NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends
Jan 31 2022
TikTok is home to some of the biggest trends on the internet—here are five hashtags that trended on the platform this month…
After kicking off the new year with plenty of memes about Elmo’s feud with Rocco and a new word game called Wordle, it was clear we would have just enough entertaining content to get us through the long and bitter month that is January. But of course, some of the biggest internet trends of the month were hashtag-driven, including the #VeryAsian tag that exploded on Twitter as young people celebrated their Asian American backgrounds, along with the #StupidWalkChallenge as TikTokers meme-d about taking care of their “stupid mental health” as a coping mechanism. We can’t forget about #WestElmCaleb, either, which took the cake for perhaps the most-viral story among young consumers this month. With that, here are five more internet trends / hashtags that took over TikTok this month:
#HowTo (44B views)
Whether it’s learning how to make a good first impression, style baggy jeans, or refurbish old furniture, this tag offers a look into all the things TikTokers are learning—and what they’re teaching their peers on the app. Since the beginning of TikTok, the platform has served as an entertaining learning hub as TikTokers have shared their “life hacks,” which range from the most mundane (like how to perfect an over-easy egg) to darker tips like how to escape from electrical tape tied around your wrists). Beyond the entertaining, humorous videos on TikTok lie a series of tips and tricks to be learned, and #HowTo gives insight into how the app has become an entertaining learning hub for young people. YPulse’s Self-Taught trend research found that 69% of young people have learned how to do something new by watching videos online. And considering that Gen Z and Millennials are generations of researchers, it makes sense they’d be going to TikTok to pick up new skills.
#GRWM (16.9B views)
An acronym for “get ready with me,” TikTokers are documenting their morning routines and nights out in this (weirdly) soothing trend. The hashtag is basically just a montage of TikTokers’ morning routines, compiling short snippets of what their morning looks like, from the moment they get out of bed, brew their coffee, and put on their makeup and ootd (outfit of the day). And for those who could care less about video taping their mornings, multiple outfit and makeup tutorials are also racking up views under the tag. #MorningRoutine is also trending (5.9B views), and for similar reasons: these moments offer a glimpse into people’s real, day-to-day lives, and no matter how mundane they may be, it reminds viewers that there’s beauty to be found in the moments we’re alone and taking care of our ourselves. In a piece about the strange beauty of watching #GRWM and #MorningRoutine TikToks, InStyle writer Katie Bishop notes, “When things are far from perfect, lingering shots of shower gel and sunrises have a soothing kind of power, a window into an idealized world that feels just within our grasp and an opportunity to see how others are creating a sense of normality in our altered reality.” Consider it yet another TikTok trend young consumers are using to cope with their anxiety and burnout during these turbulent times.
#HairTok (12B views)
Following up on 2022’s top beauty trends we recently told you about, #HairTok has exploded on TikTok this month as users share tips and tricks for keeping their hair healthy and moisturized all winter long. Some of the most-viewed clips are from Black men and Black women sharing their favorite natural hairstyles, tutorials, and tips for maintaining their hair. More hairstyles like messy bun tutorials, summer-inspired looks, and curling techniques are also trending, and most popular of all is education on what shampoos to avoid and hacks for hair growth (side note: #RiceWater on TikTok is wildly popular). And of course, the key to healthy hair is having a clean comb. One of the most-viewed clips is from @jonathankmonroe sharing the “proper” way to clean your hair brush with a “stripping wash,” including warm water, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda. Subcultures on TikTok are packed full of insights for brands to learn from, so make sure to add #HairTok to your list.
#FavoriteTeacher (183.2M views)
This month, TikTok teamed up with nonprofit organization the It Gets Better Project to celebrate LGBTQ+ students and their teachers who have had a significant impact on their education (and life in general) via the #FavoriteTeacher tag. TikTokers have been sharing stories about their favorite teachers and what impact they’ve had on their development. For example, user @jesslaying posted a video giving a shout out to their drama teacher who “created a safe space for me when I was a little gay teen growing up in Kansas,” while @cegjeg talked about how their high school health teacher’s “honest and thorough” approach to teaching about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. led to them becoming a queer educator in their adult life. Each video inspires fellow TikTokers who are part of the LGBTQ+ community to share their teacher stories, thus creating a thread of support for LGBTQ+ youth on the app. YPulse research shows 32% of Gen Z and 17% of Millennials identify as LGBTQ+, and teaming up with nonprofits aimed at LGBTQ+ youth is one way to authentically show up for this community.
#GreenGoddess (66.3M views)
Another hashtag roundup, another food trend. This month, the internet went wild over Baked By Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad Recipe—a vegan cabbage-based salad that looks a lot like guacamole, and is packed with nutrients. The recipe first went viral in 2021 after she shared it on her @bakedbymelissa TikTok account, and a January post from Lizzo “finally trying out” the recipe made it go viral once more (her post has garnered 9M views to date). Since then, TikTokers have been putting their spin on the recipe via the #GreenGoddess tag. Users are putting the salad on toast, adding it to tostadas, and eating it with corn tortilla chips (the blue ones, to be exact). Even salad skeptics, like this one TikToker who says “How good can a SALAD really be though?,” has fallen in love with the recipe. The list of TikTok food trends Gen Z and Millennials are obsessed with is endless, so stay tuned for what February has in store.
Who should we send this Article to?