Welcome back to
HotToks. This edition we report on how often men think about the Roman Empire, "Tube Girl" rise to fame, and the latest TikTok features and updates. The Roman Empire, Gender Norms, & TikTok’s Rapid Trend Cycle
Something is in the air. Not long ago,
we talked about ‘girl dinners’, and ‘girl math’. Today, asking “how often do you think of the Roman Empire?” is officially a trend— with over 1.4B views on the platform. It started with this TikTok:
Definitely unassuming and probably has made quite a few debuts in
the search bar within the comment section–this new trend is as confusing as it is funny. The trend is exactly what it sounds like: TikTokers are asking the men in their lives how often the Roman Empire pops into their mind.
The results are wild.
According to the TikToks, men think about the Roman Empire more often than we think, and they have reasons to back up why. Like this TikToker is 100% serious when he talks about the Romans having created aqueducts and running water. Another TikToker asked her brother the same question, to which he showed her a Minecraft rendering of the Colosseum to show just how much the Roman Empire is running through his mind. I couldn’t have made this up.
Celebrities like Firerose and Kira Kosarin also participated in the trend, and brands like
Uniqlo and Ritz Crackers have quickly followed suit. #Romanempire currently has over 1.3B views on TikTok . Recent trends ‘girl dinner’ and ‘girl math’ have caught attention for the terms being gendered, with some critics saying that Gen Z are reclaiming the word ‘girl’ after years of the term being used to infantilize women.
Like the trends that preceded it, the Roman Empire trend has attracted attention for being gendered. While the Roman Empire itself isn’t inherently gendered,
it does spark a conversation about questioning gender roles and norms in general, especially on social media, and how trends can play a role in the discourse. The Tube is Tubin’: Tube Girl’s MAC Partnership & Rise to Fame
In a couple of weeks, this influencer went from the London Tube to London Fashion Week
. Sabrina Bahsoon, a 22-year-old law graduate from Malaysia, more well-known as “Tube Girl”, recently made headlines and waves in social media with her TikTok on the London tube, which now has almost 10M views.
Since posting this video, her growth has skyrocketed: she’s gained more than 300,000 followers and more than 12M likes on the platform. She’s continued to share different dancing videos on the tube, in the 0.5 lens, and fans are praising her for her brazen self-confidence, with some saying, “My anxiety could never” and “Social anxiety is afraid of u girl.” And almost all of her new “Tube Girl” videos have over 1M views.
an interview with BBC, she said, "Tube Girl has already become something more than just dancing on the Tube… it's about confidence and being more comfortable with your authentic self,” and she’s inspiring others online to do the same. Big influencers, like Abbie Herbert, a lifestyle and family creator with 15.3M followers, Alix Earle, and model Haley Kalil, with more than 6M followers, have recreated the trend, adding their own flair. In fact, the search term “tube girl” now has more than 640M views, and the corresponding hashtag has more than 570M views on the platform. "Tube Girl has already become something more than just dancing on the Tube… it's about confidence and being more comfortable with your authentic self.” - Sabrina Bahsoon.
But her growth and rise in popularity exist well beyond social media.
Brands are resonating with Tube Girl’s self-confidence energy and cashing in on the moment, recruiting her to represent them in campaigns, fashion shows, and more.
She’s been quite busy since creating her iconic Tube Girl videos. Now living and working in London, Bahsoon is a contracted model with Hive Models and has recently made
her first runway debut walking for MAC Cosmetics at London Fashion Week. And she’s become an official MAC partner, showcasing their clear lip gloss in true Tube Girl fashion. Besides praising Sabrina for her confidence, the industry is honoring MAC Cosmetics for moving so swiftly and truly having their fingers on the pulse. She’s also been seen at multiple big influencer events for MAC Cosmetics, NYX Cosmetics, and the Glossier x Sephora event ( roller-skating simultaneously). and Tube-Girling
The people are going crazy over her confidence, with many saying, “get that bag, sis!” and “I’m so happy for you,” and also, “hair care brand deal next!” because people are really curious about how she gets her hair so shiny and luscious blowing in the subway wind tunnels. The people need answers!
Plus, TikTok New Feature Recap
As we all know, TikTok is always changing, so here are some rapid-fire updates to stay in the loop of all things product feature updates:
TikTok Billboard Top 50: TikTok has changed our relationship with music and has changed the lives of many up-and-coming musicians in the space. Beginning on Sept 14th, TikTok officially has its own Billboard chart, announced by the music industry publication. It’s called the TikTok Billboard Top 50, and the list is assembled based on creations, views, and user engagement with the tracks. AI content gets labeled: After some rounds of testing, TikTok is officially announcing new in-stream labels for AI-generated content on the platform, providing extra transparency for users. This comes as AI-generated content becomes much more common, creating misleading and confusing feelings for users who may be unable to distinguish what content has been generated or significantly altered with AI, like the fake image of an explosion outside of The Pentagon that went viral earlier this year. With this new label, TikTok requires users who have created content with AI tools to flag it on the platform. Otherwise, they may risk their content being taken down. TikTok x Google?: According to a report from Business Insider, TikTok is exploring a partnership with Google, which could help integrate Google Search prompts and even results into TikTok’s search stream. This may be a result of Google feeling the heat from reports saying that TikTok has become the search engine of choice for younger generations. Heavy discounts for Holidays: TikTok is looking to take on Amazon this holiday season. TikTok Shop is looking to fund heavy discounts (up to 50%) ahead of Black Friday, starting as early as October 27th. Performance insights upgrade: TikTok is working on providing better performance insights for in-app campaigns and TikTok ads, with Attribution Analytics, which will help draw a clearer picture of exposure and conversion. Attribution Analytics will be built into the TikTok Ad Manager platform, providing more insight into how campaigns drive interactions, engagement, and responses.
Thanks for reading!
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