For most of us trapped in 2020 on the couch at home, it was a social media boom moment. During the long, forced seclusion, some individuals used it to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. Many others saw it as a haven, a place to turn to for entertainment and diversion, giving rise to a new generation of young celebrities who ascended to fame as more and more of our screen time was needed by TikTok.
No one personifies the TikTok explosion better than Charli. Eighteen months ago, she was an anonymous teenager from Connecticut. She’s the most-followed person on TikTok today, recently crossing 100 million followers, a mark that few celebrities have crossed on any app. Jacob Speed, a fellow influencer who runs a popular TikTok site, @FlightHouse, featuring interviews and music videos with top celebrities like Charli, says “Charli hitting 100 million-insane.” it’s Her following is a pretty telling indication that “TikTok this year received a lot more attention and got a lot more mainstream,” says Speed.
With her family and fellow TikTok star sister Dixie, these fans can’t get enough of Charli’s dance moves or her chronicles of life. She has appeared as an official Prada guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, filmed Paris Fashion Week and scored many lucrative corporate sponsorships with brands such as Morphe cosmetics, Sabra hummus and Hollister apparel.
TikTok, the platform responsible for sie of stars like Charli won the most disruptive innovator award for obvious reasons.
Yeah, this one just isn’t much of a contest. From 55 million users worldwide in 2018 to 690 million this year, the video social network has exploded. As a consequence, the app has become the focus of internet culture, where video-based memes are constantly remixed with samples of music, physical tricks and choreographed dances. The short clips of TikTok are mostly taken casually in a living room or bedroom, much different from the shiny, curated images of Instagram and the much-longer videos of YouTube.
“The bar for creation has really been lowered,” explains Brianne Kimmel, a venture capitalist focusing on consumer technology and social media, further fueling TikTok’s success. There is no greater indicator of deep disruption than the race to copy it: Instagram rolled out its short-form Reels videos in the past year, and Snap spends $1 million a day to enable its users to post content close to the one TikTok has on a public feed.