Mefites on TikTok? March 2, 2022 12:57 PM   Subscribe

If you're an existing Mefite on TikTok, especially if you are active in posting stuff, post your username here if you'd like to be friended by a bunch of your Mefite friends. For extra points, if you have a particular thing you do (comedy, woodworking, juggling, teaching Klingon), mention that too ...
posted by MollyRealized to MetaFilter-Related at 12:57 PM (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

@middle_agedstonr

Mostly goofy videos. It's a work in progress as I am not sure what I want to do with it yet! (It certainly isn't for any sort of cannabis education as those videos get pulled.)
posted by Kitteh at 1:21 PM on March 2


HA.
I was literally just looking at my MF profile to see if it was possible to add TikTok , and--surpised to discover that it was not--I came to post a pony request that it be added.
I am @drlith on the Ticky Tockies as well; my own content is 99% dog videos, but sharing videos with mutuals is my platonic love language.
posted by drlith at 1:51 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Can someone seriously explain TikTok to me? My friends are older and don’t use it so I have no context. I don’t understand the difference with YouTube, which actually does have high quality content like Scott Manley. Is it like Facebook where you need friends to really get it? I’m not trying to be a grumpy old man I truly don’t get it.
posted by geoff. at 2:30 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


It's Vine, hyperaccelerated
posted by chavenet at 3:02 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


geoff: I described it like this to a cousin: "To me that's kind of like hating TV or radio or the Internet. It's an open-ended communications medium; it depends on what you select to watch. There are epidemiologists (who have helped me understand COVID very easily and much better than the CDC's poor work) and actors and hysterical sketch comedy and people simply speaking kindness and singers and religious thinkers and, well, everything of all stripes. Yes, like anything, you can find badness -- that'll happen when anyone can have a 'channel'. But there is a great deal of good on there as well."
posted by MollyRealized at 4:04 PM on March 2


I have trouble getting into it because the algorithm just wants to show me videos of people who read things verbatim, eg, COVID updates and other news articles/summaries, and I despise videos that I could get just as much out of by reading a transcript.

I like the absurd little comedy sketches when I come across them but for some reason I have trouble getting the algo to surface them. I don’t understand trends like using unrelated hashtags to “fool” the algorithm.

BUT I will plug my wife’s profile; I like her videos ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by supercres at 4:40 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Can someone seriously explain TikTok to me?

So I had no interest in TikTok for a long time, thinking it was mostly teenagers doing dance trends and pranks. However, something piqued my interest so I downloaded the app and gave it a try.

When you first go on TikTok, the app knows very little about your preferences. So when you scroll your “for you” page you will get a variety of content. Anything you’d like to see more of, click the “like” button (little heart on the right side.) If something doesn’t interest you, just scroll up and you’ll be presented with something new. Don’t like or comment on stuff you don’t want to see more of. There is an algorithm that learns what kind of stuff you are likely to be interested in, over time, based on things you like and comment on. It will also serve up more of what you search for (use the Discover button at the bottom to search.)

There is a huge variety of content out there. Currently, the algorithm is showing me a lot of LGBTQ+ content, mostly trans and lesbian. I also see a lot of fat-positive content, alternative fashion, thrift store fashion, GenX, comedy, cooking and cat videos. This is mostly based on things I saw on my “for you” page and clicked like. I discovered by chance that I really like “what I eat in a day as a fat person” videos (non-dieting version) so I searched on that, watched and liked a few, and now I get more of that in my “for you” page. These are just a tiny selection of the actual content that is out there. Again, don’t like or comment on things you don’t want to see more of.

You can also follow content creators you especially like, by clicking on the little plus sign at the right of the screen (right above the heart.) And if you click on their icon, it will take you to their previous content in case you’d like to watch their backlog.

Once you have followed some creators, you can also switch from the “for you” page to the “following” page to only see content from people you have followed. I use both pages… “for you” shows me new content I might like, and “following” shows me new stuff from creators I already liked.

I really enjoy using TikTok. It is easy, relaxing and fun to get a new bite-size chunk of entertainment with the flick of a finger, customized over time to what I enjoy. The longest videos are 3 minutes, so there is not a big time commitment to any one thing. (Creators with more to say will often do a series.) I enjoy YouTube as well, but it somewhat lacks the ease of TikTok as far as having to click in and out of things to decide what I want to watch, wait for ads to finish, peruse the suggested videos, etc. There are ads on TikTok but you are never stuck watching them. When an ad comes on, simply scroll away.

One thing to be aware of is that TikTok deletes content that breaks their rules. I’m not sure what all the rules are, since I’m not a content creator, but it seems like you can’t talk about certain things. If anyone says they are an accountant, for example, if you check their bio you might find a link to their Only Fans where you can see their 18+ content. I also notice people using the word “unalive” in place of kill, so that must be another trigger for TikTok to delete. Just in case you notice people using odd words for things, that’s probably why.

This is all stuff I learned on the fly over a few months on TikTok. I’m sure more experienced users will correct me if I’ve said anything wrong. I hope you try it. My husband was skeptical but I talked him in to trying it and now he’s hooked as well. I hear it playing from the bathroom daily… lol.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:10 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


Can someone seriously explain TikTok to me? My friends are older and don’t use it so I have no context. I don’t understand the difference with YouTube, which actually does have high quality content like Scott Manley. Is it like Facebook where you need friends to really get it? I’m not trying to be a grumpy old man I truly don’t get it.

