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Swipe, Shop, Repeat: Why TikTok Shop is Killing My Vibe

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

Lately, I’ve been feeling annoyed and a bit overwhelmed every time I go on TikTok. The beauty of TikTok was its entertaining, unfiltered creativity. It used to be a platform where the more original you were, the better. But as the shopping posts multiply, that creative spirit seems to be taking a backseat. I find it upsetting how the platform that was once a playground for funny videos and skits has changed into a virtual shopping mall. Every few swipes, I am now met with a sales pitch disguised as a video on my For You page. This constant bombardment of product promotion feels intrusive and detracts from the spontaneous joy of discovering genuinely entertaining content. I know marketers like to use TikTok as their #1 way to showcase and boost sales on their products, but I feel like it is getting to a point where I can’t even enjoy a single video without watching a sales pitch.

This shift isn’t just affecting me; I feel like it’s changing the game for creators too. The pressure to create content that sells can hold back the very creativity that brought them to TikTok in the first place. It’s annoying watching creators, once celebrated for their unique content, turn into salespeople. I want the OG content back!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve certainly made a few purchases from the TikTok Shop myself. The range of products, from a puffer vest to a cozy white fluffy coat, trendy flare leggings, makeup products, and a mermaid hair waver tool, are all amazing products that I love to use. It’s clear that the TikTok Shop is a successful platform for enticing customers to make purchases. However, this shopping style seems to come at the expense of the pure entertainment value that TikTok originally offered.

I’m all for innovation and growth. But TikTok, can we find a happy medium? Let’s bring back the balance – a little shopping here and there, but we shouldn’t forget what made TikTok our favorite digital escape. 

Kanika is a writer for Her Campus and is excited to explore the art of writing. This writer was born in Mumbai, India, but she's been in the U.S. almost all her life, except for a few years she spent living in Toronto, Canada. She currently lives in Cary, North Carolina and would love to move to Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or even back to Toronto post-graduation. Outside of Her Campus, Kanika is an engineering student at NC State University. She is currently in her third year and is majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Business Administration. Her goal is to become a software developer at a tech firm. Through her academic journey, Kanika has completed numerous internships at companies like Fidelity Investments, HP Tech Ventures, and Atticus. She was also selected to compete in a 24-hour Coding Hackathon at JP Morgan Chase & Co in Chicago, Illinois. Currently, Kanika works part-time as a Consultant for a edu-tech startup company and is a Student Brand Ambassador for Fidelity Investments. Some of her favorite things to do would be working out at the gym, playing sports, reading, listening to music, and watching TV shows on Netflix or Hulu. Some of her favorite TV shows are Friends, White Collar, Bridgerton, and Breaking Bad. Her all time favorite music artists are Travis Scott, Tate McRae, and SZA.