Your Ultimate Guide to TikTok

Have you been thinking about downloading TikTok, but weren’t sure where to even begin? Our intrepid Indy Maven interns have you covered with this user-friendly primer to the app dominating youth culture.

In 2020, TikTok took the world by storm. As the second-most downloaded app of the year—just behind Zoom—people around the world passed the time in quarantine by learning new dances, trying DIY fashion trends, and even promoting their own businesses on the app. TikTok got so much attention that after the app’s accessibility was threatened in early fall, big-name investors Oracle and Walmart purchased stock—or should we say, “sTok” —in the app to keep it alive in America.

With TikTok here to stay and the long winter months ahead, we’re here to give you the scoop on all-things TikTok so you can pass all the vibe checks this season.

So, what is a TikTok, anyway?

While also the name of the app, a singular TikTok is a video that lasts up to 60 seconds long. The videos can be about anything, but a few crowd favorites usually include people telling unbelievable stories, participating in fun dance challenges, or hanging out with their pets. There are so many different genres of TikTok subjects, and sometimes the algorithm can get creepily accurate to your interests!


SHER IS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND BABY #nickiminaj #sassy #coolmom #LoveStory #DejaTuHuella #StrikeAPosay #OutPizzaTheHut

♬ Rake It Up CLEAN – Ana

Butler student Sarah Monesmith and her mom try out a TikTok dance they learned.

Who’s on TikTok?

Short answer: anyone and everyone! Actual statistical answer: TikTok has about 800 million users worldwide, with around 50% of U.S. users being ages 18-34. Still, there are all sorts of famous TikTokers of all ages, like preschooler JaBria and 75-year-old Grandma Barbara! If you’ve ever considered downloading the app, here’s your sign to come join the movement.


bank account🤑💵 @bangenergy #ad #bangenergy

♬ Bank Account - 21 Savage

Laron Hines and his famous godsister JaBria hop on a TikTok trend.

Whats and who is popular on TikTok?

While celebrities like Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez are on TikTok, there is now an entire sector of celebrity-hood specific to those who are “TikTok famous.”

If you live with teenagers, chances are you’ve heard names like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, and Lil Huddy, even if you couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. These influencers are now officially called “social media personalities” and are among the most followed individuals on the app. 

Some TikTok stars have even banded together to create well-known collectives such as the Hype House, where the young social media celebs use the millions of dollars they earn in brand partnerships to buy mansions where they hang out and make video collaborations. 

While some creators become popular for consistent comedic or artistic talents, others also reach TikTok notoriety for a single video. That just goes to show how unique and community-driven the app is! 


fun fact : avani was my first internet friend:) @avani @lilhuddy

♬ OUT WEST (feat. Young Thug) - JACKBOYS & Travis Scott

Hype House members Lil Huddy and Avani collab to do a TikTok dance.

How does one get TikTok famous?

Aside from the well-known stars, one of the appeals of TikTok is that it seems to be fairly easy to go viral. Be one of the first to participate in a new dance trend, “duet” or “stitch” with another viral video, use the right hashtags (#fyp = “For You Page”), and add a dash of good luck, and you’ll be well on your way to TikTok fame!

Don’t forget us when you’re famous, either.

Do I have to make TikToks to be on the app?

Nope! Just like in the 2016 Emma Roberts movie Nerve, you can be a watcher or a player … or both! While both of us have dabbled in creating TikToks, we think the real fun comes in watching all the creative content. 

Whether or not you’re ready to buy a ring light and tripod and show off your talents to the world, you can still download the app to see what the hype is all about. 

Psst! While you’re at it, we recommend you check out “#Indianapolis” for some cool views of Circle City and all it has to offer. 


I fell…#fpv #drone #drones #drone #fpvfreestyle #fpvmagazine #fpvlife #indianapolis

♬ original sound – ellyssemason

Indianapolis Drone Pilot and Filmmaker Vito Pulverenti shows off his view of Monument Circle.

Kylie Stine and Meghan Stratton are two Indy Maven interns who share a love for Indianapolis and internet trends. After their nightly skincare routines, the two young women unwind from their days by scrolling through TikTok for unreasonably long amounts of time.

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