tiktok on the clock but the party don't stop
Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok for lifestyle bloggers - a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

Before I get into everything, I want to start this off saying that this is all completely my opinion.

I’m not – nor is anyone in my household – being swayed, or invested in {though I would if I could lol}, sponsored by, have any inside info… etc. These are just my very, very candid thoughts from testing out TikTok for a few months.

And I thought about keeping them to myself but also? It may be fun for future Shannon to see if I’m right or wrong.

SO- let’s get into it shall we.

INSTAGRAM… man, has that app taken over the world or what. Out of curiosity, when you hear the word instagram, does it bring a positive or negative reaction to you?

Personally, it’s negative for me. I’ll be vulnerably honest, it makes me feel the following: stressed, drained, not good enough, like a failure, I suck at my job, lonely, can’t keep up… the list goes on. And with each day, the negative starts to outweigh the positive a little more & more. Again, why practicing positivity is SO important when these negative thoughts creep in.

As an introvert, you’d think I love it but other people are sucking my energy even when I’m at home alone in my safe place. It’s like a weird ass alternate reality. {off topic but I do think we are already in the very beginning steps of augmented reality / VR – instagram and bitmojis were the gateway – butttttt that’s a theory for another day}

Sure, there are positives: I met one of my closest friends, Colette, on the app back in 2017 when we were both getting started & I’m so thankful; Erik’s content genuinely makes me laugh & I look forward to all of his posts; & it’s a way to keep up with my friends like Jannika, Megan, & Michelle in different states.

Okay so, back to the negativity lol… one thing I learned over the years is if I’m feeling something, even when I think I may be alone in it – many, many other people have those thoughts. If I’m feeling said negativity, it doesn’t make me alone in it – instead, many others actually relate. We all relate to each other more than we think.

Also it should be noted that over and over and over again, Instagram is constantly being crowned the worst app for mental health. {in fact, I have a whole black mirror episode plot based around this lol}

Over the summer, I downloaded an app that all the cool kids {literally} use and was pretty sure I’m probably 20 years older than most of them. Seriously, the majority of them are like 13.

I made an account, scrolled around, got confused and left but ever since I downloaded said app, it’s all I’ve heard about lately and I’ve been keeping an eye on it.

A few months ago, I saw this Gary Vee video. & I agreed with every word and realized that there really is a lot of white space on it… especially if you’re over the age of 24.

The app in question?


Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok for lifestyle bloggers - a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

I’ll be honest: I was intimidated. After all, I’m 33 and the majority of the users are teenagers and that’s pretty intimidating from the get go {i miss being an intimidating, too cool teen lol}. Also, despite the super young age, the skill was sooo there and I had no idea where to start.

That said, you never know until you do. So I spent a full day, 24 dedicated hours, really poking around with the app, in-app camera and in-app video… & I was shocked:

Tiktok was VERY easy to use

TikTok made it easy to make these crazy fun videos, with all sorts of effects that really take no time at all. Basically, think an instagram story or snapchat with easy to apply edits like glitches, slowed down moments, zoomed in, & TONS of filters / effects. In fact, a lot of people make videos there and then post it on their stories.

Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok- a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

So what exactly is TikTok?

Until a few months ago, I didn’t really understand it. I’ve heard about it but I didn’t understand it the way I do now. & I don’t fully understand it, but I “get” it now if that makes snese

Basically it’s an app that was formerly known as music.ly that was HUGE with younger audiences where you lip sync to songs that are liscenced via the app and make cute videos to it. About a year ago {so we are still in the early stage in the one year period}, it changed it’s name to TikTok and has evolved a bit.

Now: I’d say TikTok is a mix between Vine, Youtube, Instagram, & Snapchat, especially in the early days on Instagram & Snap. You upload 15 second videos and set it to a song {or your own audio – you can talk to the camera too}

& if we are being honest, I hope think Instagram is shaking in their boots over it.

