the next boogeyman. I don't like defending China because of what happened to my mom, but I also don't want America and the american people constantly villainizing my extended family. I'll give you a couple examples from memory:

      What the news article claimed: China has banned rap (maybe you remember this one)
      Reality: A chinese reality show has disqualified a chinese rapper because he had an affair with a big name chinese celebrity and they disqualified him to avoid fan outcry.

      What the news article claimed: China cancelled flights of 2 million people (or however many) because of their social credit scores.
      Reality: Government shut down the accounts of several large travel agencies (and thereby cancelling tickets they booked) because they had bad credit. (Social credit exists, but it's for corporations and serial scam artists who like to set up shell corporation to scam people, like people who set up shell corporations and produce poisonous baby formula then escape and do it again. It's basically the credit score we have except it can bar you from opening new businesses).

      What the news article claimed: China has banned winnie the pooh.
      Reality: nope

      I'm not saying everything you read is false, but a lot of it is and nobody bothers to check because "of course it's true, china is evil, the chinese are evil". There are legitimate concerns about things like censorship. The government sees media as soft power projection by other countries (which it is) but does that mean they should step in the way and censor it? I don't think so, but knowing how naive the people first moving into the city are, I can see the reasoning behind it. I just don't agree.

      There is a bunch of other stuff too, but I feel like I made my point. Please don't see this as an attack, I'm not angry at you. It's just frustrating seeing this all the time.

      22 votes
      1. [2]
        Atvelonis Link Parent
        I'll admit that I also have an extremely negative disposition toward China, one heavily influenced by the stance of the American media on the nation. I honestly have no idea how truthful half of...

        I'm not saying everything you read is false, but a lot of it is and nobody bothers to check because "of course it's true, china is evil, the chinese are evil".

        I'll admit that I also have an extremely negative disposition toward China, one heavily influenced by the stance of the American media on the nation. I honestly have no idea how truthful half of the news reports about China are, and as a rule of thumb I tend to disregard the sensational ones (e.g. Winnie the Pooh), but considering I've barely read a single positive article about the country's government in the past several years, I can't help but think cynically about it.

        My greatest existential paranoia is that aspects of the worlds described in Fahrenheit 451 and other dystopian novels are to become a reality. The most common characterization of the "social credit system" apparently in the works is that it's something straight out of Black Mirror (see: "Nosedive"), although I've seen a couple discussions pointing out how it has been sensationalized by Western media outlets.

        Regardless, I'm very afraid of this and related censorship tactics spreading to the United States. I truly value the freedom that the internet offers humanity, and the interconnectivity that it has brought us as a species. I donate to sites like the Internet Archive and Wikipedia monthly, appreciating the preservation of free knowledge more than I think many of my fellow web users do. Losing resources like that would feel like regressing a hundred years.

        China and its nightmarishly authoritarian crackdown on information are effectively the antithesis of intellectual freedom, as far as I'm concerned. I sympathize with what you're saying, that people need to take a more nuanced approach to news about it, but I could never justify the approach that the government has taken on the internet. The interests of the Chinese government and the corporations beholden to it are therefore never ones that I'd like to become entangled with either.

        7 votes
        1. Defluo Link Parent
          First, I'd like to thank you for being cool. I was honestly afraid to get back on tildes after I posted that comment because I'm so used to reddit's audience. I'm glad we can have civil...

          First, I'd like to thank you for being cool. I was honestly afraid to get back on tildes after I posted that comment because I'm so used to reddit's audience. I'm glad we can have civil discussions here. Your ability to acknowledge your own biases puts you ahead of the pack, at least to me.

          As for social credit, it's mostly just the media mixing up a proposed system by alibaba (a tech company that specializes in import/export, online retail, and web services, and social credit, which unfortunately translates poorly in the West. Alibaba's system was proposed to try and figure out who was trustworthy, like a more invasive version of ebay's user feedback. Considering the amount of scammers on alibaba, it makes sense, but is still invasive. Social credit by the government is literally just a credit score system. It's called "social credit" because socialist + credit , it's like if america called your credit score "capital credit". The social credit score is mostly used to track down serial scam artists. It's super easy to start a shell corp in China and get away with crimes then just dissolve the company and disappear. So people do it over and over, intentionally selling things like poisonous baby formula to the public. I don't know if you know this, but a lot of parents flew to a bunch of other countries buying baby formula because they were so scared they would get poisonous stuff. The government basically wanted a way to blacklist these people from exploiting the super lax rules for starting shell companies.

