"The power of social media is that it forces necessary change."
- Erik Qualman (Author of Socialnomics)
A couple of years ago(7 years ago to be precise), January 24 proved to be the pivoting point for online entertainment as it is through this decade. And all it took was 6 SECONDS. You know what I am talking about, Vine! You had to literally set your phone up against a wall or hold it in your hand while you come up with something creative which to your surprise has gone absolutely ballistic the next day. This served as the launchpad for numerous superstars the world over who are now making a living off of the internet. On January 17,2017 Twitter took the decision to shut down the multi-million dollar platform. This culminated with the 'careers' of thousands of creators in danger. Now there were three types of people after this abrupt shutdown:
Creators who moved on to Youtube to make content(Logan Paul, David Dobrik, etc.)
People who moved on with their lives
Creators who now thrive on platforms like TikTok.
During the uncontested reign of Vine originated another app emerged which was based on a slight modification of vine's concept. In April 2014, A Chinese company() launched its flagship app called Musical.ly. It operated on the premise that you lip-sync famous songs and post them online. When Vine shut down, the third group of people jumped ships and started from scratch on Musical.ly. In August 2018, a media company based out of Beijing, Bytedance, acquired Musical.ly for a whopping 1 billion dollars. They re-branded the company and its concept and named it TIKTOK.
As of April 2020, it has over 1 billion downloads on the play store and is arguably the most profitable and influential social platform at the moment. In layman's terms, it is just Vine with a longer time limit. It has created waves across the entertainment community with its viral dances and trends. In less than a year quite a few creators have made millions of dollars. An extremely famous 'TikToker'(or so they are called), named Charli D'amelio literally made it on a Superbowl commercial by dancing in front of a screen to some songs. Now, I am not saying that she did not earn it but I am just trying to point out that making money off of the internet has come a very long way.
This platform has also proved to be a drop from heaven for budding musicians all over the world. Let me propose a scenario. Let's say you are a budding musician and want to make a career of it. By chance your groovy music makes it's way to a relatively famous 'TikToker'. He/she makes a dance video to your song. Now you have exposure to her fans and before you know it, your song is being played and replayed again and again. God be damned and in a few hours your song is 'TikTok famous' and you are making money.
Take for example, Bill Wurtz who is a budding musician. He released one of his tracks on Soundcloud(Not even Spotify!) in 2018. It was called 'I just did a bad thing'. Sometime around September 2019 his song blew up. It led to the creation of close to 1.5 million videos on TikTok and generated a pretty stable income for him. It also paved the way for his future in the music industry.
The essence of this article was to demonstrate what a huge impact social media platforms have had on this decade and how people have profited from it. TikTok as a platform has come a long way. So much so that it is now said in the same breath as video-streaming supergiant Youtube. Its success has cemented the concept of creating short videos and clips in an industry that was previously dominated by two-hour movies and daily vlogs.