How TikTok is Turning Unknown Talent into Hollywood Superstars


Tik Tok application icon on Apple iPhone X screen close-up. Tik Tok icon. tik tok application. Tiktok Social media network - Image (XanderSt /

Are you trying to break into the film industry? Try joining TikTok.

TikTok currently has 120 million users in the United States, and the video-sharing app is known becoming known as a great way for unknown actors, models, and talent to get discovered. Moreover, the valuable marketing platform for brands seeking to capture the eyes and minds of Generation Z.

In a report by The Hollywood Reporter, the analytics firm Sensor Tower estimates people downloaded more than 100 million times in the United States. The UTA recently signed Brittany Tomlinson, whose August video showed her trying kombucha for the first time, and it had 1 million likes. Then the NFL announced a multiyear partnership with TikTok to offer game highlights and behind-the-scenes footage to users. Now, Will Smith is transitioning to TikTok after taking over Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Will Smith has over 700 million fans.

TikTok May 28, 2019: Tik Tok application icon on Apple iPhone X screen close-up. Tik Tok icon. TikTok application. Tiktok Social media network - Image (XanderSt /

"If you had called me at the end of June, I would have told you, 'I don't think it's for us,' "John Shahidi told The Hollywood Reporter, the founder, and CEO of Shots Studios, which works with such digital talent as Lele Pons and Rudy Mancuso. "Now, we have a dedicated team just on TikTok."

About the platform:

TikTok has been around since 2014 when it first launched as, a platform for people to share videos of them lip singing and dancing to music. Chinese firm ByteDance acquired in 2017 for nearly $1 billion, and less than a year later, the company merged with TikTok.

TikTok has many of the features similar to Vine. Videos are often short and funny, typically with music or jokes in each video. The TikTok algorithm also shares trending posts and videos personalized to each user.

The video-sharing platform is still a new app, and users can not make as much money in comparison to other platforms such as YouTube. YouTube offers a revenue-sharing agreement, which has turned content creators to millionaires and celebrities. While TikTokers can sign deals with brands, TikTok is not paying for the content on the platform.

What makes TikTok different?

Bryan Thoensen, TikTok's head of content partnerships, told THR, "TikTok's fun, authentic, and inclusive sensibility has attracted industry-leading entertainment and media partners to the platform who have really leaned into the way our community expresses themselves through video." 

How Hollywood is connecting with TikTok stars:

As TikTok becomes more popular, more companies are working with the platform. TikTok has established a partnership with the talent to use the platform. "We're excited to help our creators reach their ambitions and aspirations — there's truly a new wave of entertainers and artists emerging from TikTok," says the head of creator partnerships Kudzi Chikumbu in a statement. "Our team invests time meeting with our creators because we want to learn about what they are passionate about and what their goals are. We love seeing them thrive on TikTok, and then to see them connect with partners both on and off the platform. Sometimes that's getting on The Ellen Show, sometimes that's appearing in a Blanco Brown music video, sometimes that's partnering with major brands — these are awesome opportunities for our creators, and we love seeing them shine."

Addison Rae in He's All That Reboot

In relevant news, 19-year-old mega TikTok influencer who reached 60 million followers, Addison Rae, will be making her acting debut in He’s All That reboot of the 1999 teen classic She’s All That.

Mark Waters, who is the director behind young-adult movies including Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, and Vampire Academy, will direct the reboot, which will be written by the movie’s original screenwriter R. Lee Fleming.

The movie will feature Addison taking on the role of Freddie Prinze Jr.’s Zackary Siler, as this modern spin will be told from a teenage girl’s point of view. The modern-day story will center around an influencer who decides to avenge herself by accepting a challenge to turn the school’s biggest loser into prom king after her boyfriend turns her into a laughing stock.

TikTok could become the next platform for unknown talent to make it big in the film industry.

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