We knew Netflix series in several seasons, now strangers are starting to show us their lives in several parts on TikTok. Among the millions of users of the application may be hiding the next Marc Cherry or the next Shonda Rhimes, but not all of them are outstanding storytellers. However, more and more Internet users tell anecdotes, videos and screenshots in support, while leaving the suspense hanging over the rest of their adventures.
A Christmas that pays off
One of the trends in recent weeks, for example, was to film a loved one opening his Christmas present. Taken by emotion, he bursts into tears. In front of our screen, we wonder then what could be the reason for such a torrent of tears? Impossible to get the answer unless you click on the creator’s profile picture and scroll through his videos to discover the end of the story.
But why tell his life in several parts? “It allows you to get more views with exactly the same content,” sums up Emmanuelle Patry, creator of Social Media Lab, a social media training organization. Let’s take the example of Irene.jmt whose content is viewed “only” 4,700 times on average. Published on December 28, the video of her stepmother in tears opening his giveaway surpassed 3.5 million views. It took three days to get an explanation, watched nearly 600,000 times. “With a good idea, it’s good to make several videos,” adds Emmanuelle Patry.
“It’s a bit like the Netflix culture that goes into content design. We are in a universe where we are stuck on great entertainment, ”analyzes Stéphanie Laporte, director of the social media and influence agency Otta. Like crime documentaries, more and more content is being cut into several episodes to make series. So we’ve gotten used to seeing multi-part stories, and there’s no reason TikTok should be an exception to the rule.
When algorithms get involved
In addition to the desire to copy what is fashionable in terms of storytelling, content creators also comply with the requirements of TikTok’s algorithms. In order to judge whether a video is worth sharing, the application will analyze its review rate as well as its completion rate, that is to say the percentage of people who have seen it in full. “Rather than putting the plot and the conclusion in a single episode, we will keep an audience captive to the entire content”, indicates Stéphanie Laporte, also director of the Master’s in Digital Communication at INSEEC.
By suggesting that the conclusion of an anecdote is at the end of the video, we keep the viewer’s attention. And this, even if the story is not worthy of a Hollywood film. “On content that is not always ultra-qualitative, you have to learn how to create engagement and loyalty in a different way,” adds Emmanuelle Patry.
Above all, splitting a piece of content into several parts is an opportunity to increase the chances that TikTok users will come across one of your videos in the suggestions section, which everyone arrives at by launching the application. “It’s like occupying several positions in Google’s search results. It gives us a better chance of people seeing us,” compares Stéphanie Laporte.
A beneficial trend for everyone
Don’t these parts 1 and parts 2 (or even parts 3) go against the use of the social network on which you can simply scroll endlessly to discover hundreds of different contents, from a simple upward gesture on his screen? “Digging to see what’s next is a diverted use which does not seem to me to be counter-intuitive with regard to the behavior of users”, remarks Stéphanie Laporte, according to whom the division of a story into several episodes appeals to the curiosity of the public who have the feeling of having sought the information.
This fashion benefits not only content creators who welcome subscribers faster but also TikTok. Since Internet users click on several levels of their screen to follow the different parts, they are active during their viewing. “Someone who will stay in the “For you” [la page des tendances] is in a fairly passive position and will suffer from publicity, explains Stéphanie Laporte. A more active user will develop the habit of engaging with other content, including advertising content. Thanks to this method, the application can therefore boast of garnering more views and compiles all this data to sell its advertising spots.
TikTok, the new Netflix?
This serial trend also has an impact on the nature of the videos shared. When we think of TikTok, it is rather the videos of challenges and choreographies of all kinds that come to mind, content in which the videographers stage themselves without revealing all aspects of their private life. However, the use of the application becomes more personal: more and more people show their private videos, tell an anecdote that happened to them or share a slice of life that includes their family or friends. “Today, those who publish on social networks will tend to stage their life, tell it on the networks as if it were a series in several episodes, comments Emmanuelle Patry. You can compare it to reality TV: it’s not interesting at first, but you create a little drama with mechanisms around your own life. »
In the suggestions on the home page, we should therefore always find more amateur videos and a little less dance on the titles of Cardi B or Doja Cat. This, however, should not turn TikTok into a platform of It starts today. On the other hand, this mode of communication divided into several episodes could influence other channels and “rub off on the way brands will communicate on social networks”, observes Stéphanie Laporte. Perhaps the Duracell rabbit or the Cetelem guy will soon show up face-to-face to tell us about their latest adventures.