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

If you don’t know the ‘Renegade’ or who Charli D’Amelio is, fear not. By the end of this article, you’ll be clued up on all things TikTok!

TikTok is the latest craze in video-sharing social network apps. Users can create short videos of lip-syncing, dancing, comedy, and other talents with prerecorded songs and audios stored on the app. Simply choose the sound bite you want, record yourself dancing, singing, or acting for 15 seconds, add a filter, and voila! Think of it as Vine for Gen-Zs, except these videos are 15 seconds rather than 7 seconds long.

Many people already have a TikTok account and don’t know about it. This is because the app merged with it’s former app Musical.ly which began in 2014. TikTok has since been declared one of the most downloaded apps of the last decade with over 104 million downloads in 2018 alone! You can spend hours on TikTok scrolling through videos, or editing your own with the multiple features the app offers such as filters, slow motion, and cool transitions. Videos on TikTok can be shared to other social media platforms allowing for a wider engagement and increased following. The app also allows you to ‘React’ and ‘Duet’ other people’s videos giving you the opportunity to copy dance routines, be an acting partner, or simply interact with your followers. 


The Lalaoveralls Iced Coffee Sunglasses
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A particular appeal for young people is that TikTok tailors the content you see based on what you like and recommends accounts similar to the ones you regularly interact with. This is where most people discover trends to follow. Trends on TikTok are the golden key to getting your account more popular, and possibly even verified! Trends include viral dance routines like the ‘Renegade’, acting to audios from series such as The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, and dressing to fit aesthetics. I’m sure you have seen the classic VSCO girl outfit: Bucket hat, Cowrie shell necklace, oversized t-shirt, crocs or Vans, and a hydroflask packed in your Kanken backpack. Dressing like a VSCO girl became a viral trend on TikTok, and the more VSCO you were, the more followers you gained. Once you gain over 100 000 followers, usually from trends, your looks, or your talent, your account stands to become verified!



Charli D’Amelio

Once such user who became verified for her incredible dancing skills is Charli D’Amelio. Charli was an ordinary 15 year old girl before she joined TikTok, living in Connecticut with her mom, dad, and older sister Dixie. She began dancing and competing at a very young age, and this comes through in her passion and discipline for dance. In 2019, Charli’s life changed forever when her dancing videos began to go viral on TikTok. Viewers were drawn to Charli’s kind nature, family values, maturity, natural beauty, and of course her flexibility and poise. No one on TikTok has had ‘the hype’ as much as Charli. She has gained over 29 million followers in less than a year, been flown to Milan, Italy for Prada Fashion Week, and has danced onstage at a Bebe Rexha concert, the Super Bowl, and with her idol Jennifer Lopez.




you can’t see but i was wearing slippers :)

A post shared by charli d’amelio (@charlidamelio) on


What it takes to be successful on TikTok

Most successful TikTokers have some kind of talent be it singing, dancing, acting, drawing, or makeup. These TikTokers showcase their talents by posting regularly and engaging with their followers. Another way TikTokers gain exposure is by collaborating with other well known TikTokers in their region to create videos and forge friendships that bring fanbases together to create a super fan base. This is seen in the Hype House in Los Angeles where many famous American TikTokers, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio included, come together to create collaborative content that showcase their talents and passions. Am I jealous that I don’t get to live in a mansion and create digital content everyday in a rich city with my best friends? Absolutely yes. Did I mention that TikTokkers get paid between $50k-$150k for successful brand partnerships? 




Merry Christmas from The Hype House Photos by @bryant

A post shared by Hype House (@thehypehousela) on


Whether or not your videos go viral, TikTok is a place where everyone has the chance to express themselves creatively. You can make friends around the world, be inspired by new points of view, set new goals and dreams to see through, and maybe even get to meet famous people in your area. Verified South African TikTokers, who are recognized amongst the most popular TikTokers in the world, to look out for include:

  • Chané Grobler @chanegrobler
  • Wian Van Den Berg @wianmagic
  • Leoné Stofberg @leonestofberg
  • Troy Sheperds @troysheperds
  • Karl Kugelmann (a.k.a Our local Damon Salvatore!) @karl_kugelmann_
  • Kelly KiKX @kelly_kikx


If you have been inspired to join TikTok, here is the slowmo choreography to the original ‘Renegade’ dance by Jalaiah Harmon!


Sarah-Kate is a student at the University of Cape Town currently completing her Honours degree in Psychology. She is also the Co-Senior Editor of Her Campus UCT 2020 and actress in short film Dear Romilly. Her interests include baking, writing, yoga, empowering women, and educating the world on mental illnesses through her blog (sarahkatesays.blogspot.com).