At the end of Vine’s life, people were looking for a new shorthand video platform. While Instagram offered video sharing and YouTube had stamina, the creators looked for something different and found apps like Musical.ly and TikTok.
In 2018, Musical.ly transformed into TikTok. Since then, the app has grown in popularity with over 2.6 billion downloads and around 680 million monthly users.
The app has not only become popular because of its content, but also for how easy it is to go viral or famous on the app. Since the app has an algorithm that shows people videos on their ‘for you’ page based on what they’ve interacted with previously, someone without a subscriber could end up being seen by millions of people in the world.
Due to the ease of going viral, many smaller artists have found TikTok as one of their primary ways to advertise their music.
One artist who rose to prominence thanks to TikTok is “Old Town Road” frontman Lil Nas X. Since going viral on TikTok in 2019, the song has had four remixes with artists including Billy Ray Cyrus. Featured, Diplo, Mason Ramsey, Young Thug, RM and BTS.
Other notable songs that have gained popularity on the app are “F2020” by Avenue Beat, “Mad at Disney” by Salem Ilese and “The Git Up” by Blanco Brown.
While the app is great for showcasing songs by smaller artists, it also helps more traditional musicians. For example, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” not only gained popularity for the composition and drama that surrounds her, but also because millions of people use her sound on TikTok.
Another example is the song “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Although both are already popular artists, the song gained popularity when a dance featuring it started trending on TikTok.
TikTok doesn’t just develop the artists who make music today, it also brings old songs back to life. Some of these older songs include “It’s Tricky” by Run-DMC and “Desperado” by Rihanna. Even the old sailors’ songs are making a comeback.
TikTok has only grown in popularity since its launch. There is content from the youngest to the oldest users, which makes the app one of the best ways to distribute music to as many people as possible.
The virality of these songs even caught the attention of Spotify. The music streaming service’s “Viral Hits” playlist includes all the songs that caught TikTok’s attention.
Social media has long been a vehicle for discovering new artists. YouTube brought Justin Bieber, Vine brought Shawn Mendes, and TikTok is now bringing a new generation of artists into the lives of many.