Since September 2020, TikTok has amassed more than 800 million active users worldwide and the app has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. To commemorate a year of success, the app released its annual edition of TikTok 100 — a year-in-review roundup highlighting the top videos, genres, creators, and memes that took the Internet by storm.
“From a global pandemic that introduced us to social distancing to protests for racial equality, community hardships, and personal and economic uncertainties the world over, 2020 was full of all the feelings. Throughout those moments, millions of Americans turned to TikTok to share their stories and lift others up,” the platform shared.
As you look to identify ways your brand can get a piece of the action and create your own TikTok experience, here are a few highlights from 2020.
Top Viral Videos
Bella Poarch’s video lip-syncing “M to the B” was TikTok’s biggest viral video of the year, The clip quickly went viral after she published it in August and is currently the most-liked video on TikTok with nearly 520 million views and over 43 million likes.
Second to Poarch, Ohio native Nathan Apodaca aka doggface208. After his aforementioned “Dreams” video went viral on September 25 — it now has over 69 million views and 12 million likes (and counting) — the short clip also served to benefit Fleetwood Mac. Streams for “Dreams” more than doubled while sales nearly tripled since his video became a sensation. “It struck a chord,” stated Chris Ferzli, Ocean Spray’s director of global corporate affairs.
Almost making the top list: Will Smith for his take on the “Wipe it Down” challenge and Julian Bass’ superhero special effects video that earned the attention of Disney executive chairman Bob Iger.
Top trends, hashtags, and challenges
By now it’s no secret TikTok is the birthplace of trends — whether referring to a dance, a new comedy format, or a memorable quote — and 2020 saw no shortage of these viral moments.
Amongst those earning top spots include the #blindinglights dance challenge. Set to The Weeknd’s chart-topping hit “Blinding Lights,” the moment brought families, friends together, bound by a love for the song and finding ways to have a little fun at home during the pandemic by dancing. The hashtag #blindinglights has approximately 3.5 billion views.
Speaking of social distancing, another trend that kept users entertained during COVID, Curtis Roach‘s “bored in the house”– a quarantine anthem that inspired over 4.5 million videos to date, and the hashtag #boredinthehouse has approximately 4.8 billion views.
The ‘YouHaveTo’ hashtag has earned over 7.3 billion views today. Set to a cover of Odezsa‘s “A Moment Apart” by @hannah_harpist, TikTokers parodied a monologue about how “you have to start romanticizing your life.” Those who have put their own twist on the trend include familiar names such as Dr. Phil and Catfish’s Nev Schulman.
Finally, who could forget the Time Warp Scan feature, which freezes an image in place as a blue line crosses the screen allowing for limitless creative transformation? The #timewarpscan hashtag has been viewed over 14.3 billion times to date.
Top creators and celebrities
Creators are at the heart of TikTok and this year many stepped up in the delivery of videos authentic to who they are and the brands that align with their goals and values. We saw an enormous cultural shift as voices were used to spread awareness around the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, underrepresented communities, and more. The platform continues to be a launchpad for those seeking to forge community and inspire.
So who were the biggest breakout stars? TikTok’s list of top creators overall is led by none other than Charli D’Amelio, and also includes familiar names including Addison Rae, Bella Poarch, and Noah Beck.
A separate creator list dubbed ‘Most Impactful,’ recognizes creators for their efforts in the fight for positive change in the U.S. and around the world. The top three named in this group were Doctor Leslie (@drleslie), Taylor Cassidy (@taylorcassidy), and Sienna Mae (@siennamae).
In the celebrity space, Jason Derulo came out on top, followed by Kylie Jenner and Lizzo. Others who made the top 10 include Tyga, Charlie Puth, Shay Mitchell, Jack Black, Lil Yachty, China McClain, and Dr. Phil.
TikTok’s top 10 songs feature hits from established hitmakers, rising stars, and previously-unknown artists. The unabated creativity of the platform transformed the sounds into immersive experiences in a COVID-19 world when in-person experiences including concerts were longer possible.
The number one ranking went to Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat),” with Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix” coming in second and “WAP” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stalin taking fourth. Also making the list– “Say So” by Doja Cat.
Check out the full list here including winners in categories such as top food recipes, trends, and hacks, top style and beauty trends, and top product elements. Stay tuned on the 31st for a special New Year’s Eve countdown live on TikTok!
UPDATE: TikTok has also added a new ‘Year in Review‘ feature, which enables users to take a look back at the top videos, tracks and effects they engaged with in the app throughout 2020. Check it out by tapping the icon on your For You feed or on the special Discover page banner. (You’ll need to be on the latest version of the app).
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