TikTok has become a popular video-sharing platform where users upload content anywhere from 15 seconds to three minutes in length. According to Business Insider, there were almost 66 million users in the United States in 2020.
Two Godwin students, senior Keara Rogers and junior Hannah Sarte, have recently amassed an impressive following on the app, with five and 50 million total likes respectively.
Rogers’ content mainly consists of comedy. “I make mostly funny videos and a lot of references to songs and pop culture. I usually just listen to music or watch movies, and then the ideas come to me,” said Rogers.
Sarte’s TikTok portfolio is also rather diverse. “I make a lot of different types of content but mainly comedy, singing/playing piano, acting, some dancing, and promoting equality,” said Sarte. “My favorite types of videos to make are ones that involve some kind of acting. I love being able to play someone else for fun and live in my own hypothetical world for that moment.”
Both students initially began their TikTok careers without expecting fame. “I started TikTok because I didn’t have anything else to do,” said Rogers.
Similarly, Sarte started making videos on the app as a joke. “However, as I discovered the app further, I saw it as a launch pad for my creativity and started to make TikToks almost as a form of art,” said Sarte.
Their first viral video came a few months after they started using the app.
“My first viral video was of me lip synching to a song and playing different characters for each line. I changed my dress each time I changed characters, and I was representing all the people you see at a school dance. It got about 400k likes,” said Sarte.
Fame was unexpected and quite surprising for Sarte. “I was honestly really surprised when that video went viral. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for my content at the time, so I never really understood why it got so many likes,” said Sarte.
Popularity on the app was also initially overwhelming and intimidating. “It’s scary to be perceived by thousands on the internet,” said Rogers.
For Sarte, “cancel culture” was also a concern. “While I’ve never really done anything offensive, if, for some reason, someone was offended by my content, the backlash would be extreme,” said Sarte.
According to both students, hate on the app, though rare, can be upsetting.
“Of course like all big creators, I do receive some hate, but I actually don’t receive nearly as much as expected. When I do get hate, however, I typically just ignore it because I’ve found that what haters want most is a reaction or some sort of attention from me, and I’m just not going to give it to them,” said Sarte.
Rogers shares a similar outlook.
“I don’t usually receive hate, but I block people that are mean,” said Rogers.
According to both students, popularity on TikTokalso comes with perks.
“The best part of fame is being able to have a platform where I can reach a lot of people and spread my message,” said Sarte.
Similarly, Rogers says that the social interactions on the app are also valuable.
“The best part about TikTok is meeting new people. I have made many new friends on the app,” said Rogers.
Both Rogers and Sarte plan to continue making TikToks and other content in the future. “In fact, I’ve even thought about starting a YouTube channel when I’m a little older,” said Sarte.
Both students also shared their advice for other aspiring content creators on TikTok. “Be yourself and don’t hold back,” said Rogers. “My advice to any aspiring creator consists of three things: don’t copy other people, don’t look for fame, and try to include variety in what you do,” said Sarte.