The Four Major Categories of TikTok Sounds (Part 3)

So before I say anything else, this article is the third of three parts. I set up some statistics regarding what kind of sounds I see on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean that that is what TikTok will always do. I’ve been checking to see if the TikTok algorithm is changing what kind of videos and sounds people want to hear for the past two months. To reference last month’s article, click here. And to see the first one, click here.

There is a pretty big variety of videos one can get on their For You Page, even if they say it’s tailored “For You.” But how balanced is that variety? Do we ever get one type of sound more than another? And does this balance ever change? I don’t know the answers to all of those questions quite yet, but I do have the third and final part of my experiment ready to go.

I went to my For You Page and categorized the sounds of every video (excluding ads) for 125 videos. Here are the results.

This Month

Normal: 62 (49.6%)

Music: 19 (15.2%)

Meme: 20 (16%)

Media: 24 (19.2%)

And here are the numbers from the previous articles.

Last Month

Normal- 60 (48%)

Music- 32 (25.6%)

Meme- 24 (19.2%)

Media- 9 (7.2%)

Two Months Ago

Normal Sound: 29 (23.2%)

Music: 38 (30.4%)

Meme Sound: 28 (22.4%)

Media: 30 (24%)

Okay, cool. What does that mean?

So once again, we seem to have a shift (although not as drastic as the shift from before. Media sounds (meaning audios from TV shows, movies, or video games) have shown an uptick from the extreme reduction before, 24% to 7%. Normal audio (meaning no additional audio added) had a small increase, in addition to the massive increase before, 23% to 48%. And both meme audios and music audios decreased once again, with music going from 30% to 15% over the two month period.

That’s pretty shocking to me. As we’ve covered on this website before, TikTok has a very big influence over the music industry (as seen here), so why are we seeing less and less music? Maybe TikTok wants to start focusing less on the music industry and more on the photo/video side of things. But why? Why would TikTok want to distance itself from an industry it has such a hold over? Is TikTok still trying to be 15 second Vine? Maybe this is just my For You page being weird, and none of this is happening at all. But I just thought I would give my two cents on the matter.

And here is a list of some of the musical artists I saw on my FYP.

Lil Nas X (twice), Bo Burnham, Big Boi, Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift (twice), @itskeyes, Paramore, Earth Wind and Fire (twice), Billie Holiday, Train, Adventure Time, City Girls, The Drums, Lucian Piane, Bryan Adams, The Beegees, Kid Laroi.

Taylor Swift at a photo shoot for her latest album “evermore”

So, there’s the end of my little experiment! I’m sure that people smarter than me have wondered what social media sites decide to show us and have given better conclusions than mine, but I still think I came up with some pretty interesting numbers.

Just don’t show me any more memes that have already been screen recorded 5 times and I’ll be happy.

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