Welcome back to HotToks, where we explain 'the why' behind each viral TikTok trend, tap into key cultural moments, cover app updates, and share how to plan your TikTok marketing strategy. This time around we cover Emrata and the parasocial relationship, TikTok's ventures in to live shopping & music streaming, and the Negroni Sbagliato with Prosecco (NSwP).
Have y’all seen Emily Ratajkowski a little too frequently on your FYP? Just me? Well, I’m starting to think it’s part of the promo for her new podcast, “High Low with EmRata.”
EmRata’s outspoken nature makes her a captivating and oddly interesting celebr-influencer. An author, an actress, and a model, she’s using those experiences to speak candidly about power dynamics between men and women in media and beyond. Her most recent target was Adam Levine, and she fired off with a TikTok video that now has over 1.6M views, talking about how we should put more blame on Levine than on the model who spoke out. Before the launch announcement of her new podcast (which BTW has some dashing reviews), I was wondering why she was so active on TikTok, almost a little too active… if you catch my drift. Her content as of late is the type of content TikTok users deem “too comfortable.” So comfortable that she now feels more like my friend—in a bad, almost toxic? way—than a celebrity.
There’s a term for this (isn’t there always?): a parasocial relationship, describing the often one-sided bond that develops between a viewer and an influencer/public figure. The science behind it all? Our brain focuses on social connections and the more we consume media, the deeper these connections evolve. And a study has demonstrated that 40% of millennials say influencers know them better than their personal friends know them—which honestly should scare us more than it probably does.
With the rise of social media, we’re shifting away from the age-old unrealistic “gram-worthy” attitude and embracing more realistic, casual content that gives insight into how normal people behave. This is fundamentally the difference between celebrities and influencers, and could be an explanation as to why we seem to care more about influencer content. This type of intimate, raw content forms a subconscious and deep social connection that goes beyond the screen, which can be upsetting (like the Try Guys situation that broke the internet), or rewarding (like Bria’s friendly chat-and-cook videos).
Not sure where EmRata stands in the whole spectrum, but I don’t think she’s stopping anytime soon. According to the My Body author herself, “I have a whole lot of bitchiness to serve up.”
Feeding off of the indisputably high engagement rate of the platform, of course TikTok has expanded into the realm of live shopping. After all, why not use any and all opportunities to make the awareness-to-purchase funnel shorter?
This TikTok live shopping experience has the potential to change the way we consume via social media—especially for Gen Z. The case in point? Djerf Avenue. Founded by influencer Matilda Djerf as a way to celebrate her simple Scandinavian aesthetic, Djerf Avenue, a TikTok-first brand, is now boasting over 400K followers across various social platforms, and Matilda herself knows how important TikTok is to their strategy. With the added bonus (and price point) of sustainable clothing, homeware, and accessories, the brand has really caught the eye of Gen Z consumers on TikTok. So much so that Djerf Avenue’s “Favourite Pants” sell out every time it restocks. Matilda says it’s annoying to wrongly estimate demand, but she’d rather this than overproduce, which, can I just say, makes me love her brand even more (toxic, #sorrynotsorry).
Though live shopping via TikTok seems like an economically sound move, it has not been a smooth road. Earlier this year, the company had plans to expand live shopping into Europe and the US to no avail. After some time scaling back these operations, now it’s in its revenge era, looking to expand into order fulfillment and create a “global fulfillment center” to start growing e-commerce business again. This is coming to light as LinkedIn job listings are being posted searching for employees for said fulfillment centers. It’s all sounding very Amazon-like.
This is Vivian Zhou here, reporting to you live: I’m calling it, five years from now, TikTok will take over literally every aspect of our lives and I don’t know how to feel about it.
Speaking of TikTok taking over every aspect of our lives, on the chopping block next is our bestie (or as some may say, the best music streaming platform out there), Spotify.
We all know TikTok is a giant in the tech, social media world, and its parent company, ByteDance is laser-focused on growth for the company. It earns a lot of money, but also has big expenses to keep the company running and relevant. The company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, is reported to have recently engaged in talks with music labels to expand its music-streaming services to over a dozen markets. Bytedance ultimately wants music streaming to become part of TikTok’s many offerings. (I mean, we all love incorporating trending sounds on our TikToks just as much as the next person). This ongoing process has not been easy: to incorporate music streaming into TikTok successfully, they need to reach deals with all of the major music labels, as reported by Wall Street Journal, which proves to not be such an easy task, and is the main bottleneck with this whole project. Major music labels are having a hard time deciphering what benefits ByteDance can even bring them.
ByteDance already has its own music streaming service called Resso, which is currently only available in India, Indonesia and Brazil, and they are looking to expand Resso’s reach in a dozen new markets (not including US for now). But what frustrates major music labels and deters them from reaching a deal with ByteDance is that very few Resso users are actually paying for the platform, moreso just cashing in on the “free” part of the “freemium” model that Spotify notably has.
So TikTok, you’re not there just yet. Let’s focus on one thing at a time.
How can we not talk about TikTok’s new fav drink, Negroni Sbagliato with Prosecco? I compiled what I deem as the most iconic Twitter memes about the NSwP, so you don’t have to.
You may have seen it on your FYP or you may have seen it on Fohr’s TikTok account. Meet the Negroni Sbagliato with Prosecco in it. It all started with an interview clip between House of Dragons costars Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy, in which D’Arcy claims their drink of choice is a NSwP. Some people are only partaking in the trend via the internet, and others are actually ordering the drink at bars. Here’s how bartenders feel.
Why are people on TikTok obsessed with this drink (or this clip)? As one comment says, “the voice, my friends, the voice.” The LGBTQ+ community (and honestly, all of us) are quaking in our boots. Here’s how to make it.
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