          Regarding censorship, I agree. I like to think the Chinese people could absorb what they want and make their own decisions. I think a better approach would information freedom and encourage critical analysis. Most Chinese people that care to see what's banned tend to use VPNs and from what I gather most people distrust any news from the government anyways. My family automatically disregards anything from the government. Most people seem to be like people here though, they don't really care and have their own internet culture to take part in. Thanks for donating to Internet Archive.

          7 votes
      2. [2]
        DyslexicStoner240 Link Parent
        Of course i won't take it as an attack, frankly it was a pretty poor comment written in the heat of the moment so take it with a pinch of salt. I think i owe you an explanation to what I meant in...

        Of course i won't take it as an attack, frankly it was a pretty poor comment written in the heat of the moment so take it with a pinch of salt.

        I think i owe you an explanation to what I meant in that paragraph; I really don't have anything against the Chinese people, I am just especially weary of the big corporations.

        Please note that the same way I hold a grudge towards the Chinese companies i also do (and perhaps with even more fervor) towards the American ones.

        This comes from an European POV (from a country that has little to no tech business - at least on the general user level), so to give you an idea I feel like the giants of the computer industry are 'squishing' us from the Silicon Valley on one side and the Beijing-Shanghai-Shenzen axis on the other.

        I'll also corroborate what @Atvelonis mentioned about the Chinese government; I find what they've managed to accomplish both fascinating (e.g. the sheer growth or how fast the infrastructure is being built) and also extremely terrifying; to exemplify what i'm talking about i'll refer to the recent CRISPR experimentation.

        Apologies, due to my lackluster way to express myself the point came across as me spewing bigotry.

        7 votes
        1. Defluo Link Parent
          Don't worry, I don't feel that you're bigoted. It's very difficult to be nuanced with every single news article, it would take more time than anybody has and if a bunch of outlets all report on...

          Don't worry, I don't feel that you're bigoted. It's very difficult to be nuanced with every single news article, it would take more time than anybody has and if a bunch of outlets all report on the same thing, its easy to just forgo looking at sources and just accepting it since it's really not that important for your day to day life. So I don't hate people that express these opinions, I get why they feel this way and when there is no flow of information telling you otherwise, it's nearly impossible to form a nuanced opinion.

          Please keep in mind i'm not attacking you or anybody, I just want to share what I've seen.

          The problem is that the attitude bleeds into society as a whole, at least in my experience, not sure how it is where you are. People are left with biases based off misinformation and then people from China, and Asian Americans get the brunt of it. I have one anecdote. My cousin wanted to immigrate to the US. He first got a student VISA and went to highschool and college in Las Vegas. But people would just assume stuff about him, like he was cheating, or he had laundered money, or whatever (this is in college, highschool seemed mostly okay for him). He just studied really hard. He also faced quite a bit of racism. He kind of had this naive starry eyed view of America before he came. Ironically I think his naivete was due to China censoring American media. He left hating Americans. He ended up just hanging out with other students from China and ignoring everyone else because he couldn't handle the racial tensions. He took his degree and left because he could make more money in China with it, and because he didn't want to work for people that hated him and regarded him with suspicion all the time.

          In my opinion , I think type of thing is what leads to stuff like concentration camps for the Japanese in WW2 in America. I think over time the Chinese are going to stop having such a positive opinion about the west too.

          I also understand the distrust of large corporations. I do a lot of investing so I follow business news (although a lot of it is rumor and speculation) and see a lot of the shady things they pull.

          btw that CRISPR scientist was fired from the university that he worked at before he came out with this stuff. Don't quote me on this, I'm not sure where I remember this from. I think the government has only really sanctioned CRISPR experiments on pigs and has a no go on humans, at least officially. I wouldn't be surprised if the government secretly funded this type of research though. This guy took some really serious risks with his experiment. I admit that it's really fascinating and I'd like to keep up with it, but I also feel disdain towards him for endangering babies.

