The weird and wacky world of niche TikTok influencers
While TikTok might be seen primarily as a place for teenagers to show off fashion tips and do dance numbers on, it has outgrown those roots ages ago. Since its expansion onto the global market in 2017/2018, it has evolved into one of the most-downloaded apps in the world. Nowadays, it’s the primary source of information for a growing number of people, as well as a versatile content platform.
While beauty and fashion celebrities still hold significant sway over TikTok, it is perfectly possible to use the app without much interaction with their content. As niches develop, the platform becomes capable of sustaining a broader user base, attuned to a personalized experience.
As with other platforms, famous influencers exist alongside more outre content creators; these maintain a narrower, but still lucrative, following. Brand deals, Patreon and merch enable for-profit content creators to stay afloat while still maintaining a narrower focus. Here’s a few examples of such niche creators:
Lyle the Therapy Gecko
This unusual streamer, podcaster and TikToker runs a call-in show in a gecko onesie and green body paint. As he listens to his callers’ bizarre stories, he gives out (non-professional, but heartfelt) advice. Highlights from his program garner hundreds of thousands of views, and his TikTok account currently has over 2 million followers. While his format might seem like a throwback, Lyle’s calm demeanor in the face of the absurd has won over leagues of users.
You must own it.
Catholic Nuns (#nuntok)
American Catholic nuns are apparently quite keen on TikTok. Who knew? Doing what the author of this article can only describe as “frolicking in a pious fashion”, various Catholic nuns have managed to create viral videos garnering over 2 million views a piece. If anything, this showcases TikTok’s emerging versatility as a platform quite well. Plus, they have a silly hashtag. It can’t be all bad, right?
@daughtersofstpaul #medianuns #nuntok #catholic #prayer #runningoutoftime #miamirunningoutoftime #fyp #christiantiktok #christiantiktokers #catholictiktok #sisters ♬ Running Out Of Time – Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ynairaly Simo & Chris Jackson & Veronica Jackson & Gloria Calderón Kellett & Bri Holland & Alana Da Fonseca & Jada Banks-Mace & Gloria Estefan & Zoe Saldana & Leslie David Baker
Another less-than-obvious group, senior TikTokers, appear to be taking the platform by storm. While one of the more popular senior accounts, the 89 year old “Grandad Joe” (5.4m followers), generally focuses on self-described “family-friendly” content, this sort of propriety isn’t necessarily a rule with elderly content creators.
I find this trend funny 😆
Another octogenarian with over 2 million followers, Dolly Broadway, has garnered a reputation for a certain crudeness.
@dolly_broadway tag a friend who is a lightweight #fyp #foryou #SmartfoodClub #viral #drunk #party ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
All in all, TikTok’s blooming versatility seems to foretell a significant staying power. Once relegated to the role of a teenager’s plaything, TikTok has grown to become the most popular non-Google/non-Meta app on the market.
As content creation methods on the platform mature, it is likely to only increase its broadening appeal. Short-form content was supposed to become the “next big thing” several times over in the last decade, leading to droves of enthusiastic investors attempting to get in on the bandwagon… and backing such spectacular misfires as Quibi.
It seems that short, attention grabbing content has finally found a dedicated, successful platform – one that allows creators unprecedented freedom in what they choose to convey and how they go about it. The types of content showcased here only scratch the surface of what the platform has to offer.
Which neatly brings us to a little bit of good news from us — SentiOne recently launched TikTok integration. Interested in tracking trends and measuring the performance of your campaigns on TikTok? Contact us to schedule a demo today!