The year of TikTok: Who are its most viral creators?

THE most viral TikTok creators of 2020 are Bella Poarch, Charli D’ Amelio and Nathan Apodaca, in a year which has seen the platform experience considerable growth.

TikTok has published the ranking of the most viral videos, trends and creators of the year in the US.

Bella Poarch, 19, has more than 40 million followers and is best known for her ‘M to the B’ challenge with well over 530 million views, 43.5 million likes and 1.4 million comments so far.

The 10-second video in which she lip syncs to the song is the most liked TikTok of all times.

She also has 8.7 million followers on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Charli D’Amelio, who has become an icon for teenagers worldwide, became the first 16 year-old TikToker to have 100 million followers.

Nathan Apodaca from Idaho shared a video of him skateboarding to work when his car broke down, drinking Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice and singing ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac. The band’s co-founder Mick Fleetwood and Ocean Spray CEO Tom Hayes both responded, and Ocean Spray even gifted him a cranberry red pickup truck.

He has other viral videos and 5.7 million followers.

TikTok has an estimated 850 million monthly active users worldwide, and has been one of a few businesses which have actually benefited from lockdown, in a time when reading or other more intellectual pursuits have gone by the board and many people, not just teenagers, prefer to spend their free time watching apparently senseless videos, ‘liking’ them and sharing for others to do likewise, often to combat boredom and evade reality.

Why did half a billion people watch Poarch’s simple video? Basically because she fits the ideals of the world’s most powerful entertainment algorithm: young people who use their attractiveness and create easily repeatable formats which other youths want to mimic.

Do these TikTokers ‘deserve’ their overnight fame and, in some cases, equally rapid fall back into anonymity? It’s really not our place to say, but according to an algorithm that just keeps getting better at knowing “what people want”, they do.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.