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Welcome to the 87th issue of B: TikTok

If asked what improves quality of life, most people think of travel, good food, shopping, outdoor activities, or getting together with like-minded people. And we label the time we spend on these things as “quality time” too. During the past decade, the idea of worklife balance has emerged, and as more people have become accustomed to exposing their lives in part— or, for some, in whole—on social media, many have started to think that they should spend their personal time more productively. But I would argue that there is something just as essential as productive quality time that often gets overlooked: boring, idle moments that have no particular input or output. I personally believe that these moments contribute significantly to a person’s happiness or level of life satisfaction. After all, a few morsels of these moments are what make up an “average life.”

The history of unproductivity might be as old as human evolution itself, but mass media has long portrayed such activities as a sign of incompetence. Even new media platforms do not tolerate the idea of being unproductive. Pushed out of the frame by the overbearing presence of information, insight, self-aggrandization, or controversy, these banal life moments are thought of as something left behind in childhood. Without this issue’s brand focus—TikTok— we would probably never have realized the value of these moments. (OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.)

TikTok is a social media platform used to make short form videos. Sparking enthusiastic responses first in the US, the app gained popularity with out-o f context, slightly weird, unfiltered vertical videos. Users challenge each other to unscrew a water bottle cap with a single roundhouse kick, make cereal out of tiny pancakes, or do funny group dances with family and friends. And these videos go absolutely viral, reaching hundreds of thousands of other users. It is no wonder why celebrities or famous artists develop alter egos on TikTok that are different from their other social networking accounts. Now, even brands and ad agencies are studying the service or have their employees become content creators.

It would be a big mistake to simply write this app off as a fad. TikTok, seated at the epicenter of fad creation, has more meticulous purposes and plans than any other digital platform. From the moment it is opened, the app unfurls a constant feed of new and intriguing videos regardless of the number of followers or following accounts. Aside from. a convenient watching experience, the app smartly enables users to create videos with minimal movement. And that is not all. In the world of creation, reproducing or duplicating original content is highly frowned upon, but TikTok has turned that idea on its head, spawning a culture built on the app’s special features. It could be said that TikTok is a prime example of how form defines the. content, and that form faithfully follows the human instinct to play. In the end, all this reminds me of a quote by philosopher Martin Heidegger: “It plays, because it plays. The ‘because’ withers away in the play. The play is without ‘why.’”

Eunsung Park

Content & Editorial Director

Magazine B ISSUE No.87 TIKTOK
BRAND STORY
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
CONTENTS
PUBLICATION INFO
INTRO

EDITOR’S LETTER

CHALLENGES
The challenge culture leads trends du jour through video creating and sharing

OPINION: VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN
One cultural critic praises TikTok’s optimistic worldview

USER MANUALS
Get to know the user-friendly interface on which filming, sharing, and playing videos happens in a just a few taps

KEY ELEMENTS
Key digital terms that offer insight into the rising mobile generation

OPINION: SEAN KIM
TikTok’s head of product backs the platform as a super app

TIKTOK GENERATION
Creators unleash their creativity via shortform videos

DICTIONARY
Thirty-two words and expressions often used in the TikTok ecosystem

HALL OF FAME
TikTok teaches some old dogs new tricks

OPINION: SEUNGYEON KIM
The general manager of global business solutions in TikTok Korea talks about TikTok’s adaptability in the digital market

TRANSITION
Legacy media giants search for new ways to stay afloat the mobile era with TikTok

ENTERTAINMENT
A glance at TikTok’s revolutionary marketing solutions in the entertainment industry

BRAND STORY
The success story of an app that promotes self-discovery over social networking

PARTNERS
TikTok forges new partnerships as a move to evolve into a business platform

INTERVIEW: NICK TRAN, KUDZI CHIKUMBU
Global Head of Marketing Nick Tran and Director of Creator Community Kudzi Chikumbu talk about the vision and future direction of TikTok

CREATIVE WORKSPACE
TikTok’s organizational culture and LA office interior design that reflect the brand’s mission “to inspire creativity and bring joy.”

ALL-ROUNDERS
TikTok employee creators talk about their work environment

DIGEST
Incredible numbers and attributes that set TikTok apart from other social media platforms

REFERENCES
Books, videos, and more that break down the digital media ecosystem

OUTRO

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