Is TikTok’s 15 seconds of fame over?


Sean Jordan, Contributing Writer

Many people have had these lyrics engraved in their head from the past year: “I’d let you had I known it, why don’t you say so?, “I’m just a loser, Shouldn’t be with ya, guess I’m a quitter, and of course, “Renegade, Renegade, Go, go, go. These songs dominated the radio and the internet for the past year because of one appTikTok.  


TikTok, an app created in 2016allows users to upload short 15 second or minute-long videos to its platform for anyone to view. Before the pandemic, TikTok was on the surge with new downloads jumping from 54 million in July 2019 to 115 million in March 2020. And with everyone stuck at home on their phones, the app just grew and grew with a whopping 315 million users in Q1 of 2020, and then 306 Million in Q2. Yet a bubble can only get so big and many have speculated that has happened to TikTokResearch provided last week by shows that TikTok just hit a new peak this month, but many think it is downhill from here.  

In 2011, the hot new social media app was Snapchat. What made Snapchat different was the ability to send disappearing pictures to friends and stories that lasted a short amount of time and then they were seemingly gone forever. This is what made Snapchat so popular, and as their competitors watched their customers spend more time on Snapchat they knew they had to do something. Soon, almost every social media app had a story feature that mimicked Snapchat’s unique posts that only last 24 hours, like when Instagram came out with its own version in 2016. Soon after that, Snapchat usage was on the decline.  

Today, many are having deja vu of the whole Snapchat stories scenario, with Instagram coming out with the reels feature on its platform in August 2020. The feature allows users to film and post short 15 second videos, exactly like TikTok. Many fear that with more and more companies copying TikTok’s iconic short videos, fewer people staying home, legal issues with countries in the past and a decline in new users from Quarter One of 2020 – grossing 315 million new users to only 177 million last quarter – that the 15 seconds of fame for TikTok is over.