Unless you don’t have a phone, you have probably heard TikTok. The app is a host for many 15-second to one-minute videos in a wide range of genres. Since it was launched in 2016, TikTok has attracted many popular creators who generate thousands of views on their videos and create traction for the app itself.
TikTok recently began paying the popular creators based on viewership and promotional aspects in their videos. The videos, are usually made by people lip syncing to various audio. The app is mostly people using popular songs or clips from videos to dance or “act out” the audio in a number of ways.
Many of the creators who generate revenue are not creative or original. Most of the videos are not hard to produce as they make use of trends including lip singing and dancing to audio that is not their own.
One of the most popular creators, Charli D’Amelio, is a 15-year-old girl from Connecticut. She has over 30 million followers and has earned 2 billion likes on her videos. D’Amelio generates anywhere from $19,000 to $30,000 per video.
I normally wouldn’t see anything wrong with that amount of money, but I don’t think the content she creates is worthy of revenue. Other platforms, specifically YouTube, pay the creators who generate enough viewership on the videos they have worked hard to create. YouTube creators produce original and complex content, much of which is worthy of revenue.
TikTok creators—and I hesitate to call them creators—produce material that hardly requires any work or talent. Most popular people on the app adhere to the stereotypical societal standard of beauty. Looks bring them attention.
The appearances of these TikTok users allow them to make simple, unoriginal videos and receive a large amount of likes, followers and money. A former LSU student, Addison Easterling, has become very popular on TikTok, gaining 20 million followers on her account. To further consolidate this fame, she recently moved to California into a residence deemed the “Hype House,” where other TikTok creators live.
Easterling’s videos, much like D’Amelio, showcase her ability to dance and lip sync to popular songs. The odd thing about TikTok creators is that their followers hardly, if ever, hear their actual voices. That means their followers don’t really know them or have a sense of their personality. It’s hard to understand how a person could be so popular on the app if they can only be recognized by their face.
I don’t think TikTok creators should be paid because of their ability to look good in a 60-second video. I believe paid creators should work hard to produce original and creative content.
Shelby Bordes is a 21-year-old mass communication junior from Rayne, Louisiana.