TikTok: New app has students making videos with friends all over campus


Illustration by Rell Uehara

Siena Usui, Staff Writer

Outside of Weinberg, a group of girls quicken their steps as they dance to the song 223s, while a friend records them.

They’re making a TikTok. TikTok is the most popular mobile social networking app in the United States as of June 2019, according to the website Statista.

On the app, people are able to create and watch short videos lip-syncing or dancing to songs, or relating to comedy or talent. Popular celebrities such as Howie Mandel, Halsey and David Dobrik are featured on the app.

On the Mid-Pacific campus, use of the app is skyrocketing, with students often checking the latest posts throughout the day. One student, Rheylie Bennie, a sophomore, said she originally got into the app as a joke, but she soon had videos getting millions of views.

Making two TikToks in the Kawaiaha’o bathroom with a group of friends, Bennie became what’s known as “TikTok famous”.

In the first video, Rheylie stands in front of the bathroom stalls wearing a tie dye shirt as she motions with her hands, before two of her friends exit out of the stalls to dance with her. The video generated 1.9 million views. Another video of hers had 1.4 million views. She currently boasts 24.2 thousand followers and 733.2 thousand likes.

“I used to post everyday, but other priorities got in the way, and so now I post occasionally,” Bennie said.

TikTok’s algorithm plays a role in its popularity. The moment you open the app, you are directed to a page called “For You”. It provides videos based on ones that you’ve previously watched or interacted with. Compared to Instagram, where people’s feeds are focused on profiles that they follow.

Senior Aoi Nakamura said it’s not difficult to get a lot of views on TikTok.

“I feel like it’s a luck thing then a skill, you don’t really have to be good at anything to be famous,” Nakamura said.

According to ByteDance, the Chinese-based company that created TikTok, they united Musical.ly and TikTok to make an upgraded worldwide short video platform.

From dance videos to cute pet videos, people can make any video they want.

“It’s fun to make videos and see what other people are doing,” said sophomore Sean Walrod.