What is TikTok?
TikTok is the latest iteration of social media currently being used by teenagers and young people.
Having been the early adopters of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, their sudden interest in TikTok has sparked people’s imagination. Is this the next big social media platform?
Like other social media platforms, TikTok creates a video stream of user generated content for you to scroll through, the majority of which are lip-syncing to popular songs. The videos are grouped together by hashtags which often correspond to different challenges or themes. Like other social media platforms it’s for 13+, though unlike others there’s a kids access area for those younger.
How is it different to Facebook/ Instagram/ Snapchat?
If you’re up with your social media apps, TikTok user experience is similar to a combination of Snapchat and Instagram. However unlike Instagram, TikTok is seen more as a creation platform. It can combine several media elements such as music, video, images, filtering and editing, whereas Instagram and to a lesser extent Facebook are more limited. This has meant that real time and creative effort are put into TikTok videos much more so than other social media platforms. Think of Instagram or Facebook as somewhere to share about your life, and TikTok as somewhere to share your ideas.
Should my church use it?
If you’re a volunteer in a church who runs the comms and social media to try and engage people to your events and services, this probably isn’t for you. This will add another thing to your long list of things to do, and will likely have little impact.
There are several successful Christian (and even Anglican) TikTok accounts, however a significant amount of time is spent dedicated to specifically their TikTok accounts. If you’re someone limited for time you may be more effective on other social media sites.
However, if you’re part of a church with a significant or growing youth presence and have a member of the church team (paid or voluntary) able to dedicate time to this platform, TikTok is something to consider. Unlike other platforms, people close to your geographical location are more likely to see your posts and some churches have been using this as an evangelistic tool and seeing young people come to church.
The best way to really know if it’s right for you and your church is to download it and have a play, see what you think. Do you think it fits with the vision and direction your church is going in?
Useful guides to get started
Do you know children and young people using TikTok? Understand how to help them explore the platform safely here.
St John's Church Ellel