If you think TikTok is a lip-syncing and dance app for teenagers, you’re not wrong. Sure, Gen Z dominates TikTok—41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24. But, TikTok isn’t just for teens anymore. There are many celebrities and users over the age of 30 joining—and crushing it—on the app.
Just check out the “Flip the Switch” challenge with former US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and the Saturday Night Live star who portrays her, Kate Mckinnon, to see the proof.
Millennials and Gen Xers from Brittany Spears to Reese Witherspoon are thriving on TikTok. And, one of Canada’s biggest TikTok stars is an 88-year-old from Alberta.
So, how do you join the party? Here’s how to TikTok if you’re over 30.
TikTok is a social network for amateur music videos—users can make their own and watch everyone else’s. TikTok makes discovering content central to its experience, allowing videos to blow up quickly.
TikTok lets users create and share short 15-second lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. Users get their shot at 15 seconds of fame with each video. You can also upload sounds for people to lip-sync to. And even though 15 seconds is the limit for recording within the app, users can put clips together to create stories of up to 60 seconds. And you can upload longer videos not recorded in the app.
How to navigate TikTok
Even though teens came out of the gate running, TikTok can baffle millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers. But don’t worry. If you’ve used other forms of social media, you should have a good starting point.
Similar to IGTV, once you download TikTok and add it to your phone, a vertical video will start to play instantly (without you selecting one).
The app curates videos based on your like history and past watches. They’re labelled “for you.” You can switch this to “following” to see videos from creators you follow. You can choose to follow friends, popular users, or anyone else you find entertaining.
Tip: If you want to grow your following and get visibility, aim to be featured on “for you.” To set yourself up for for success:
- Use hashtags—yes, TikTok uses hashtags too—especially the ones that are trending (they’ll have a red flame).
- Watch what others are doing. TikTok encourages imitation. So reuse music and copy trending jokes and dances.
- Find your niche. Try using niche videos. Some users follow accounts that post specific content. For example, Brittany Spears regularly posts fitness videos. Videos with cooking or arts and crafts are other examples.
Explore TikTok further
- Use the magnifying glass icon next to the home icon to search for keywords and hashtags. You can also explore what’s trending on TikTok.
- When viewing videos, tap on the screen to pause them. You can find the video’s creator from the user icon on the right side. Their icon will take you to their profile. As well, you can see the number of “hearts” the video got (you can add one too). And you can see the number of comments (click to read them).
- You can find the user’s name, caption, and name of the song on the bottom of the video. Captions tend to contain hashtags you can explore by clicking on them.
- You can click on any song from TikTok’s library of songs to see more videos of that song.
- When you’re ready to post a video, click on the plus sign at the bottom of the home screen.
If you’re over 30 and want to TikTok, but you’re worried you’re too old: don’t be. The over 30 crowd is growing on TikTok—they might even make it better. Download the app, study up on how to make a good video, and get out there.