Today, with the power of TikTok, authentic voices have the opportunity to share their stories and creativity with new and bigger audiences and, as a result, they are driving everything from culture to community, adds Presser. 

Since stepping into the role of head of operations last year, I've had the chance to personally connect with TikTok creators from all over the world, and I hope to meet more of you in the coming year.

Hearing your stories and experiences directly has only deepened my appreciation for everything you contribute to our platform, your communities and the lives of others. You represent an important creative force in the world and are proving that creativity is far more than entertainment or self-expression.

Together, we are transforming storytelling by creating space for authentic, unknown voices to break through the barriers that previously limited creative power. TikTok offers you an opportunity to not only change your life but impact the world around you. All you need is:
  • a smartphone
  • an interesting idea, and
  • the willingness to share your story.
TikTok's commitment is to give you access to the best technology and creative tools so you can realise your full potential — as artists, educators, business owners, advocates, or any other way you choose to make your mark and live your dreams.

Today, we simply want to express our gratitude and share some of your stories with the broader community. Moving forward, we'll continue to look for ways to share the impact you've made around the world. We're honoured to be a part of your creative journey and to help you make a difference in the world — one video at a time.

Strengthening communities and improving lives

From Australian firefighter @timthelawnmowerman posting videos of himself mowing the lawns of strangers for free to @therealdariothompson in South Africa donating his proceeds from going LIVE on TikTok to feed school children, creators show us that connecting leads to action that improves lives.

In the United States (USA) @chaychaywayway posted about a rare kidney disease and her need for a life-saving transplant. Her story inspired a TikToker to get tested, leading to a successful kidney transplant. The story touched the lives of millions. Two strangers who connected on TikTok are now friends for life, bonded over a selfless act that started with a video.

Building careers through creativity

One of the most inspiring aspects of TikTok is the deep, authentic connection they develop with audiences. Through this connection, creators not only share their passions or talents with people around the world, they build their livelihoods.

In the United Kingdom (UK) self-published author @a.p_beswick_author makes more money selling his novels through TikTok Shop than he did as a nurse, while @nurqojadua earns a living from his content educating people about the history, culture and traditions of Kazakhstan and the Turkic world.

Emerging creators build their audience and careers on TikTok because we help content get discovered, no matter how niche it is.

Music is one of the best examples of how people discover and engage with TikTok content they love. Fans incorporate music into their content, sharing and celebrating their favourite songs in their own unique way. As a result, emerging artists can slingshot from unknown to the Song of the Summer.

In June 2023, American musician @paulrussellmusic shared a clip of his song, Lil Boo Thang on the platform, and by August, he had a record deal.

Likewise, South African artist @tyla hit the top 10 on the Billboard's Hot 100 chart with her sensation Water after sharing clips of her live performances on the platform. She recently won the first-ever Grammy for Best African Music and has led a global interest in amapiano music, a jazz and piano-infused sound.

TikTok not only serves as a platform to discover people, but through its global organic reach, stars are born.

Creating economic opportunity

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are adding content creators to their list of skills because TikTok's tools make it easy to quickly make engaging and informative videos.

From @martinastrazzer, who turned an investment of €300 into a €10-million female-led company that employs 40 workers in Italy, to Canada-based @indigenousboxinc, transforming a USD$5000 grant into USD$1.2-million in revenue in a single year, entrepreneurs are launching and growing their businesses by tapping into a supportive community on TikTok.

The TikTok community has the power to change the trajectory of an enterprise — rescuing struggling businesses on the verge of shutting down and helping others find a whole new customer base.

In Japan, the manager of the @pluck_and_plant restaurant helped the business go from losing ¥4 million to quadrupling sales within six weeks of posting a video sharing his struggle.

When @joannarsalvador reviewed a product from @skalacosmeticos on TikTok, the video went viral, doubling sales and opening the USA market for the Brazilian brand. In the wake of the video, Skala saw its national revenue grow by 35% and its exports increase by 21%. The company also closed a distribution deal with a major retail chain, putting its products in more than 1 500 USA stores.

There are countless stories just like these. I still believe we are only beginning to realise the full potential of the TikTok platform. Our future will be driven by the extraordinary contributions of creators who:
  • inspire and entertain
  • bring us together across generations and geographies
  • make us laugh, and
  • move us to tears.
Nothing is more important to me than championing and advocating for our creator community. As we move forward, we will remain focussed on ensuring TikTok is a place where anyone can pursue their personal passion. We will continue to unlock new opportunities for creators to maximise their experience on TikTok while continuing to earn their trust as an industry leader in safety and security.

The next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers and community leaders are on TikTok. They are broadcasting from their living rooms, classrooms and local restaurants. They are sharing:
  • their talents
  • their perspectives, and
  • their aspirations.
They are building empathy and giving back. They are bringing us together in times that are challenging us all. They help us see the joy. They remind us of the tremendous potential that exists in each of us. Watching them pursue their dreams gives us hope for our own.

Thank you to everyone who expressed themselves on TikTok. You've given us so much to enjoy and discover; I can't wait to see what you do next. 

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*Image courtesy of contributor