That Is So Yesterday.
Let me start by saying that of all the social media channels we use on SupermarketGuru we really haven’t utilized Instagram all that well. We’ve played around a bit; but the results have been mediocre at best. I know that for many food lovers and food brands, Instagram has been a huge boost. But that’s all about to change as Tiktok food is growing rapidly. I’ll be honest with you that until a week or so ago I had never used, or even looked at Tiktok. Sure, I’ve read all the buzz and was intrigued, but never created one – and then I did. A very simple Tiktok talking about the supermarket secret in the bread aisle where the clips on the bag are color coded. In a little over a week it already has 30,000 views and I didn’t spend a dime on boosting.
As George Reynolds wrote on Eater London, “It would be unwise to class Instagram as capital-D Dead: It’s vast, hugely influential, and not going anywhere. But just as Instagram itself once provided an aesthetically distinctive and seductive alternative to the tech giants of its day, so Tiktok feels like a new (new) Wild West: a vast landscape of largely untapped opportunity, with an extremely online audience who will likely go on to shape the internet (and therefore the world) over the next decade. Tiktok is adding users faster than Instagram — already, its monthly active user base is roughly the same as Instagram’s — and those users are putting content out into the world that puts Instagram’s steady chug of seasonal signifiers to shame. A food dork wanting to stay on the cutting edge of the weird and wonderful stuff that is happening in food media now has a new platform to monitor. Here’s some of his observations: to date, videos employing the hashtag #fetapasta have received 675.6 MILLION views, all for a recipe so simple it barely merits the term.
Sure, it’s cheese and pasta, which are foodstuffs that typically resonate with users when posted in isolation, let alone together. but, still: how to account for virality on this scale? Vogue has produced a handy deep-dive, which points to a host of possible factors: virtual peer pressure, the inexpensive ingredients involved, the viscerally satisfying smoosh that comes as the recipe’s climax. But surely the key is the line it walks between the initial beauty of the starkness of green on white on red. and the final satisfaction, the realisation it inspires in users (many of them not fancy or even regular cooks) that cooking can encompass both of these poles at once. “Anyone can cook,” was a Tiktok spokesman’s verdict, in a quote from Ratatouille that perhaps nodded at the platform’s role in creating a user-generated musical version for the Pixar classic (seriously.) In contrast to Instagram’s algorithm, which increasingly seems to privilege the big names and those with the money to promote posts at a vast scale, anyone can Tiktok.