          5 votes
    2. [4]
      masochist Link Parent
      On that topic, Tencent is investing in everything these days. reddit, Discord, Riot Games (developers of a tiny game you may have heard of called League of Legends). They start with partial...

      Edit: oh by the way, don't even get me started how it's Chinese,

      On that topic, Tencent is investing in everything these days. reddit, Discord, Riot Games (developers of a tiny game you may have heard of called League of Legends). They start with partial investments and then purchase the thing outright.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        Deimos Link Parent
        There was an article about this on the Financial Times yesterday (linked to outline because it's paywalled): How Tencent is going from gaming to investing

        There was an article about this on the Financial Times yesterday (linked to outline because it's paywalled): How Tencent is going from gaming to investing

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          masochist Link Parent
          I didn't even know they invested in Epic. Wow. I thought Riot and Discord were the extent of their "gaming" portfolio. Funny that all of these platforms are nominally "free to use / play"...

          I didn't even know they invested in Epic. Wow. I thought Riot and Discord were the extent of their "gaming" portfolio. Funny that all of these platforms are nominally "free to use / play"...

          4 votes
          1. hamstergeddon Link Parent
            Sketchy Chinese company + the old adage, "If it's free you're the product", and that's more than enough reason to stay the hell away from that crap.

            Sketchy Chinese company + the old adage, "If it's free you're the product", and that's more than enough reason to stay the hell away from that crap.

            6 votes
  3. [2]
    Defluo Link
    This is a very unpopular opinion, but I actually like tiktok without being a paid shill. I'm not a teen or in my 20's. I gave tiktok a chance on a whim and now look at it regularly (~10 mins a...

    This is a very unpopular opinion, but I actually like tiktok without being a paid shill. I'm not a teen or in my 20's. I gave tiktok a chance on a whim and now look at it regularly (~10 mins a day) because I find the content imaginative or funny. I found that if you just don't give "likes" to videos that are stupid you end up with pretty neat videos. Most of my tiktok feed seems to be people in their 20's or older.

    The only other social media platforms I use are reddit (which I hate but haven't found a good replacement) and youtube (which I'm starting to hate). I don't make or feel the need to make any videos for tiktok, but I like that all these videos seem to made for the fun of it. I'm not sure if people with a lot of likes are monetized or what, but doesn't seem as commercialized as youtube.

    I goaded my wife into downloading it. She thought it was stupid at first then started enjoying it. She uses it about as much as I do now. It's just watching people enjoy themselves. As minorities we like that it doesn't seem to be full of racists like the rest of the internet. There are a couple but it's easy to look past a couple rather then the floods on reddit. Even the comment section on tiktok videos seem to be positive.

    7 votes
    1. Grand0rbiter Link Parent
      They are building the user base first. That's why there isn't a lot of monetizing and racists (because there are less people. But this is not the intention. They will monetize the hell out of it...

      They are building the user base first. That's why there isn't a lot of monetizing and racists (because there are less people.

      But this is not the intention. They will monetize the hell out of it when/if the time comes.

      That's why they are investing so much in marketing.

      Imagine how much money you need to keep something based on videos working. That's a lot of traffic and data.

      1 vote
  4. [3]
    Arshan Link
    TikTok is rebranded Musicaly. If you liked Musicaly, then you will probably like TikTok. If you don't like either, great. Also, I don't understand the whole "the internet is forever" meme. I know...

    TikTok is rebranded Musicaly. If you liked Musicaly, then you will probably like TikTok. If you don't like either, great. Also, I don't understand the whole "the internet is forever" meme. I know a ton of websites that have just died and vanished into the ether, and I am young. Hell, if the Internet Archive didn't exist, I would be surprised if much of the early, 1990s internet would be saved at all.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast Link Parent
      There's a user here who just recently mentioned they have every comment on Reddit for a certain period of years backed up on their hard drive. They can almost certainly find out my true identity...

      I don't understand the whole "the internet is forever" meme

      Hell, if the Internet Archive didn't exist, I would be surprised if much of the early, 1990s internet would be saved at all.

      There's a user here who just recently mentioned they have every comment on Reddit for a certain period of years backed up on their hard drive.

