Scrolling on TikTok has been a main source of entertainment for me and many others for a few years now. Social media is bound to change over time, but the changes happening now are not my favorite. TikTok is so different than what it used to be with the new TikTok Shop, and I’m not sure it’s a good difference, considering it seems like I am just watching ads for knock-off products. TikTok Shop is and has been changing the app in a weird and negative way.
When I used to scroll on TikTok, I saw ‘"get ready with me" videos, "day in my life” videos and viral dances. Now, I scroll and suddenly see a video with a TikTok Shop link by the bio. These products are mostly popular products from big companies that are cheaper, but they come from different sources. People can make money supporting the products, which in some ways is a cool feature. However, when on a social media app, I don’t care to always see entertainment turned into a weird commercial. To top it all off, most of the time the products are not completely authentic.
People have posted videos of receiving products from TikTok Shop and the products being completely fake. Two videos showed how Sol de Janeiro perfumes were in completely different bottles and had incorrect labels. To top it all off, the captions said that it was just water inside the bottle.
Another video was about the Summer Fridays lip balm. The girl in the video compared the labels of the same product in different shades. One was from Sephora and the other from TikTok Shop. It showed differences in the labeling and she said that the TikTok product didn’t work as well and made her lips dry. These are only two examples of products on the TikTok Shop being a scam.
TikTok Shop is a way for shopping to take over social media apps with cheap and off-brand products. Online shopping is entertaining and fun and I have found products on social media, but TikTok Shop is on another level. It is turning the social media app into a shopping website. Rather than being a site for entertainment, creators are using it primarily as a way to make even more money.
I understand that selling and promoting stuff on social media has been around and can be helpful, but TikTok Shop is different. It is scrolling through ads instead of fun videos. Sometimes you will think you're watching a regular video and then you realize the creator is still somehow sharing a cheap product. Cheap products are great, but TikTok Shop includes too many unreliable products.
TikTok Shop has turned TikTok into an ad-filled shopping center. I don’t think the products are worth the impact the shopping experience has had on its users and influencers. TikTok used to be for fun and entertainment and now it seems to be for making and spending money.
Kyra Dapore is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Kyra know by emailing her at email@example.com.