The popular app that once went by Musical.ly rebranded in 2018 under the name TikTok. What was once a place for goofy lip-synch videos, is now a place for a range of content. This even includes the news.
Although TikTok mainly consists of short, funny videos and memes, some news outlets have decided to use the newest social media platform to their advantage.
BuzzFeed News is recruiting “Teen Ambassadors” to create election-themed content on TikTok and Instagram stories.
Although using teens can be a risky idea because they can be less professional than established journalists, teens can provide a different perspective on the upcoming election that can interest the younger generations in politics.
It is also a great way to teach teens about journalism and how it is changing in the era of social media. TikTok might be a good way of adding fresh voices into the political conversations, even though most of these Teen Ambassadors won’t be able to vote.
News outlets using TikTok is still in the experimentation phase because many people don’t view the platform as a source of genuine news. It’s a place for humor, not hard-hitting issues that might appear on a Twitter or Facebook thread.
However, people have managed to incorporate both humor and news into their content. Some people have used dark humor to bring attention to a serious issue, such as school shootings or rumors of WWIII.
Instead of using TikTok to share the latest news, journalists can post light-hearted content about a topic people are already talking about. This has the opportunity to spark a new conversation.
Although people should not rely on TikTok for their only source of news, it can be fun to join in on the conversations and use humor as a way of gaining some knowledge of the news going on around us.