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TikTok’s plan to transform storytelling by creating spaces for authentic, unknown voices

Since stepping into the role of Head of Operations last year, Adam Presser has personally connected with TikTok creators to build colloborative partnerships to ensure growth and exciting prospects in expanding TikTok as a viable platform for current and emerging content creators. In an exclusive letter directed to TikTok community, Adam shared some of the best perfoming creators and how they have made an impact, touched lives and built careers online.

Strengthening communities and improving lives

From Australian firefighter @timthelawnmowerman posting videos of himself mowing the lawns of strangers for free to the @therealdariothompson in South Africa donating his proceeds from going LIVE on TikTok to feed school children, creators show us that connecting leads to action that improves lives. In the U.S. @chaychaywayway posted about a rare kidney disease and her need for a life-saving transplant. Her story inspired a TikToker to get tested, leading to a successful kidney transplant. The story touched the lives of millions. Two strangers who connected on TikTok are now friends for life, bonded over a selfless act that started with a video.

Sourced Image: Unsplashed

Building careers through creativity

One of the most inspiring aspects of TikTok is the deep, authentic connection they develop with audiences. Through this connection, creators not only share their passions or talents with the people around the world, they build their livelihoods. In the U.K., self-published author @a.p_beswick_author makes more money selling his novels through TikTok Shop than he did as a nurse, while @nurqojadua earns a living from his content educating people about the history, culture and traditions of Kazakhstan and the Turkic world. Emerging creators build their audience and careers on TikTok because we help content get discovered, no matter how niche it is.

@a.p_beswick_author Hi there 👋 #authorsoftiktok #authortok #authorlife ♬ original sound - A.P Beswick

Music is one of the best examples of how people discover and engage with TikTok content they love. Fans incorporate music into their own content, sharing and celebrating their favourite songs in their own unique way. As a result, emerging artists can slingshot from unknown to the Song of the Summer. In June 2023, American musician @paulrussellmusic shared a clip of his song, "Lil Boo Thang" on the platform, and by August, he had a record deal. Likewise, South African artist @tyla_ hit the top 10 on the Billboard's Hot 100 chart with her sensation "Water" after sharing clips of her live performances on the platform. She recently won the first-ever Grammy for Best African Music and has led a global interest in amapiano music, a jazz and piano-infused sound.

TikTok not only serves as a platform to discover people, but through its global organic reach, stars are born.

@tyla_ Dc @Litchi #tyla ♬ Water - Tyla

Creating economic opportunity

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are adding content-creator to their list of skills because TikTok's tools make it easy to quickly make engaging and informative videos. From @martinastrazzer, who turned an investment of €300 into a €10 million female-led company that employs 40 workers in Italy, to Canada-based @indigenousboxinc, transforming a $5000 grant into $1.2 million in revenue in a single year, entrepreneurs are launching and growing their businesses by tapping into a supportive community on TikTok.

The TikTok community has the power to change the trajectory of an enterprise — rescuing struggling businesses on the verge of shutting down and helping others find a whole new customer base. In Japan, the manager of the @pluck_and_plant restaurant helped the business go from losing ¥4 million to quadrupling sales within six weeks of posting a video sharing his struggle. When @joannarsalvador reviewed a product from @skalacosmeticos on TikTok, the video went viral, doubling sales and opening the U.S. market for the Brazilian brand. In the wake of the video, Skala saw its national revenue grow by 35% and its exports increase by 21%. The company also closed a distribution deal with a major retail chain, putting its products in more than 1,500 U.S. stores.

Sourced Image: Unsplashed

There are countless stories just like these. It is only the beginning.The future will be driven by the extraordinary contributions of creators who inspire and entertain, bring us together across generations and geographies, make us laugh and move us to tears.

Words by Adam Presser, TikTok Head of Operations.

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