From what I’ve read, TikTok hs a lot of exclusives so it will be tough for them to literally copy it the way they copied snapchat. That said, if you go through a lot of the new Instagram filters, MANY of them are inspired by the effects on TikTok.

Second, the editor on TikTok is AMAZING. Seriously. You will be shocked by how easy it is to make & edit videos.

The other very surprising thing about TikTok is how FUN it is to both use & watch. Sure there’s a lot of wacky content that sometimes I don’t understand but I find the lifestyle content super refreshing. I’m not following really any influencers. Instead, I’m following random people who’s lifestyle content I found from the app.

Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok- a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

& what’s next for Instagram? Like Gary Vee said, it’s where Facebook was in 2013. Now in 2019, I’ll just say: I deleted my Facebook and I don’t miss it one kcufing bit {well 2018 if we are being specific on when I did it}. Post for another day: but Facebook Inc doesn’t make it physically easy to quit. I actually had to make a burner account to still access things like my Spotify & a bunch of other things. It’s really scary to me that a company can have THAT much power over you if you delete it.

Apart from the negativity people are feeling, I think we are also feeling tired, & overstimulated from instagram. I read recently that in 2013, people saw an average of 80 ads per day and now people see 2000 {!!!!} ads a day. That’s overstimulation at it’s finest and it’s causing skepticism as a whole.

The word #ad has been pretty tainted. I said it here but I think people are really sick and tired of being sold to constantly – I know I am and I’m in the belly of the beast! We are all so jaded by the content and noise being sold to us from instagram to the point where even organic content is being side-eyed.

Why I think TikTok will be the next it social media platform

the camera / video editor is next level good and very easy to use, much better than instagram’s ESPECIALLY when it comes to video & music. {I know people who STILL haven’t gotten access to music on instagram}

it’s a fun way to discover music & see what other people are doing to the same song. You can also have your content be branded as “original” if you’re the first one on a song. I have a feeling that will mean something in the future, I’m not sure what though

Content is pretty original, even if it’s as simple as showing a quick video of an outfit. Think of the latte art days of Instagram and how those took off before it began. It’s very refreshing vs seeing all the same clones on instagram.

Video and audio will be HUGE players in the 20’s & that’s what TikTok is all about. On top of that, you will be VERY in tune to meme culture online & what’s going on. It’s kind of fun to be ahead of a joke that I see 3 months later on buzzfeed or somewhere!

It’s far less curated than instagram and I feel like people are truly being authentically themselves. Personality SHINES here where it’s currently being dimmed by instagram.

Speaking of, unfiltered & uncurated is ENCOURAGED. The more unfiltered & less perfect the better. No Facetune, no Spring app, no perfectly cleaned rooms – none of that. It’s all real, unfiltered, & fun.

There are some ads, but they don’t happen often. They are also VERY well done & entertaining. Kind of a whole different standard of ad content over here. Right now on Instagram, after every 3 posts/stories, you’ll get an ad {try it!} & more times than not they aren’t relevant or someone paid promo-ing their profile. On TikTok, I find you only get an ad as soon as you get on – enough to catch your attention, but not take away from what you’re doing.

Discovery isn’t as hard as it is on instagram. I’ve had people with 0-10 followers show up in my For You page – it’s all content driven & on that note…

This is interesting but on the home screen, you don’t scroll through people you know – instead, you scroll through videos TikTok’s algorithm thinks you will like. IIRC this is THE first social media app to do this & personally, I LOVE IT. The algorithm will only get smarter with time and I’m constantly being shown new content by new to me users that TikTok thinks {& generally gets right} that I will enjoy.

Liking on TikTok is so important to YOU! The more videos you like, the more similar videos that will be shown to you on your main page. Things def don’t seem “comment pod”-y here which I appreciate. If you see a video you enjoy, be sure to like it because it will customize your “For You” page.

There’s no concept of time – again, it’s all algorithm based upon videos YOU like. In your “For You” page {ie tiktok feed}, it will be a range of just published videos to videos from days ago to weeks ago to even months ago. It’s all based on content YOU enjoy. I’ve heard of people going viral tomorrow from videos they made months ago… that’s virtually impossible on instagram.

