When I first joined TikTok, I was confused out of my mind. I’m only in my twenties but, man, did this app make me feel old. After a month of getting the hang of it, I was hooked with the catchy sounds and hilarious trends.
Little kids would duet my videos asking me to give them shout outs (I’m still not sure what that means on my end but it’s definitely endearing). The other day a twelve-year-old told me I did a POV wrong and, hey, we all need that kind of honesty in our lives.
Since we’re all stuck at home, TikTok has seen an 18% spike in downloads since March 16. Everyone from Justin Bieber to the Victoria’s Secret Supermodels are trying to learn the Renegade. And not going to lie, Gen Z is really funny. Like honestly, if I made some of those jokes on Instagram, I would be attacked so hard by Millennials for not being sensitive enough. But I think the honesty of the app is what is drawing kids to it in record numbers.
So if you want to try to get the “hype,” here are 10 accounts you should be following:
1. Charli D’Amelio (@charlidamelio)
Just a year ago, Charli was a girl living in Connecticut with her family. Today, she’s the number one most followed person on TikTok, with over 42 million followers and growing (basically a million a day, no joke). She was the first “hype” of TikTok in summer 2019. Her friends encouraged her to get on the app since she was a dancer in real life and could learn the trending dances easily. I love following her because she just seems like the sweetest. Her equally beautiful older sister, Dixie, and parents Marc and Heidi (and, man, her mom is gorgeous) are also huge on the app. All of them are worth following. #FamilyGoals for sure. Charli also has a clothing line that’s Dunkin Donuts inspired since she gets her daily iced coffee from the chain.
2. Addison Rae (@addisonrae)
As the song about her says, “Addison Rae, shawty the baddest.” But Addison is actually the sweetest according to everyone who meets her. She first blew up on TikTok after her mom did a trend showing how beautiful her daughter is. She does cute TikToks with her parents and little brother, kills the dance trends, and has amazing eyebrows. If those aren’t enough reasons to follow her, I’m not sure what are.
3. Loren Gray (@lorengray)
At only 17 years old, Loren has been the queen of Musical.ly and TikTok. Her lip syncs and transitions are on point, and she is actually so sweet in person. Loren is a singer and made a cameo in Taylor Swift’s last music video. She also has a partnership with Betsey Johnson. It’s not hard to see why she was the reigning queen of TikTok for so long.
4. Mark (@snarkymarkey)
I’m not going to lie, I used to have a neighbor named “Karen” who literally was the definition of a “Karen.” I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the reason this even became a thing. Mark does the most hilarious impressions of the “Karen” we all know and run from. Whether it’s complaining about a wrong spelling of her daughter Mckenzie on a Starbucks cup to fighting off people for toilet paper, Mark’s Karen impersonations are on point. If you like comedy, give him a follow!
5. Lani Randol Baker (@lani.baker)
Lani and her brothers Cash and Maverick have been big on TikTok since the beginning. She’s a successful model originally from Oklahoma. Lani’s account is always extremely creative and lighthearted. If Amanda Seyfried's character in "Mamma Mia!" was a real person, she would be Lani Randol. Even though she’s only 20, she’s recently married, and her husband makes hilarious cameos in her TikToks. If you want to be inspired and just love #marriagegoals, Lani is one to watch.
6. Alex Stemp (@alex.stemp)
Alex formally worked in tech in San Francisco but blew up with millions of followers in just a few months. His niche is finding unknown girls and asking to shoot them for TikTok is public places like malls. We’re so used to seeing models looking beautiful so it’s refreshing to see every girl get the chance to shine. His photos are always creative, and he’s definitely an inspiration to everyone who wants to quit their day job for a more creative outlet.
7. Zahra (@muslimthicc)
Zahra is a young Muslim girl showing her life in America. She’s cute, classy, funny, and loves sharing her life with her audience. She was one of the OG favorites on TikTok and has a devoted fanbase.
8. iAmJordi (@iamjordiofficial)
Because we’re all staying at home, most of us can’t do those fun group TikToks. Jordi is a pro at not only finding the trending sounds, but making her own creative videos to the sounds. If you have no clue what to do when you’re alone in front of the camera, Jordi can get you inspired. Her content is also wholesome.
9. Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale)
If you’re like, “Wait a minute…” it’s because you do know her. Ashley was the star of our childhood favorites like The Suite Life on Deck and, of course, High School Musical. But unlike most celebrities that join TikTok and have no clue what’s going on, she’s really good at it. If you want to see Sharpay slay yet again, follow her on TikTok.
10. Flighthouse (@flighthouse)
If you want to see interviews with your favorite creators or just know the new sounds to create a video to, Flighthouse is where you should be looking. It was started by a 19-year-old Gen Zer and is called the “modern MTV.”
Just like anything in life, there’s a learning curve with TikTok. But following these fun and creative people will help make you a pro in no time.