By Bryan Thoensen, Head of Content Partnerships, TikTok US
As communities continue to shelter at home, communities on TikTok have come together to offer levity, positivity, and basic human connection. We've been drawn in by the creative, light-hearted, wholesome, and fun content – and we've been inspired to see our community welcome a range of enriching ideas and content as well. The rise in informative, instructional, and motivational videos alongside the memes and artistry signals a growing interest in content that makes learning more enjoyable.
Last month, we announced the formation of our $50 million Creative Learning Fund, a key part of our $250 million pledge to support our community during and through this difficult time. The fund supports creators with the production of learning content, provides resources for learners, and introduces emerging teachers to the TikTok platform.
Today, we're excited to share that we've partnered with over 800 public figures, media publishers, educational institutions, and real-world professional experts who've been affected by the effects of this global pandemic to bring learning material to TikTok. We've been humbled to be able to bring these grants to educators, professional experts, and nonprofits who have the power to offer us creative learning especially during this tough time.
What it looks like to #LearnOnTikTok
Organizations including Aquarium of the Pacific have shared explainers about endangered giant sea bass. Cindy Lai, an independent fitness trainer in New York whose business was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, is sharing tips on how to exercise and stay fit while sheltering at home. Farm owner Page Pardo in St. Louis is sharing videos highlighting lessons from owning a farm, like what it means to "sweat like a pig."
Media publishers WWD and SELF have shared videos that range from the history of wedding dresses to tips on how to sleep better. Christen Fosque of Hedonia Flowers in Chicago, who had to shut down her flower shop, shares DIY lessons in floral arrangement. Tyler Brown, a fourth-year dental student from Boston, MA, is sharing tips on dental hygiene.
Headspace and Upworthy have been sharing wellness tips, including meditation tips and at-home, DIY yoga. Nonprofits like It Gets Better are creating content on how to be mindful of assumptions of gender identity. Molly Burke, a motivational speaker, spends her time sharing her experiences of overcoming adversity and finding strength. Lebanese author and poet Najwa Zebian shares inspirational poetry and prose.
The joy of learning on TikTok is that the content offers instructional tips and takeaways in a creative format, teaching something useful and inspiring users to seek out more information in a way that is fun and engaging. Our community has been drawn to videos that highlight unique science experiments, useful life hacks, creative math tricks, easy DIY projects, and motivational messages and advice. With our Creative Learning Fund, we’re continuing to nurture creators and partnerships that support this type of content on the platform.
Collaborating with experts
Alongside the creators and organizations, we're excited to collaborate with notable experts in their fields who will be bringing inspirational, informational content to our community:
- Bill Nye is an American science educator, television personality, mechanical engineer, and CEO of The Planetary Society, the world's largest non-profit space interest group. Nye said, “I’m excited to partner with TikTok. Looking forward to doing some science on the small screen— the real small screen— the one on your phone...”
- José Andrés, internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, educator, chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, and founder of the food relief organization World Central Kitchen, will be sharing cooking tips and tricks learned from every corner of the globe and right in his own home kitchen. “From the science of food to fundamentals for the whole family, from Michelin-starred restaurants to cooking with my three daughters, I’m looking forward to creating educational food content for the TikTok community.”
- Lilly Singh, host of A Little Late on NBC, will be creating content that inspires people to stay positive as they tackle everyday life. “I love to tell stories that have the potential to inspire audiences and make people feel seen and connected, especially in this climate where we are often apart from one another. TikTok is such an original place on the internet and I'm excited to create content that makes a positive impact, encourages people to learn something new, and just as importantly, I know we could all use some comic relief right now too."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, known for his ability to bring the universe down to Earth, especially via his StarTalk podcast, will be creating content that teaches and inspires on TikTok. “I’m happy to work with my StarTalk team to bring a stream of fun, educational content to the platform. Science has always been a passion of mine and it’s my goal to make it a passion of yours."
- Tyra Banks, known for her expertise in goal setting and motivating individuals, will be creating content that will teach and inspire the TikTok community. “I am beyond pumped to partner with TikTok to bring exciting, thought-provoking content all about learning and taking your life to the next level. I’ll tackle how to overcome life’s obstacles and give unique tips & tricks to make your wildest dreams come true. Motivating people to reach for their BFOGS, their Big Fierce Outrageous Goals, has always been my passion, and I can’t wait to share all of these lessons I’ve been honing for years with the TikTok community."
The reception from our community shows that people are eager to #LearnOnTikTok – and we're energized by the opportunity to do more. To support the growth in creative learning, we're exploring additional ways to showcase the rich offering of instructional content that's thriving on the platform, and we're building a creator learning portal that will provide insights, tools, and best practices on how to create quality content on TikTok. We look forward to sharing more on our efforts to give back to the community, and in the meantime, we're ready to soak up all the creative insights and instruction that the TikTok community has to offer.