I found it useless until I started actually following and liking things that interest me. That took away 90% of the T&A and got things more in-depth things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:04 AM on March 3


https://www.tiktok.com/@thaaatguybrandon

I haven't posted anything yet (but I will soon, I swear) , but feel free to check out who I follow for an idea of the variety of accounts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:09 AM on March 3


Serene Empress Dork's description is very good! One thing I like about TikTok is that you DON'T need a friend network to make it enjoyable, so if you just want a "media" app more than a "social media" app, you're just fine. Yes to interacting with videos that you get served that you'd like to see more of; for content that you don't particularly care for, scrolling away quickly helps signal the algorhithm to not send you so much of that. You can even "long press" the middle of the screen while a video is playing and the options that come up include "not interested" which sends an even stronger "no thank you". It takes a few hours of total engagement to start to tailor your feed, but you can eventually find yourself in all kinds of niche TikTok realms like LGBTQ+ farmtok or DuckTok.

For me, a few things I like about the platform are that (a) the short format means that you can literally just watch TikToks for a couple of minutes while you're sitting on the toilet and then put it away; (b) it's easy to skip past what you don't like; (c) the barrier to entry is low and the onboard tools are great, so you can get decent content from regular folk and not just people who devote a big chunk of time to being "creators" or "influencers" and there is correspondingly a greater variety, I feel, and a ton of content from people who aren't trying to monetize it in any way.
posted by drlith at 9:02 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Can someone seriously explain TikTok to me?
My take based on a few days of browsing a couple of months ago, is that it’s snippets of cruelty, snippets of goofiness, snippets of banality, snippets of tragedy, etc, all mixed randomly and given the same weight and importance. Sad video of someone’s infant who died is followed by a sexy dance is followed by someone slapping - hard - the hand of a baby that has just dropped food on the floor is followed by someone sitting in their car talking about mental health is followed by some video of book spines. And on it goes.
posted by acantha at 4:22 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I'm there as @joshcortexmillard, and it's mostly audio implementations of the kinds of puns I usually putting in writing on twitter, mixed in with occasional art documentation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:56 PM on March 3


Very good description from Serene Empress Dork.

One more reason for its popularity: a relatively easy video editor, with a huge stack of music to add.
posted by doctornemo at 6:30 PM on March 3


I've tried to use it a few times. Never found anything I like on it, so it just kept showing me T&A. I searched for x-men related things, just got these bad meme formats with like a panel of Rogue, and a caption of the "me when I something", nothing actually funny or interesting.
posted by signal at 4:33 AM on March 4


Can someone seriously explain TikTok to me?

I don't watch youtube much, but it might be compared to youtube for extremely short attention spans, with nearly zero-effort to consume the content. It feeds you videos for as long as you like in less than 3-minute intervals. If you like the video, you watch. If not, you swipe up to get to the next video. It learns what you like and feeds you more of that.

It's gifted me a whole bunch of things - a few of them would be - an appreciation of indigenous Canadian humor and culture, gardening and canning tips, funny social commentary, a much better ability to cook Indian and Asian food, and a lot of autistic content creators that have helped me to figure out than I probably am autistic.

The big downside as I see it is that you can't 'block' certain kinds of content. A lot of people want to talk about their trauma and I'm not always up for that. There are things I'd rather not see and you have have to swipe past that stuff over and over again before it stops feeding it to you altogether.
posted by kitcat at 9:23 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Very important note: TikTok will prioritize content you leave onscreen. You don't have to like or follow anything. If you don't like something, you must scroll away from it quickly (especially before it loops) or you'll get more. If you do like something, let it loop several times. (So don't hate-watch things you don't want to hate-watch more of.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:29 AM on March 4 [5 favorites]


www.tiktok.com/@mik3pop

Random mix of drawing, biking, pets, things around Maine.
posted by mikepop at 5:28 PM on March 4


The big downside as I see it is that you can't 'block' certain kinds of content.

Counterintuitively, click share then look for the broken heart icon and click it. Not a full block, but it will show you less of whatever type of content it thinks the video is.
posted by donnagirl at 1:01 PM on March 5 [2 favorites]


kitcat: The big downside as I see it is that you can't 'block' certain kinds of content. A lot of people want to talk about their trauma and I'm not always up for that. There are things I'd rather not see and you have have to swipe past that stuff over and over again before it stops feeding it to you altogether.

On the 'share' screen of a video in the row of buttons on the bottom you can select 'Not Interested' -- it sends a strong preference.
posted by MollyRealized at 9:53 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Can someone seriously explain TikTok to me?

Gladly :)

Imagine you've decided to visit a new city. A city that you have heard many good things about, from people you know and trust. "There are these amazing bookstores, and cafes, and street performers, and so much art, everywhere!" (Or whatever it is that seems like a good reason to visit a new city.)

You get on a bus and go, and alight at the bus stop and look around. "Well, then," you think. "Here I am, let's see all this awesome stuff then!" And you stand there, awaiting diversion and enchantment... and yet all you experience is random passers-by, and bus exhaust. "Well, this is not at all what I hoped," you muse, and shuffle your suitcases in a disgruntled manner.

You call you friends and say, "You said this place was interesting and had things I would enjoy! What happened to that?"

"Did you go to any of the cafés?" they ask. "What about the lovely museum I mentioned? Did you look up our mutual friend who offered to show you their collection of [insert shared hobby]?"

"No," you reply. "I just got off the bus. And it's weird and boring here."

"I'm sure it is. Why don't you go to this nice wine bar / game shop / nature park and let them know you're interested in finding some similar things to do. I'm sure they will point you in the right direction."

My friends, you are in the bus depot. Please look up some things you might like to do here and go do them! There is almost anything you can imagine here. Please enjoy, and if you find yourself on #foragingtok, please say hello.
posted by ananci at 8:05 PM on March 10


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