As we head into the final weeks of 2021, TikTok has shared an overview of some of the top creators and trends of the year, which also serves as a summary of the broader web trends and memes that dominated another COVID-impacted period.

As explained by TikTok:

“This year, our community discovered new ways to express creativity, championed the teams and the causes they care about, and found new favorites – from recipes to new music trends and genres. Across the United States, creators inspired others to open a new book, chomp on hot chicken, and treat themselves to a “Bones Day.”

There are some interesting, and potentially valuable considerations in here, both in terms of what people are engaging with, and the content styles and formats that work best on TikTok.

First off, TikTok has shared the top videos of the year, starting with ‘Drone Dancing’ by David Allen (aka @totouchanemu)


I may not have @maxtaylorlifts dumpy but I do have a drone.

♬ STAY – The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

The video incorporates several key elements of the most popular TikTok clips, including a pop music soundtrack, a remix of an existing clip (though not direct) and an engaging, creative visual style. The clip is currently sitting on 313.9 million views and 43.9 million likes, underlining the reach potential of viral TikTok clips – even with a relatively simple, yet interesting idea.

Other videos on TikTok’s top clips list include:

  • @chipmunksoftiktok – Squishy the Chipmunk hiding nuts in his mouth
  • @_catben_ – Restocking at its finest
  • @my_aussie_gal – Dog painting
  • @zachking – Zach King disappearing into his art
  • @tracy.oj – The original “Woman” dance video
  • @chaotticgoood – Please don’t go
  • @felixgabrielmusic – Here comes the boy musical edition
  • @sunisalee_ – Sunisa Lee celebrating her gold
  • @zeddywill – Bro who got you smiling like that?

@zeddywill yk its serious when yu smile at da phone ???????????????? #fyp #comedy #zeddywill ♬ original sound – aka CBANDZZZ ????

Music also plays a key role on TikTok, which has made the platform a key consideration for many artists and publishers, with some new even altering their tracks to fit in with TikTok trends, and maximize sales.

The top songs on TikTok in 2021 were:

  • “Adderall (Corvette Corvette)” – Popp Hunna
  • “Batman ” – LPB Poody
  • “Bundles (feat. Taylor Girlz)” – Kayla Nicole
  • “Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)” – Doja Cat
  • “TWINNEM” – Coi Leray
  • “Up” – Cardi B
  • “Buss It” – Erica Banks
  • “Astronaut In The Ocean” – Masked Wolf
  • “Punk Monk” – Playboi Carti
  • “drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo

TikTok has also shared the most popular AR features among users thoughout the year, with the ‘Psychedelic Clown’ effect topping the list.

TikTok Shares the Top Creators, Clips, Effects and Songs on the Platform in 2021

As you can see in these examples, the effect is most commonly used in a self-deprecating way, making fun of your own foolish decisions.

Other popular AR effects were the ‘Inverted Filter’ which, flips the camera perspective, and lets you see how other people see you in real life, while ‘Versailles Run’, which adds your face to an animated effect, and ‘Buffering’ were also heavily used.

TikTok’s also shared a listing of products that gained traction among TikTok users, which point to the expanded potential of eCommerce in the app.

  • GAP’s brown hoodie
  • Kate Spade’s heart-shaped bag
  • Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
  • Squishmallows
  • Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Eye
  • KFC Nashville Hot Chicken
  • IKEA tote bag
  • Bissell Little Green Machine
  • Laser star projector
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

TikTok has also shared insights into the top rising stars on the platform, popular food trends, top creators looking to raise awareness of various causes, and emerging communities, like #BookTok and small business tips.

It’s an interesting overview of how the platform is expanding its horizons, as it continues to grow, and how people are utilizing TikTok clips in a variety of ways to connect and engage.

If you’re looking to get a better understanding of what TikTok is all about, and what works on the platform, the creators and clips listed here provide a good starting point – and if TikTok is on your digital marketing agenda for 2022, it’s worth digging deeper on each, and getting a better perspective on the key trends and elements.

You can check out TikTok’s full best of 2021 overview here.



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