The U.K. General Election on TikTok Has a Clear Labour Majority
Users of the hottest new shortform video app don’t do politics often, but when they do, it’s for Labour
Polls are now open across the United Kingdom, but social media never sleeps. While much of the focus has been on key digital platforms for parties like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, there has been another place that has engaged with the political discourse, albeit in quirkier way: TikTok.
For those that don’t know, the Chinese-owned shortform video sharing app has been a sensation in the last two years. Its (often young) userbase posts short videos under a minute long to the app, which immerses viewers in an endless stream of videos. Much of the content is based around replicable memes, using standard filters, and set to some of the world’s most popular music. In short, it’s about as far away from stump speeches and suits and ties as you can get.
Using data collated exclusively for FFWD by TikTok analysis firm Pentos on Wednesday, we’ve managed to track how the conversation around the election is playing out on TikTok. And unsurprisingly, given the demographics of the app, left-leaning politics dominates.
None of the major political party leaders, or the parties themselves, have accounts on the app. But there are a committed number of people interacting and discussing politics on TikTok nonetheless, using the key method of communication on the app: hashtags.
Hashtags are used to stream videos into different silos, and to surface them for users through TikTok’s algorithm. Many of these take the form of challenges, another key component of TikTok: every day, the app chooses a particular challenge to highlight. On Tuesday, it was #yogi, which challenged users to strike a yoga pose in an odd place. Such videos have seen nearly 100 million views.
There have been a handful of new posts on the #voteconservative hashtag since Monday, including this one, which is a repost of a section of the Tories’ Love Actually pastiche.