The days of polished influencers are over and anti-influencers are on the rise on the short-form video app, according to OK Cool’s report on TikTok trends for 2024.
Creative agency OK Cool delivered its third annual TikTok report this week. OK Cool is a content studio and has been partnering with TikTok since 2020, helping the platform launch TikTok for Business in EMEA and NA, as well as TikTok Shop.
OK Cool titled its report Chaos in the FYP to reflect the warp-speed evolution of content on the platform. According to OK Cool, the platform is “a user-lead [sic] creative wild west”, and the report seeks to deliver “actionable insights” for brands and marketers “to make better, more human work that consumers demand”.
What Gen Z wants from TikTok
OK Cool’s focus is the Gen Z audience and the report flagged that 63% of Gen Z use TikTok daily and 45% of those spend three-plus hours on the platform a day. The principal dissemination of the report centres on a content and creator shift on consumers’ For You Pages (FYPs), as Gen Z rely increasingly on relatable and imperfect entertainers rather than aspirational, product-based content providers. The report suggests the days of polished influencers are over, with OG influencers such as the D’Amelios, Charli and Dixie, losing engagement thanks to their glossy and inaccessible content. Instead, creators who are using “TikTok as a brain dump/diary are building cult followings”. This has created an appetite for anti-influencers or “reverse influence” which delivers “powerful and measurable influencing through authentic content”. OK Cool determines that “brands who want to cut through must lean into this” by working with creators who understand your brand not through the marketing lens but rather how “it lives in the culture”.
You may also like
OK Cool surveyed 100 18- to 45-year-olds for their take on the platform and reported “80% of our survey respondents preferring [sic] raw over polished content”. Other pertinent points included the fact that 90% of respondents stop scrolling for original content, with the report concluding trends are more likely to be filler rather than thriller.
In activations, the report recommends brands lean into Carousel content, TikTok Shop, playlists and making use of the repost function. OK Cool says the new function “allows brands to recognise their audience, and also keep UGC as a public tab for discovery of content surrounding their brand or products”. The report cited the work of creators Yasmin Hero, Jalin, Monique Jones, Retirement House and Chris Olsen as current exponents of the new content shift.
The report also forecast increased synergy between TikTok and its little sister brand, Lemon8, the ability to work even more smoothly with CapCut for editing, and that TikTok Music could morph from soundbites to full-Spotify mode.
By Emilie McMeekan, CORQ features director. Picture credit: Yasmin Hero via Instagram