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Creative StrategiesUnderstanding humor on TikTok - Get fluent in the platform’s one true universal language

Understanding humor on TikTok - Get fluent in the platform’s one true universal language

Mar 31,2022
Alex Grignon, Global Brand Strategist, TikTok For Business

Context: Next-level storytelling only on TikTok

TikTok is leading a reinvention of storytelling where everyday users from all backgrounds are more comfortable expressing themselves on the platform. From greater collaboration among creators to the growth of endless niches and subcultures for users to explore, the TikTok community is rewriting the playbook for crafting videos and messages that resonate with our ever-expanding audience.

Namely, self-expression on TikTok is a story best told through humor – with creators tapping into relatable experiences and multi-layered jokes to inspire joy and action. Static and image-only jokes and memes still have their place on the internet, but TikTok has become the epicenter of more engaging and inclusive humor that uniquely delights our users. Therefore, it’s crucial that creators and brands alike master the unique nuances of TikTok humor in order to establish a positive reputation on the platform.

Relatable humor is the bond that unites users

There has always been a desire to place people into neat demographic boxes based on the same few characteristics: ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status, etc. But modern audiences are rejecting these basic categorizations when it comes to finding their people and their place in the world. When it comes to how TikTok users seek out and forge meaningful connections with those around them, a shared sense of humor and relatable life experiences are highly important.

An engine of comedy at the heart of TikTok

A wide array of comedic formats, audios, effects, and built-in features are all part of the magic that make up the unique culture of humor on our platform. Much like how traditional image-based memes became common formats suited to repetition and variation, popular audios and viral challenges on TikTok operate in the same way by setting expectations for what you’re about to watch. And unlike other platforms with a limited variety of creative tools and formats, creators on TikTok are constantly producing new formats and templates that invite users to remix content with their own creative riffs. From the enduring popularity of #POV videos on the platform (which highlight the demand for relatable comedy experienced through a first-person perspective) to #duetthis prompts which actively promote audience participation, TikTok is creating a new culture of comedy both for everyone and by everyone.

Send a stronger brand message with humor

What sets TikTok apart from competing platforms is the way that brands have become esteemed members of the broader community when they’re willing to have some fun. Brands have a tremendous opportunity to succeed on TikTok by infusing their message with humor and contributing to the constantly-evolving culture of comedy with new ideas and formats for users to play around with.

*NOTE: For detailed information about TikTok's branded content toggle and our policies regarding what can be posted as branded content on TikTok, please refer to our Branded Content Policy.
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