Tik Tok Famous: not as easy as it looks

November 15, 2019 — by Apurva Chakravarthy and Anouk Yeh

“5, 6, 7, 8 … No no no! It’s right foot, THEN left foot!” If you had wandered into the J-room sometime during fifth period in the past few weeks, you would be sure to hear us yelling something along those lines at each other as we struggled to learn a new dance for a TikTok video we were making. (TikToks are short videos that range from lip-syncing to comedic skits.)

Our ploy to go viral on TikTok began by us looking through our “for you” pages to figure out what type of content goes viral and mimicking those TikToks while adding our own twists in a quest to make it big. It wasn’t easy. Coupled with the fact that having two left feet made dancing a bit hard, we were in for a tough time. 

 TikTok has become a craze among teens. We were definitely not immune to this app’s pull, but we got tired of constantly seeing the same people on our “for you” page. As great as Mattia Polibio, Charli D’Amelio and Josh Richards are, we wanted to see more creators on the app. So, we decided to set off on our journey (follow us: @iapurvthismessage whoo self-promo!).

After doing some research, we realized that almost every day, a new dance blows up on TikTok, making it hard to keep up with the new trends.

In order to gain publicity we decided to exploit  our friend’s successes, so we enlisted sophomore Kimiya Kafaipour (@persianacidprincess), who gained over 30K likes on the app by lip dubbing popular songs and relatable soundtracks. We decided to make a video of all three of dancing to the sound of “223’s” by YNW Melly. Sadly, we only got 27 views and 10 likes, but hey, it’s the thought that counts right?

We tried many dances, but none of the TikToks we made blew up like we hoped they would. 

Realizing this approach wasn’t working, we decided to change our angle. It was rumored that TikToks related to Indian culture would go viral on the self-named “brown TikTok.” We decided to test out this theory by posting a video to the sound of “Shake It” by Metro Station in Indian clothes. This attempt did not prove fruitful, making the cumulative likes on all of our TikToks  at the time a sad 41.

At this point, we were getting frustrated. Where was the millions of likes and thousands of comments praising us for our humor and impeccable dance skills?

In a stroke of genius, we realized that our dancing was the reason we weren’t able to go viral. So many people do dances every day that viewers are tired of watching them. It was time to go down the humorous route.

We posted a Tik Tok using the sound “Love you guys” by Twekr, in which we lamented about our poor chemistry grades and how we would end up failing high school. We then consoled ourselves knowing that marrying rich would always be an option (just a joke … or was it?)

Surprise, surprise! The results: better but still not viral, making our cumulative number of likes 93. However, we weren’t mad about it. In being so hyper-focused on going viral, we didn’t realize how much fun we were having.

This experience taught us that sometimes you can try, try and try again, and still fail miserably. But failure isn’t so bad if you’re having a blast.