TikTok Under Review: Influencers


Chris Olsen is a popular influencer on TikTok.

Anna Watson, Contributing Writer

TikTok has changed social media in terms of influencers. Now, anyone who gains a following has the potential to become an influencer if they continue their upward trends. Other platforms, like Instagram, used to make it very difficult for non-celebrities to gain traction.

The Instagram algorithm used to gatekeep people. Gatekeeping is the act of “controlling, and usually, limiting general access to something.” Unless a user followed someone, they would have to search their handle to find them on Instagram. On TikTok, it is highly likely that they will just appear on the for you page by chance. Because of this, TikTok has grown in popularity at an exponential rate. “In 2020, TikTok increased its U.S. user base by 85.3 percent compared to the previous year,” compared to Instagram’s 6.2 percent. That’s why there has been a visual change in the platform – hence the addition have reels and the explore page, reminiscent of TikTok.

TikTok’s popularity comes down to two things: the algorithm and the Gen Z mindset. Gen Z is the first generation born with easy access to the internet and technology. Pushing them towards a “search for authenticity [that] generates greater freedom of expression and greater openness to understanding different kinds of people.” Thus, predisposing them to take to an algorithm as flexible as TikTok’s.

So, when they encounter an influencer like Anna Sitar (@annaxsitar) who is as sweet as she is honest, it is natural for people to follow and support her. Another example would be Chris Olsen (@Chris), who went through an extremely public breakup and posted about his therapy by filming the online sessions and sharing them with TikTok, how could you not support him?


“Are you good now??” 😭 #therapy

♬ original sound – Chris Olsen


this video taught me i need to thrift cute cups & get cooler ice trays #annaxcafe

♬ original sound – anna x