How TikTok Has Changed the Concept of Memes

Posted at 14th-Sep-2022 in Hot Topics | Leave a reply

By now you’ve probably heard someone reference audio they have heard on TikTok, saying, “I saw this on TikTok,” or, “I can’t get this TikTok sound out of my head.” TikTok has been at the forefront of many social media and pop culture trends and is still rapidly gaining momentum, with resources projecting 1.8 billion active users by the end of 2022. The platform has created a class of memes that are defined by sound, allowing creators, brands and influencers to have more creative freedom when creating content or finding inspiration to tie trends back into their niche. 

Memes have been around since the early 1920s. Back then, media outlets would publish simple drawings or still photos with on-asset text or post copy that could be used to repurpose or share in various scenarios across audiences. Decades later, social media apps started inspiring users to take screengrabs of photos and snippets of videos, while using hashtags to create meme content to relate back to their niche and audiences. In recent years, there has been a major evolution in how we consume meme content thanks to short-form videos and trending audio.

Short-form video platforms like TikTok and Vine have evolved the way we reference the latest memes. With trending audio and algorithm-based content feeds like TikTok’s “For You Page,” audio trends provide a template structure for users, brands and creators to imitate. Creators and brands have been able to use the “For You Page” to spot trending audio to conceptualize relevant content for their brand. 

Auditory-type memes create an ear-wig effect to inspire slang terms and pop culture references. This gives the opportunity for a longer trend duration and expansion of the meme. You might have heard various versions of audio, like the “Chrissy Wake-Up” or “ Material Gworl” sounds, or snippets of these sounds used in a conversation. Audio-based trends and memes provide accessibility for non-traditional brands or markets, as not all trending audio reaches audiences at the same time and one audio typically won’t make sense for every industry. For example, with the recent variations of the “It’s Corn” audio, grocery stores and markets have been able to use the audio to highlight their produce section. 

The music industry has caught onto this meta culture created by TikTok, as well. DJs have created remixes from TikTok audio and commercialized memes. Music artists are now hopping on the trending audio bandwagon by posting snippets of their upcoming music for fans to meme or create fresh content from. Nicki Minaj’s latest single, “Super Freaky Girl,” was used as a trending sound across TikTok in various niches, from TikTok-style dances, outfit transitions, and users showing their Halloween costumes from previous years. 

As you explore trending TikTok audio, look into how other brands and creators are using the trend. Then strategize how you can tie it back into your niche to reach a broader audience. Reach out to [email protected] to learn how to amplify your social strategy with trending TikTok audio. 

Written By: AJ Hinson, Jr. Content Strategist

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