TikTok Newsletter 80
Is TikTok boring now?
This is Understanding TikTok – your weekly update. My name is Marcus.
Is TikTok boring now? Some might say. But whatever. It’s difficult to overstate how dominant TikTok's become. Even the analysts are puzzled. Everybody is going Full TikTok. We even had the first TikTok from outer space 🛸. Yawn.
Today we talk about:
🔬New TikTok Tool
🌂10 Downing St
💿 TikTok records
While the war in Ukraine is slowly disappearing from news websites, it continues. Day after day. In real life. And on TikTok too. I compiled some first observations of the last weeks in a blogpost with more than 30 curated TikTok videos for a talk.
It is in german. But i think you get the essence. WarTok – TikTok und der Krieg in der Ukraine.
If you dare you can see me mumbling through the presentation on a tiny stage at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin above. Thanks for having me.
🔬New TikTok Tool
Bellingcat's Tech Team has built a new tool which allows you to collect and analyse TikTok posts. If you have no idea what Bellingcat is, it is a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group that specialises in fact-checking and open-source intelligence (OSINT), founded by British journalist and former blogger Eliot Higgins in July 2014.
Before i talk more about the actual tool, let me recommend Bellingcat’s guide detailing “how to investigate TikTok like a pro”.
So why do we need a tool? It is tricky to monitor specific topics on TikTok over a longer period of time. Quote: “Compared to those of other social media platforms, TikTok’s API (Application Programming Interface) presents more obstacles to developers.”
Bellingcat’s Investigative Tech Team has therefore created the Bellingcat TikTok Analysis Tool (built on the basis of a TikTok scraper offered by Github user drawrowfly) that allows researchers to collect a dataset of TikToks associated with specific hashtags over lengthier periods.
By analysing patterns in the joint use of hashtags researchers could, for instance, help identify coordinated disinformation or influence campaigns.
If you are afraid of the command line and things like a terminal – just like me – let me tell you that the tutorial offered here and the video tutorial above are really good. I mean even i managed to get this thing running.
🌂 10 Downing St
I am not very eager to talk about Boris Johnson. But we need to discuss @10downingstreet. So far it is cringe. And not in a good way. A way that shows users that people behind the account actually know what they are doing. At least they did not turn off duets and stitches. Not sure why The Mirror calls this an absolutely fatal error. This is where the fun begins, right?!
You should read Chris Stokel-Walkers text for inputmag.com to learn all you need. Quote: The British prime minister isn’t using the app right, but if he were, it could be a powerful tool.
It could. Sophia Smith Galer is presenting a bunch of other British MPs using the app here. Of course there are people who are more tech savvy, and i do not mind people trying and failing in order to learn. Politicians and parties around the globe are having a hard time adopting to a new platform they obviously do not use or understand. Just watch this painful attempt by the german social democrats.
And now please enjoy this take on Nadine Dorries, UK Secretary of State UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
💿 TikTok records
TikTok is starting to look more like a record label, writes tubefilter. TikTok’s influence on modern pop music can not be overstated: This Year’s Grammys Owe More to TikTok Than Ever Before (Slate). How artists including Miley Cyrus and Daddy Yankee are courting TikTok influencers to promote their songs with exclusive listening parties (Insider). How TikTok’s music subcommunities are changing the face of music discourse (Mixdownmag).
Now TikTok and its parent company ByteDance are looking to hire A&R Managers. A&R, short for Artists & Repertoire, is the division at a traditional label that deals with talent scouting and development. And of course this makes total sense given TikTok’s tensions with existing record companies. Right now though TikTok’s unsigned musician incubator SoundOn gets mixed reviews from artists (Rest of World).
Dolly Parton is starring in a musical on TikTok about Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza. What else is it to be?! (Mashable)
The 'news voice' has no place on TikTok - the whole point is that you are on the level with your audiences - so don't speak to them in the way that news media has so often patronised them. Good point (Aletta Harrison)
What Can TikTok Learn From Douyin? Actual Chinese?! (Forbes)
TikTok rolls out new ‘Friends’ tab to more users, replacing the current ‘Discover’ tab (Techcrunch). Neither my imaginary friend nor i have it yet. You?
This is pretty much life outside while i am typing this. Speak soon. Ciao.