- TikTok has become a place for recording creative videos and editing them into comedic masterpieces with the hope that your clip could become the next viral trend or internet meme.
- Recently, teens have discovered a new format for TikTok: teaming up to create videos using group text message chats.
- The resulting TikTok posts are as entertaining as they are innovative, spurring other teens to try it out in their own friends’ group messages, as well as make call-outs online for more participants.
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The battle to create original content online is harder now than it’s ever been, but some TikTok users have started to team up to create crafty and collaborative videos using their group text messages.
Groups of teens have recently been harnessing their group chats to create a series of short videos that, when put together and scrolled through in the chat, combine to tell an illusion-filled story where objects fall from one video to the next.
The falling objects sometimes don’t line up perfectly, and the transitions from one video to the next aren’t the smoothest. But that’s beside the point, says George, one of a group of friends in Massachusetts, ranging between 17 and 18 years old, who are credited with posting the first group chat video on TikTok (it’s hard to verify, considering TikTok is largely absent of time stamps).
The idea for the group’s TikTok actually came from another trend they were seeing on the platform: groups piecing together short voice memos of song lines – often, Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” – to collaboratively make music. But the friend group, which runs the Instagram @saturdaysareforthebots, often shares videos in group chat, and decided to add a more visual aspect to the collaborative design.
“It took a lot of time to make this and order it and figure out everything, but it all came together nicely and became a very fun process,” the friend group (@saturdaysareforthebots) told me through Instagram DMs. “It’s a cool experience having people you never met say, ‘Oh, you made that TikTok.'”
The resulting TikTok is, essentially, a Rube Goldberg machine of short unrelated videos. Each clip is connected to the next by some object – sometimes a stream of water, or a soda can, or even a cat – falling downwards, with the next video then reacting to the object falling into their video.
In the end, the TikTok that’s posted is simply a screen recording of the group chat, with the user scrolling through the messages and playing each clip after another. It’s a far cry from how TikTok videos are usually recorded, but the resulting “unique story” is what really helps these videos to “stand out,” said Tylor Skory, a YouTuber who runs the channel The Skorys with his three siblings.
TikTok has been described as an “endless buffet of visual candy,” full of mindless videos and memes that max out at 60 seconds each (but are often much shorter than that). The amount of work that goes into creating TikTok videos – in addition to adding in audio tracks and special effects – can vary drastically depending on how intricate the clip is. Videos that likely took only minutes from film to publish have gone viral and spawned copycats and imitations.
But in the case of these group chat TikToks, creators told Business Insider that these videos took hours, even days, to evolve from idea to a video ready to post.
“Getting everyone’s schedules to line up was the hardest part,” Skory said about his group’s creation, which comprised of some of the biggest names on TikTok. “Some people even needed to go and buy specific props for their shots. It definitely took a few days of planning and another day for everyone to shoot their parts.”
The reaction from The Skorys’ 1.4 million followers have largely been friend tagging each other to create their own versions, Skory told Business Insider.
This is the draw behind these group chat TikToks: creating a masterpiece, together, that is just as accessible for any group of teens to create. Some TikTok users have started taking to social media with call-outs to followers and strangers who would be interested in getting together in a group chat to mimic these TikTok videos.
“There’s something about creating TikToks with your friends that adds such a wholesome feel,” 20-year-old Jenn Harding told Business Insider. “We laughed when we messed up, brainstormed ideas, and overall had a fun time, that is also completely innocent … We had so much fun that the end result wasn’t even our main concern.”