The Chinese video-sharing service TikTok combines the brevity of Vine and the story-telling capabilities of YouTube. In 60 seconds or less, the app’s yoga-centric subset of video creators serve up challenge or partner postures to viewers, and spread the love with heartwarming clips of their yoga evolutions.
Yoga holds a unique space in our technological landscape because the ancient practice is continually growing and being disseminated through hyper-modern mediums.
Take Bholi Parihar and Divyansh Sharma, both 22, a duo better known as @ProYogaExperts on TikTok. They have received more than 1 million likes on their rhythmic yoga videos. The uniqueness of TikTok, they believe, is that “anybody can see your videos no matter if they follow you or not, so good content generally gets its appropriate appreciation.”
When videos get promoted for the quality of their content—instead of the number of followers the creator has—the potential for the video to go viral rises exponentially. That’s especially useful for developing an online presence in this influencer age, because, as the ProYogaExperts explain, “TikTok allows you to link your account to Instagram and YouTube, so you can add more followers onto your other social media accounts.”
But challenge poses and viral videos aside, the growing yoga community on TikTok is predisposed to follow yogis they can relate to. Twenty-three-year-old Faustine Chef (@fau.yoga) shares videos from her home practice and has amassed more than 255,000 likes in the process. Unlike Instagram, where often only the polished results are shared, TikTok captures more than just one perfect moment, says Chef: “On TikTok, you have to be real—to be you.”
Through short videos, viewers watch the trials and tribulations associated with setting up a pose, getting into it, holding it, and flowing out. It’s true that Instagram also has video, but the uniqueness of TikTok lies in both the brevity of its snappy films and in its youthful viewers. “I’m actually followed by a lot of teenagers,” Chef says. The outpouring of support and the ability to go viral from a snippet of your home practice leverages growth over mastery in this budding community. Oh yeah, and the viewership numbers are huge.
TikTok by the numbers
- 1.5 billion downloads worldwide
- 60% of US users are between the ages of 16 and 24
- 1.1 BILLION views of the #yoga hashtag
- 500 Million active monthly users—more than Twitter (330 million) and Snapchat (210 million)