Judge TikTokers all you want to, but they're on everyone's radar and they're turning the tide.
The social video app TikTok, from Beijing's ByteDance, recorded 120 million active users from India in June alone. And this rising popularity is a global trend.
At the recent Anaheim (California) VidCon, a convention for online video content creators, while famed YouTubers walked around with lordliness, TikTokers earned mass appeal.
Vidcon turns into 'TikTok playground'; YouTubers leave attendees underwhelmed
At the recent 10th annual VidCon, attendees felt underwhelmed by YouTubers as the convention center turned into a "TikTok playground," BuzzFeed News reported.
A teen attendee told BuzzFeed that TikTok is simply "ironic" and "like a meme right now," which amounts to mass-appeal among Gen Z.
Interestingly, Tiktok's panels were mostly standing-room-only (heavily attended) and their secretive party ended up being "overcapacity".
YouTubers behaved like 'royalty'; Tiktokers interacted with fans
Meanwhile, The Verge reported, that YouTubers were like "royalty" as they walked through the conventions heavily guarded, snuck past fans through secret passageways, etc., which defeats the very purpose of a convention, meant to make influencers more accessible to their followers.
The distance, born out of brewed fame, was bridged by TikTokers, who interacted with fans, made collaborative videos, clicked selfies, etc.
Attendee describes this year's VidCon crowd as 'unrecognizable'
Further, speaking to The Verge, a teenager described this year's VidCon crowd as "unrecognizable." The teenager, pointing to her younger friend, told the publication, "My friend is trying to talk to that TikToker over there. I don't even know who he is."
TikTok kids to replace half the YouTubers at Vidcon: YouTuber
Meanwhile, YouTuber Philip DeFranco tweeted, "These TikTok kids are going to replace half the YouTubers that are at #Vidcon this year. While y'all are onstage they've already shot and posted 79 collab TikToks each. No shade. Just respecting the hustle."
But how long would this last? After all, these TikTokers have trumped YouTubers as the YouTubers trumped traditional celebs only to eventually become them.
Remember 2000s? When YouTubers were 'real' and accessible?
Notably, when YouTubers first emerged in the mid-noughties, they had a hold over the masses, unlike any celebrity.
During the era, YouTuber Jeffree Star, who started out from MySpace, gained a loyal fanbase through commentary on "self-image and confidence." This authentic connect contrasted with the ideals celebrities presented.
However, today, Star, with a billion-dollar empire, is a quintessential celebrity.
TikTokers are no different.
Vine's downfall is all the more relevant today
Social media analyst Daniel Sinclair, "These events were indicators of a paradigm shift. The question is whether mobile-first video is a step-change or a shift- and Vine's story is crucial."
In 2012, when Vine first emerged with its six-second video format, it exploded with abstract, almost absurdist humor videos.
It was here that Cardi B first gained popularity.
In 2017, Vine shut down; influencers moved to YouTube
Vine shut down in 2017, as its failure to give "influencers" the opportunity to draw income from their accounts led to declining popularity. Many of these influencers- Brittany Furlan, Lele Pons, Jake Paul, King Bach- migrated to YouTube, which allowed them to monetize videos.
However, TikTok users already fleeing to YouTube
It's only a matter of time before this "paradigm shift" becomes even more apparent.
Even without TikTok monetization, the influencer strategy- to get popular on a less-competitive TikTok platform and migrate to YouTube- is already in use.
The Verge is of the opinion that the migration will "force a breath of fresh air" on YouTube, because it cannot thrive on beauty industry drama alone.