If you’ve opened any social media app within the last week, there’s no doubt you’ve seen them.
From your favorite celebrity to your old roommate, they’re all doing the same 15 second choreography (to a song that’ll be stuck in your head for the next week). COVID-19 has put the world on pause and placed an opportunity for entertainment at our fingertips.
Quarantined and ordered to keep our distance from everyone outside of our household, all generations have turned to their devices to escape from the chaos that is reality.
When it merged with Musical.ly and was released in the U.S. in 2018, Tiktok could only hope to make its presence known in social media. Six months later, and the Chinese-originated app has hit 1 billion downloads globally. From intricate yet contagious dances to comedic skits, Tiktok has something for everybody.
Now adjusting to the unprecedented times of a pandemic in this day and age, Americans have put their car keys down and picked up their phones. Instagram engagement is up by 20 to 50 percent, according to wwd.com. Viewers on live streams have increased at least 70 percent in the last week.
For every consumer now online engaging with content, there are twice as many influencers and content creators rolling out posts every hour.
Sydnee Kai McRae, a transfer student at FAMU from Tennessee, is feeling every benefit from people being on their phones more often. Known as @skaibeauty on Tiktok, she posts several dance videos every week that circulate among her 460,000 followers.
“Skaibeauty: One of the most talented choreographers I’ve ever seen on the app,” Charli D’amelio, a Tiktok user with nearly 48 million followers, said in an Instagram live interview.
“When I first got on Tiktok, it was for fun,” McRae said. Once she hit 10,000 followers, more began flooding in. Before she knew it, celebrities and influencers alike were doing her original choreography. Her Captain Hook Challenge even caught the attention of Megan Thee Stallion, the artist behind the song.
“I was shook,” McRae said. “It was something I wouldn’t have imagined to happen.”
During this quarantine, McRae has had a lot more time to dedicate to her content. Before recording her TikToks, she perfects her hair, makeup, lighting and runs through the dance itself about 50 times. Not to mention, those who follow her have ample time to pick up the dance themselves and recreate it just as fast.
“I love seeing diversity on Tiktok, especially from a Rattler,” sophomore Breonna Booker said. “She’s using her quarantine time to shed light on a few things we can be doing while stuck inside.”
As far as furthering her platform, McRae has a lot in store. With an active YouTube channel, several sponsorship opportunities, and a heart ready to inspire the younger women watching her, this definitely won’t be your last time hearing about @skaibeauty .