It’s an easy way to animate your everyday life. I’ve posted videos of just us driving in Tokyo or over the Bixby Bridge! It’s kind of a feed for your “instagram stories” if that makes sense?

Captions are SHORT. You can only have a certain amount of characters in your caption. We want short, sweet, & lighthearted, not a full essay. I don’t know about you, but when a caption is more than 3 sentences, I stop reading & scroll away. I’m also very NOT into instagram being a microblog – it also takes away what Instagram was intended to be.

On that note, TikTok is more content based where I feel Instagram is going more community based. I see the future of instagram being like Facebook with groups, a rumoured private messaging system, etc…. where tiktok is just straight up CONTENT. I really think as far as social media is involved, we’ll always want a platform that’s strictly content based.

The animation is fun! The feeds will be quickly animated and I think that will slowly become a new “norm”.

Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok- a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

Would be curious to know your thoughts but I very strongly believe that 2020 you will see TikTok rise. The more TikTok rises, the more Instagram will fall, it’s just the way life & energy goes. & honestly? Instagram has kind of become Frankenstein’s monster so I think the audience will shift away from it.

&&&& who knows? Maybe I am totally off base with this one and as we hit the 20’s, I’ll be dead wrong & instagram will be bigger and more powerful than ever.


Anyways lol the more I post on TikTok, the more I realize I don’t miss Instagram. Therefore? The more time I spend and post on TikTok, the less I do on Instagram. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred… and again, I’m not special. If I’m feeling this way, many others are or will too.

If you are a blogger, I cannot urge you to get on TikTok enough and be an early adopter before it gets crowded.

It will get crowded, in fact, it’s already starting to get crowded and more and more bloggers are getting on it. When it gets crowded, that’s where the money will go.

But that’s also when things will start to change, from the type of content that is being consumed but more importantly- how the app will make you feel. Now is the good time.

Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok for lifestyle bloggers - a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

Think of every social media platform & I can even vouch for this since I was early on Facebook, Myspace, & Twitter. Respectively, here are my ages: Facebook – 17 {I got on it as soon as I got into college & it was a year after it launched}; Myspace – 16; Twitter – 21. I got on Instagram {2012} pretty late: I was 26 and did the private thing with drunk middle of the night selfies with the Kelvin filter until 2015 {I was 29}.

I’ve seen all the above platforms start, grow, evolve, get crowded, get monetized, get less fun, & some even fall completely.

The next thing always starts with the youth, always. Most of the negativity I see on TikTok is from adults & people my age {& Zuck ofc lol}. They are basically saying the same things that the adults said about all the other apps… before they eventually joined. In fact, every single one of my friends I’ve urged to get on TikTok have said the exact same thing: “I’m way too old for TikTok”. Erik & I joke that if that’s what’s being said about something new, it’s something to keep an eye on.

One last thing and I’ll be off my soapbox: TikTok feels to me now exactly how Instagram felt to me in 2012. I can’t explain it, but it’s the first app that I’ve actually felt is different in the past 7 years. I really, truly believe history will repeat itself.

SO: what say you? I’ll do a post on how lifestyle bloggers could really utilize TikTok & my general tips on how to even get started on tiktok soon. For now I’m just getting the word out like a town crier because I believe in it so much. Would LOVE to know your thoughts on Tiktok!

Follow me on TikTok!: @essellesse

Shannon Silver by the Golden Gate Bridge at night - shot by Lily Wolfe Photography // essellesse talks tiktok for lifestyle bloggers - a lazy luxury san francisco lifestyle blog

{ photos by Lily Wolfe Photography }

about essellesse

essellesse is a lazy luxury lifestyle platform by Shannon Silver focusing on everything that’s important to living your best life – great food, wine, travel, vintage style, fitness and skincare. essellesse evokes a style of lazy luxury that’s fun, intimate, and easy breezy.

@_shannonsilver on instagram