Dog eating from a pup cup two split


‘True connection gets lost’: Creators say authenticity is dying as TikTok expands—and they’re nervous

'The audience chooses who to support'


Grace Fowler


Posted on Mar 12, 2024   Updated on Mar 13, 2024, 4:09 am CDT

TikTok reached over 1.92 billion users in 2023 and is projected to reach 2 billion by the end of 2024. It’s estimated that there are more than 100,000 working creators on TikTok trying to grow their personal brand.

The user @4leggedfoodie spoke with the Daily Dot about their concerns within the rapidly growing industry Tuesday at SXSW. @4leggedfoodie is an account run by creators Ameetess and Justin for their dog Morgan. The account features their personally owned food truck in Atlanta that travels and holds events for other dogs to meet.

When starting the @4leggedfoodie account, Ameetess says that brands began reaching out to her for collaborations. The first thing Ameetess says is important when creating your brand is “finding the right match of creator with the brands.”

She says it’s important to make sure “values are aligned” in order to keep the connection with your audience. Justin added that “community and authenticity” are the biggest factors into keeping a relationship with viewers.

A concern Ameetess and Justin have within the creator industry is users not following their values and exploiting animals and/or children etc., for the benefit of their platform. The two admitted that when meeting other creators whose platforms are based on their animal. It is “easy to tell” who could be in it for the wrong reasons, they said.

Ameetess and Justin believe that the viewers also have a responsibility in holding creators accountable for their authenticity online. Although it is up to the creator to choose what to post, Justin adds that “the audience chooses who to support.”

Aspiring musician and creator Kayleigh (@kayleighs_comet) says her biggest concern within the industry is also the power that large corporations can have over a creator’s authenticity.

“It’s important to keep user generated content organic,” Kayleigh says. “Let people just create things.” The use of TikTok shop is a worry to Kayleigh as she says it can push creators to post things they don’t really believe.

@4leggedfoodie #atlanta #dogsoftiktok #dogs #foodtruck ♬ hungry,hungry – Family Guy

Marketer Maple Shipp from TBWAChiatDay told the Daily Dot, “someone who’s good at brand marketing understands that you shouldn’t really be pushing products.” She adds that the “space in social media is to build community.”

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*First Published: Mar 12, 2024, 10:45 pm CDT