      They can almost certainly find out my true identity (which I have little interest in sharing) just by digging through the history of my Reddit account on their hard drive.

      So if anything is a "meme" it's the idea that the infinitely replicable data we upload around the web every day isn't approaching an almost certain probability of being archived forever, the longer it remains accessible.

      As network speeds and device storage continues to get cheaper this will turn into an even greater problem.

      10 votes
      1. onyxleopard Link Parent
        While the sun shines, the bits will continue to organize themselves.

        While the sun shines, the bits will continue to organize themselves.

        2 votes
  5. [8]
    Nmg (edited ) Link
    I am just so confused about what the hell this is. Unlike the article's presumption, this is the first time I have heard of this app. Frankly, I am under the impression that most apps are useless....

    I am just so confused about what the hell this is. Unlike the article's presumption, this is the first time I have heard of this app. Frankly, I am under the impression that most apps are useless. Can anyone Tl;DR for an old early 20-something year old what this is really all about?

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      It's all explained in the article: It's a platform for sharing short videos. It shows users "recommended" videos based on the videos they've watched before, rather than videos from people they're...

      It's all explained in the article:

      TikTok is an app for making and sharing short videos.

      What’s both crucial and easy to miss about TikTok is how it has stepped over the midpoint between the familiar self-directed feed and an experience based first on algorithmic observation and inference. The most obvious clue is right there when you open the app: the first thing you see isn’t a feed of your friends, but a page called “For You.” It’s an algorithmic feed based on videos you’ve interacted with, or even just watched.

      It's a platform for sharing short videos. It shows users "recommended" videos based on the videos they've watched before, rather than videos from people they're following.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Archimedes Link Parent
        So like SnapChat or Instagram but with algorithmically curated feeds like YouTube's autoplay feature?

        So like SnapChat or Instagram but with algorithmically curated feeds like YouTube's autoplay feature?

        1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          Looks like it.

          Imagine an Instagram centered entirely around its “Explore” tab, or a Twitter built around, I guess, trending topics or viral tweets, with “following” bolted onto the side.

          Looks like it.

          1 vote
      2. [4]
        Nmg Link Parent
        Doesn't youtube do the same thing?

        Doesn't youtube do the same thing?

        1. [3]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          Yes. Noone ever said YouTube has a monopoly on recommending videos!

          Yes. Noone ever said YouTube has a monopoly on recommending videos!

          1. [2]
            Nmg Link Parent
            I ask because I don't understand the innovation. Seems like another dumb app to me (and an overblown article advertising for them).

            I ask because I don't understand the innovation. Seems like another dumb app to me (and an overblown article advertising for them).

            1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
              It's as much of an innovation as Twitter was, when we already had Facebook for sharing statuses and links. Why did we need another platform to do the same thing? Because it did the same thing in a...

              It's as much of an innovation as Twitter was, when we already had Facebook for sharing statuses and links. Why did we need another platform to do the same thing? Because it did the same thing in a different way, to a different audience.

              1 vote
  6. Algernon_Asimov Link
    No danger of that in my case! I watched the example videos that were linked throughout the article, and I felt like I didn't have the patience to sit through to the end of one video even though...

    As The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz put it, “Watching too many in a row can feel like you’re about to have a brain freeze. They’re incredibly addictive.”

    No danger of that in my case! I watched the example videos that were linked throughout the article, and I felt like I didn't have the patience to sit through to the end of one video even though they were only about 10-20 seconds long - and there was certainly nothing in any of those videos which incited any feeling in me of wanting more. I was left quite flat by the experience of watching what were essentially short-form shallow jokes in video form.

    But, then again, I'm not a teenager any more. I suppose this will be attractive to young people seeking diversion and stimulation.

    2 votes
  7. Tygrak Link
    People growing up today will make so many cringe worthy memories for themselves and everyone else on the internet to enjoy easily in the future. Don't envy them to be honest.

    People growing up today will make so many cringe worthy memories for themselves and everyone else on the internet to enjoy easily in the future. Don't envy them to be honest.

    1 vote
  8. [2]
    bilbodwyer Link
    As a musician, and one who wants to grow in popularity and hopefully one day be able to make a living out of it, as the Internet gets more and more social media oriented, I fear I'm going to have...

