B1 Intermediate US 59 Folder Collection
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(upbeat music)
- [Announcer] Joanna Stern is trying to go big on TikTok.
If you're tired of not knowing what TikTok is,
then you'll love watching this clout-chasing millennial
get to the bottom of the world's hottest app.
- You're not gonna be famous if you don't do this.
- [Announcer] What's a TikTok mean?
What's a banger?
What's #FYP?
Try not to #cringe.
- [Joanna] Yeet!
- [Announcer] In this installment of
"I, a Millennial, Tried to Make a Viral TikTok, a Banger?"
(groans)
- The reason I'm doing this is because
I want to be TikTok famous
because if you're not TikTok famous in life,
what, really, are you?
Old, I guess, which is what I am.
A week ago, I set out to make a viral TikTok
and discovered the world of TikTok memes.
- [Boy] I heard if you give your dog an egg,
they know how to be super fragile with it,
so, Cash, here you go, want to open your mouth?
Wow.
- But, before we get to that, TikTok.
I wasn't rolling.
TikTok is very hard.
Browser, don't eat the raw egg, don't, stop.
TikTok is the video sharing app killing, sorry,
dominating the lives of every teenager right now.
It's all about making, watching, and sharing
15 to 60 second videos, most with music.
Open the app and you're in the for you feed.
This is an endless feed of videos
the algorithm thinks you'll like.
Keep swiping up and you get more and more and more
and more and more and more and more videos.
It's incredibly easy to make your own video
and add music to it.
That means so many dancing and lip-syncing videos.
But TikTok is much more than that now.
Memes are central to TikTok
and I blame them for why I got completely hooked on the app.
A meme is really anything that spreads on the internet
and that is iterated on or re-interpreted.
On TikTok, a meme can be a song, a dance, a filter,
even a hashtag that lots of people start to post.
But I just had to find out.
How do you make a viral TikTok?
(phone ringing) Or what the kids call a--
- Be a banger on TikTok.
- Absolutely sheer bangers.
- Bangers, in my opinion, because they got
millions of views and yeah.
- A banger is like...
It's like--
- It's like a hit. - Yeah, like.
- Yo, that's fire, that's a banger.
- That's a banger, yeah, like.
- [Joanna Voiceover] Just learning
what a banger was wasn't enough.
I needed to learn how to make one.
- See what's trending, like you want to go
to the for you page, you want to look at
what everyone is doing and see what's popping, what's in.
- Honestly, I think that the more relatable it is,
the better it is because,
yeah, I just think if people relate to it,
they're gonna love it, they're just gonna eat it up.
- It's the simple stuff that go viral.
It's more about what caption you put.
The video could be trash,
if your caption's good, the video's good (laughs).
- So with that, I set out to make som TikToks of my own
by joining a couple of different memes.
So a thing I think is very funny on TikTok
is people are making their own shoes
and they're pairing the video with Iggy Azalea's "Work."
♪ Walk a mile in theses Louboutins ♪
- So I'm making AirPod heels
with the most advanced tools you could possibly get.
All my credibility is going down the drain right now.
Now I need to set up the shot of me walking.
Okay hit video, hit record.
Okay.
Okay.
I'm gonna strut it.
♪ Walk a mile in these Louboutins ♪
- Feeling really nice with these.
I'm thinking about wearing them to the next Apple event.
(light music)
Within a few hours of posting it,
I had a hundred new followers and 600 views.
But a far cry from a banger.
These ones look nice.
Come on.
I tried a few other popular memes while I was at it,
like where you give your dog a raw egg
and another where you put Mentos in Diet Coke.
Ah.
Those didn't exactly take off.
No!
How are you supposed to get it in and then close it?
I had to try something else.
And I'd heard about collabing.
He just wants to lick it.
So I went to the pros.
I headed to Trenton, New Jersey to meet the Splash Twinz,
two 17-year-olds who have 2.6 million followers on TikTok.
- I'm Shellie. - I'm Ona.
- I'm Shellie. - I'm Ona.
- I'm Shellie. - I'm Ona.
- How often do you TikTok?
(laughs) - A lot.
That's most of our day. - Yeah.
- [Ona] Like, I'll be in class,
I'm not doing anything in class,
I'll just be in class with my AirPods in,
just scrolling through TikTok.
- The only time we're not on TikTok
is during basketball practice,
which is from 2:30 to 4:30.
I mean, school, too, in class, we're like,
if I've done my work-- - Yeah.
- I scroll through TikTok.
So we find ideas for lunch so we can make videos at lunch.
- [Joanna] You think we can make a banger?
- Yeah. - Yeah, we can make a banger.
- We can make a banger here, right now, today.
- Shellie and Ona told me that the music
is core to the dances they pick.
(light music)
- [Shellie] So the try part, so when you put this leg out,
this arm goes like that.
(light music) - Okay, whoa, whoa.
- So this is like, one, two, and then go back.
Yeah, yeah. (girls laughing)
- They're so supportive and nice.
I just, let's keep repeating it, I'm so sorry.
That's repetition of that.
After an hour, I finally had it down.
(light music)
(laughing) I think that was it.
- Yeah, me too.
- [Joanna] I posted it and thanks to
the Splash Twinz's following,
I got 500 views in the first hour or so.
- [Shellie] That's good.
- I hearted already.
That tapered off and it hit about 1500 views
in the next few days.
I also grew my follower count to about 500.
It's all one big cycle.
A meme takes off, you riff on it and post your own,
you keep checking the app for those
likes, shares, and views,
and then TikTok feeds you more memes in your for you page
that you're probably gonna want to join in on next.
It's been a week.
I made a lot of TikToks.
I made zero bangers.
But I learned a lot along the way
and the biggest thing I think I've learned is that
TikTok really perpetuates or accelerates the meme cycle
and it hooks you, big time.
- [Announcer] That's it for this installment.
Tune in next time, where Joanna Stern learns about
another thing teens are doing.
- Down, yeah.
- Yeah. - So ready, set, go.
That's the whoa.
- That's the whoa.
Yeet. (girls laughing)
- [Shellie] Great.
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How to Make a Viral TikTok (Or At Least Try) | WSJ

59 Folder Collection
day published on March 14, 2020
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