The Biggest TikTok Trends and Why They're Successful

Elise Ngobi
February 4, 2020

TikTok was the second most-downloaded app last year, with 1.5 billion downloads. Once assumed as a channel that’s just for kids, the TikTok user-base is diversifying fast with brands, influencers, YouTubers, parents, and even grandparents joining the fun.

We’ve been watching (sometimes a little too much) and keeping a pulse on the biggest trends Tiktokkers are jumping on. These are the videos that are taking over your “For You” page. To put it simply, we see trends falling in two main categories—music, and not music.


You’ve seen this done with glitter, what about Orbeez👀✨ can you guess how many I dropped🤔 #orbeez #foryou #fy #viral

♬ Get You The Moon (feat Snow) - Kina


TikTok is built for music. It’s so easy to add tracks to your videos in the app—they’re segmented out by dance crazes, “LOL Sounds”, viral tracks, and a pretty broad list of genres and moods. The viral section will take you to a chart of top performing songs which are being featured in the most videos. With that said, TikTok is the land of remixes, with multiple versions of each track making the rounds.


Say So - Doja Cat


why don’t u say so?

♬ Say So - Doja Cat

day 2 of learning tik tok dances and failing miserably #fyp #foryou

♬ Say So - Doja Cat

Lottery - K Camp AKA Renegade, Renegade


IM OBSESSED 🤦🏾‍♀️ #fyp #renegade

♬ Lottery - K CAMP

Yummy - Justin Beiber

Get Up (feat Chamillionaire) - Ciara


i will re do this when my hair is done @dixiedamelio

♬ Get Up (feat Chamillionaire) - Ciara

Lalala - İlkan Gunuc Remix

Woah - Kryto9095


on a scale of 1-10 how hard did we hit this ? 🥵

♬ Woah (feat. D3Mstreet) - KRYPTO9095

Not Music


Videos featuring kids and their parents work. Why is this you ask? It could be a whole flurry of reasons. It’s funny, it’s unexpected, kids love the awkwardness of it all, and videos with more than one person are more engaging. Either way, videos with parents or even grandparents featured are all over TikTok—and they’re performing well.


ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is that tingling feeling you down your spine when you hear a certain sound. Some people find it super relaxing and it’s been a YouTube trend for years. It used to be confined to a slither of the internet with a relatively small but dedicated fanbase, now ASMR is hitting the mainstream, and it’s one of the most chill TikTok trends out there.


It’s impossible to scroll down your “For You” page without coming across a “this is my voice 1 after 1 day _____”. The clips progress to a hilariously exaggerated and hyper-relatable impression of a stereotype and we love them.

Why Are They Successful?

There are a few running themes on what makes TikTok videos become trends. The top theme we’re seeing is humour. Funny videos get more shares, and people watch them more than once, two factors which are important to the TikTok feed-ranking algorithm.

Videos that have an element of surprise or something unexpected also have a higher chance of going viral, again feeding into shareability and reach.

Relatability also plays a part in what will and won’t become a trend. Videos with zero props that anyone can create at home using TikTok native post-production climb the virality charts the fastest. Content that people just get is working, ideas that land quickly, and a broad swath of the population can instantly identify with are the ideas that make it onto the “For You” page.

Something we find quite refreshing about TikTok’s vibe is the lo-fi style of videos. Post-production is done in the app using native tools, and the editing is focused on transitions, video effects, and sound, more than it is on filters that make you look more tanned or change your face or body.

TikTok’s unique audience separates it from other channels. The majority of TikTokkers are young, so spontaneous, and generous with reactions to content—likes, shares and comments—so videos easily take off reaching hundreds of thousands of views much faster than other platforms.

TikTokkers take trends and put their own spin on them, while the linked music and hashtags are the common thread pulling the remixes together. Overall, what works on TikTok are concepts that people can easily recreate which have an element of fun, surprise, and a track that is both catchy and of-the-moment.

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