    As a musician, and one who wants to grow in popularity and hopefully one day be able to make a living out of it, as the Internet gets more and more social media oriented, I fear I'm going to have to bite the bullet and jump in on TikTok. God help me.

    1. masochist Link Parent
      I recently had thoughts of opening a gaming store in my city (there's only one, I do not, at all, feel welcome there, it's quite far from my apartment, and they have one tiny shelf dedicated to...

      I recently had thoughts of opening a gaming store in my city (there's only one, I do not, at all, feel welcome there, it's quite far from my apartment, and they have one tiny shelf dedicated to RPGs compared to a whole floor for Magic / miniatures) and I came to the same realization, that I would have to use all kinds of social media. The same goes for any kind of independent business. Tildes is the most "social" I get with my media.

      1 vote
  9. [3]
    ThatFanficGuy Link
    TL;DR? The page doesn't permit interactivity for a solid ten seconds, and I'd rather not encourage this kind of bloating, no matter who posts it.

    TL;DR? The page doesn't permit interactivity for a solid ten seconds, and I'd rather not encourage this kind of bloating, no matter who posts it.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      DyslexicStoner240 (edited ) Link Parent
      Before you read this i am biased, i just wrote a very critical rant on this same post and am reading the article with my keyboard warrior armor on. If you feel like proceeding you're welcome....

      Before you read this i am biased, i just wrote a very critical rant on this same post and am reading the article with my keyboard warrior armor on. If you feel like proceeding you're welcome.

      Honestly this whole article feels like a gigantic advertisement.

      Introduction talks about how the app's been growing and those still out join in because "fear of missing out" and "anxiety in being a loner".

      I'll quote these last 2 paragraphs from the intro cause they are extremely advertisement like imo and clearly display the intention of the article.

      It’s been a while since a new social app got big enough, quickly enough, to make nonusers feel they’re missing out from an experience. If we exclude Fortnite, which is very social but also very much a game, the last time an app inspired such interest from people who weren’t on it was … maybe Snapchat? (Not a coincidence that Snapchat’s audience skewed very young, too.)

      And while you, perhaps an anxious abstainer, may feel perfectly secure in your “choice” not to join that service, Snapchat has more daily users than Twitter, changed the course of its industry, and altered the way people communicate with their phones. TikTok, now reportedly 500 million users strong, is not so obvious in its intentions. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have them! Shall we?

      Then comes "The basic human explanation
      of TikTok."
      It boils down to 'app is attractive and inclusive for all ages, genders and types of people because:

      • it's extremely varied in sources of videos to repost
      • the UI is scroll down instead of swipe right/left
      • many sounds and filters and sparkly bullshit

      "So that’s what’s on TikTok.
      What is it?"
      Doesn't answer the question it poses, it babbles about how it was made in China (nonchalantly of course), how some of its content is 'AI curated' (still nonchalantly - also making it out to be futuristic), and how there are 'stars' and 'personalities' that were born in it.

      "Instagram and Twitter could only
      take us so far."
      That's the part where the writer fakes being impartial, mentioning how in the 'extremely wide array of content' some is good, some meaningless; he goes to compare all the various scum that we've had so far in the social network industry and how it's been all repurposed, compacted and enriched in a tiny and practical pill to shove up the users' asses.

      "TikTok is just doing
      to you what you told it to do."
      I don't even get whatever he's trying to even say here, only thing i could get is that while most of the social networks usually revolved around the user and its appeals, pointing it towards stuff that it's considering interesting, Tiktok just throws whatever wherever.

      "In What Laboratory Was This
      Monster Made?"
      Brief history of Musical.ly and so on.

      " Do People Spend Hours
      on TikTok? It’s the Machines."
      Powerful AI, inclusive interaction, notifications, revolutionary when compared to other competitors (of course).

      Edit: formatting

      5 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
        Ho-ly fuck. Thanks for the overview. Glad I didn't read it now. My question, though, is: how did it get its own page on NYT?

        And while you, perhaps an anxious abstainer, may feel perfectly secure in your “choice” not to join that service

        Ho-ly fuck.

        Thanks for the overview. Glad I didn't read it now.

        My question, though, is: how did it get its own page on NYT?

        1 vote