Pitt college students share vogue, school experiences and superstar encounters on TikTok

With so many apps to choose from and so much content to read through, there are seemingly limitless ways we can spend our time on our phones. But Tick ​​tock, the video social networking app, is the app of choice for Millennials and Gen Z alike.

People spend hours doing it, and Pitt students are no exception. In fact, many students have taken advantage of this and turned themselves into TikTok developers, with videos ranging from college-oriented topics to viral dances.

TikTok accounts come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own audience for a specific type of content. TikTok giants like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae mainly post dance videos and have over 50 million followers. They work similarly to other social media influencers on Instagram and Twitter, only the medium of their choice is mostly 60-second videos. There are pages on TikTok devoted to anime and fandom content, as well as there are pages devoted to makeup tutorials. TheaterTok even managed to make a bootleg musical based on the Disney Pixar movie Ratatouille about quarantine.

Megan FrancoThe sophomore psychology and drama arts student said she interacts with and is often satisfied with these niche TikTok communities like TheatreTok, Gay TikTok, and Comedy TikTok. She said these micro-commissions could serve as havens for people who are not so welcomed by their families back home.

“Some of the communities on TikTok are very supportive of us, and I think people are looking for that convenience and support, even if it’s from total strangers,” she said. “It’s support that you may not get into your real life.”

Franco started making TikToks consistently at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though she did a popular TikTok with 142,500 views in February 2020, which makes fun of students’ expectations of Pitt compared to reality. She said once she got more attention on the app, she had to get used to being in front of the camera.

@ megan.franco0601if pitt finds this they are likely to raise the tuition fees #morph #college #pitt #pittsburgh #fyp #foryoupage #pa #pennsylvania

♬ Original sound – Nashat

“I’m not used to being on stage or in front of the camera, so I had to work with that,” she said. “It’s going to feel weird to be in front of the camera, but I don’t have to worry because I’ve noticed that people don’t [care]. ”

Most TikToks don’t go viral, but the creators built followers through catering their content to a specific brand or community. Hannah Lempert’s videos attract viewers who are dedicated to the content.

Lempert, the PR coordinator of University of Thriftsburgh Thrift store said they were starting one TikTok account with the intention of getting people interested and aware of the thriting while at the same time sharing the benefits of shopping for used clothing.

“I really want to emphasize to people around the world that frugality is not just a trend we should be part of,” said Lempert, a sophomore urban researcher. “It is a conscious act to stop the fast fashion and consumption of clothes that we don’t need because there are already so many clothes in the world.”

Although Lempert’s intention was to raise awareness of the Thriftsburgh store a video On the account where Lempert was playing off the possibility of a new online store for Thriftsburgh, Lempert went viral with nearly 300,000 views and received dozens of comments from people around the world. According to Lempert, it was a shock to receive requests from people in different countries on different continents, and they said this shows the vast reach developers can reach with the app even if they didn’t intend to.

“We get a lot of questions about TikTok and Instagram from people who say, ‘Hey, are you shipping? I live in Saudi Arabia or Brazil, ”they said. “But it’s so strange that we make people from all over the world save on us and they haven’t even seen our clothes.”

Lou Amar, a second communications major, posted her most viral TikTokwith 2.3 million views and over 600,000 likes, just a few days before the 2020 presidential election. It showed a close-up of President Biden and Lady Gaga on her campaign trip to Pittsburgh on November 3, 2020.

Amar said she made the decision to film the couple on the fly. When she saw the Secret Service cars on Forbes, she ran from Dunkin ‘by Litchfield Towers to Schenley Plaza to get a picture. She said the following TikTok was full of positive comments, but also full of hatred.

“If you post a video with Lady Gaga and Joe Biden on your face it will likely explode, but it’s crazy how fast you feel,” she said. “This social suggestion, all the comments. Even the hate speech, people yelling, ‘Trump 2020’. “

A political TikTok may alert the app users to good and bad attention, but Amar also said that while editing a video, you need to make sure you put the right filters and settings on it if you want to get some attention.

“I don’t think my video would have been blown up like this if I hadn’t gotten popular music or a sense of anticipation behind me at the beginning,” she said. “There has to be some kind of catch, you can’t just put things out there that don’t seem interesting to see. Add some pizza. ”

But Lempert said for videos like theirs, where the goal is to be as informative and eye-catching as possible in a 60-second period, the creators need to make sure their facts are correct.

“Be sure to check the facts and make sure they are correct when using facts,” they said. “Besides, they don’t all have to be serious, they can be stupid or silly.”

But no matter what the creators do – content for their universities, a trend flourishing in a TikTok micro-community, or Joe Biden in a stylish looking trench coat accompanied by sexy music – Lempert said the point of TikToks videos is there in making people feel good.

“The things you think are funny can also spread awareness,” they said, “because a lot of the way we spread awareness these days is through memes – light-hearted, funny videos that have a message. “

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