HotToks: Jake Shane Goes Viral, #TherapyTok, & new TikTok features & updates

Fohr
Vivian Zhou
March 21, 2023
Updated Feb 09, 2024
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Welcome back to HotToks. This edition we report on Jake Shane's overnight success, #TherapyTok and a habit of oversharing, plus TikTok's latest features and app updates, and a bonus insight!

Jake Shane aka Octopus Prime?

Jake Shane goes viral on TikTok and sells out octopus merch

In “random things that actually go viral” news… we have @octopusslover8 on TikTok. 

Two weeks. It took two weeks for this TikToker to become a red-carpet invitee at a Vanity Fair event. Now with 1.3M followers (and 4.9B views) on the platform—and counting—Jake Shane has carved himself into a very specific niche—reimagining history’s greatest moments in a comedic and modern fashion while wearing octopus-themed clothing (you read right). Blessed with a hilariously sassy disposition, a crazy imagination to take on how historical moments would’ve played out in 2023, and an awkwardness that tends to attract huge amounts of attention, Jake has hit the jackpot. And the people love it. Just look at this Jake Shane fan saying how happy she is to see him grow.

Some of his most viewed videos include “the statue of liberty being unveiled” (at 5.8M views), “Washington finding out Benjamin gets to be on the $100” (at 4.7M views), and “paying the bill at the last supper” (with 11.7M views). This content type can only really find a home on TikTok, where lo-fi content is highly rewarded. And brands (like Trojan Condoms and The History Channel) are quickly catching on and interacting with his content. 

Jake Shane has been creating TikToks like this since 2019 but has only seen popularity lately. If anything, this demonstrates that consistency on this platform is still recognized. That, in tandem with the universal understanding of the historical moments he’s portraying…it’s a recipe for success. Another reason why we might really enjoy his content is that he seemingly can juxtapose Gen Z’s modern mannerisms with the weight of history. He’s become so popular that his octopus merch sold out in 11 minutes, and to top it all off, his comments section keeps giving him new content ideas—and they’re hilarious, just like his humor.

@octopusslover8 Replying to @user2035752864190 ♬ original sound - Jake Shane

#TherapyTok and Other Instances of Oversharing

Therapy talk takes over TikTok

We’re in our #oversharing era (have we ever left?), and TikTok, as we all know, is not a place to hold back.

Therapy should be a safe space, right? But increasingly, therapists are taking to TikTok to share versions of patient stories with millions. And more and more patients are being asked to sign social media consent forms to allow therapists to anonymously share their stories with people online. While it’s great that this increasing social media presence is demystifying therapy, ethicists worry it could lead to therapists putting social media virality over patients’ best interests. 

Our tendency and ability to safely overshare on TikTok have made it a unique platform for creators and businesses. These can be seen from our candid GRWM videos to parents over-incorporating their children into their content. Deeply personal and intimate experiences are often shared on the platform, and many creators feel it is a coping mechanism to feel less alone in this world. Valid points for both sides, but it definitely makes us think, “how much is too much?”

Food for thought: here’s Mae Van Der Weide’s viral GRWM video (with over 4.5M views), where she discusses addiction, eating disorders, and other mental health problems, all while putting concealer on—I mean, what a juxtaposition.

New Platform & Feature Updates

TikTok new platform features STEM feed and TikTok Series

Let’s welcome and learn about two very (interesting) platform feature updates to TikTok:

  1. A Science & Tech Feed: or a “STEM feed,” which will live next to the Following and FYP, and will feature content on science, tech, engineering, and math. US users will start to see the feed in the coming weeks. Not all science and technology content will land on this feed, and additional vetting criteria will be in place to hopefully guarantee reliability and truthful information, knowing how big of an issue misinformation has been for the platform since its inception. This update comes at a time where TikTok is being held under the magnifying glass for potentially posing national security risks, so clearly, the saga continues.
  1. TikTok Series: recently, TikTok has announced Series, a new way for creators to sell their stories as premium content. This feature will only be initially available to select creators, but the platform has plans to open up applications for others to enroll. For a limited time, creators are set to receive 100% of their Series earnings, but it’s unclear if and whether that will change after this exploratory phase.

Thanks for reading!

- Viv

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Want more HotToks? Check out our last edition, here.

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