Does TikTok scare you? Trust me, I get it. It’s a strange, unfamiliar place to those of us not accustomed to its ways, populated by teenagers and college students with their own subcultures, memes, and humor. But here’s the thing: TikTok has something for everyone, you included.
Like all social media platforms, TikTok is what you make of it. Sure, you can swipe through the sea of popular videos, which might alienate you if you’re not familiar with the jokes or trends. But you can also follow accounts aligned with your interests, curiosities, and sense of humor. We’ve rounded up ten such creators, which could appeal to anyone, not just Gen Z.
We’ll warn you now. If you’re squeamish, you might want to skip down to the second creator. Otherwise, you’re in for a treat. The Institute of Human Anatomy (IOHA) is a private human cadaver lab that makes educational videos with its “wares.” Some videos are milder, showing off exciting facts and procedures relating to bones and skeletons. Others are more gnarly. My introduction to the account involved a thorough tour of a human stomach.
Each video packs in as much educational content as possible, per TikTok’s 60-second limit. Because of that time restraint, IOHA has a dedicated YouTube channel for long-form videos. So, if a topic on its TikTok interests you, you might find a more in-depth explanation on its YouTube channel.
Kody Antle was raised by tigers. Well, he was raised alongside tigers — and lions, and chimps, and all the animals you’d expect to see on safari. He’s the son of Doc Antle, who runs Myrtle Beach Safari. Naturally, like anyone in Kody’s position, he documents his adventures with the safari’s animals on his TikTok.
Some of his videos are educational, while others are just wild. It never gets old watching Kody chase — and be chased by — lion and tigers, only to end up playing like they were any other house cat. (It should go without saying, but, uh, please don’t try this.)
Have you ever wanted to make McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets yourself? How about Chik-fil-A’s infamous chicken sandwich? Joshuah Nishi has you covered. His cooking TikTok covers everything from famous fast-food sandwiches to delicious recipes for mac ‘n’ cheese. There’s a meal for everybody on his account (I’m good with them all, for what it’s worth).
The best part? This isn’t one of those cooking accounts that breezes through the process — Nishi walks you through every step of the recipe, all within that 60-second time limit. That means you can recreate any dish you want, without needing to track down another recipe and tutorial first.
If you’re a music fan, jkim needs to be on your list. His specialty? Guitar covers. But it isn’t enough to be a great guitarist. Jkim places the camera inside his acoustic guitar, which results in a remarkable visual experience. He usually films outside, with a focus on the sky, but the real highlight is watching the strings. Just see for yourself.
Jkim covers a wide variety of artists. You’ll find songs from artists like Billie Eilish, Khalid, Ed Sheeran, and XXXTentacion. Interestingly, his first video (and also one of his most popular) is the opening to “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” That’s one way to make yourself known on TikTok.
Say what you will about TikTok, these people are creative. Take Daily Effects, for example. This creator opened his account on Jan. 1, with an explicit purpose: to add one new effect to the original video in every day of 2020. You can see that first video below.
Day 1: Raw video #dailyeffects
Day 30 is below. Just look at the number of effects added — and that’s only 8% of the way done! I’m partial to the Smash Bros. explosion his hat makes as it leaves the screen, but I’m sure I’ll find a new favorite by the end of the year.
Ever wonder how they make your favorite drink at Starbucks? Wonder no more. One Starbucks employee, Maya, teaches millions of followers how to make some of the company’s most popular beverages — while at work.
To be fair, this isn’t like nishicooks. Many times, these recipes include syrups, sauces, and other ingredients that are Starbucks-exclusive, with no explanation of how to make them yourself. Of course, there are resources online if you want to get the full recipe, but these videos seem to be more about giving you an insider look at what your barista does when you place your order.
While TikTok is more accessible than you’d think, it is primarily an app for the “young people.” Gen Z, like the generations before them, is highly sensitive to an out-of-touch approach to their style, so it can be difficult for creators and companies outside of that demographic to break in.
I think that’s what makes The Washington Post‘s TikTok so good. Not only is it cool to get a glimpse into the inner workings of an established and historic newspaper, but its TikToks are also genuinely funny.
Dave Jorgenson is the one responsible for WaPo’s TikTok, and he does a great job fitting into the platform. Between skits, puns, TikTok trends, and generally harassing his coworkers, finding a new Washington Post TikTok on your newsfeed is always a welcome surprise.
If you want to learn something while scrolling through TikTok, follow Cory Mane. His account is full of hilarious history skits where he plays every part. He runs the gambit — World War 1, World War 2, a breakdown of the Bill of Rights, Napoleon’s rise to power, and so on. If it happened in history, it’s fair game for Cory Mane.
It’s no replacement for actually studying for that history final, but it is an excellent gateway to some of the most important historical events you might not know about. When someone asks if you know the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, all you’ll need to do is remember Mane’s video:
Ben Treat (known more popularly by his handle, Frantic Frames) is pure talent. Treat creates stop-motion animations that are out-of-this-world good. While stop-motion has existed on the internet since its inception, these animations are purposefully intricate, involving fluid, complicated movement that makes you ask, “How the hell did he do that?”
What takes Treat’s account to the next level is he usually answers that question! Almost all animations are followed by a behind-the-scenes TikTok showing exactly how he made the video in the first place. Since these things take so long to produce, these behind-the-scenes looks are time-lapses, but you can still get a sense for just how much work goes into each short clip.
We’ve seen a couple of food-related TikToks in this article, but none like this. Cznburak makes giant food. Seriously. Hamburgers, donuts, barbecue — anything you’d typically see made on a cooking account, Cznburak does, but huge.
Unlike, say, nishicooks, Cznburak doesn’t necessarily walk you through how to make these items. While you do watch the process start-to-finish, there’s not a lot of time to process the intricacies of the recipe or to identify specific ingredients. Instead, his account is more about the novelty of seeing oversized meals come to life.
This article was produced during Gadget Hacks’ special coverage on becoming a social media expert on your phone. Check out the whole Social Media series.