7 Surprising Things TikTok Has Influenced in 2021

TikTok Trends

From dance routines and lip-syncs, to viral whipped coffees and focaccia, trends born on TikTok have quickly been making their way into mainstream culture. Gone are the days of seeing TikTok as a place purely for memes and e-boys, it’s time to acknowledge the incredible cultural impact the app is having. 

It’s making waves and some of the outcomes may surprise you more than you think. Here’s 7 things TikTok has influenced in the real world. 

1. The Return Of The Mullet

Remember the mullet? The epitome of 80s hairstyles? Turns out it’s been making a comeback and it’s largely thanks to TikTok. Hairstyle trends have been going in the direction of grungy, retro and rock’n’roll in 2021, and the mullet seems to fit the bill perfectly. 

@kele_kutz

Mullet using @lv3pro products

♬ Tokyo Drift – Xavier Wulf

On Pinterest, searches for “mullet” have gone up a massive 55% this year and a whopping 124% more people are searching for the hairstyle on Google. It’s clear we’ve been looking for hair inspiration and it appears that TikTok has been the first port of call. Amazingly, there are 3.4 billion views of “#mullet” on TikTok, with many brave people testing out the platform’s “one minute mullet” craze of cutting their hair in a high pony-tail to achieve the characteristic multi-layered effect. Who knew that TikTok could cause an 80s hairstyle resurgence? 

2. The Rise Of Book Sales  

You might think that the rise of TikTok has caused some damage to more traditional forms of media, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, books are incredibly popular on TikTok, talked about under the catchy hashtag of “#BookTok”. 

@regyates

Calling ALL book lovers! here is one of my favourite books #passthemic #learnontiktok

♬ My Rnb – 셀바이뮤직 Sellbuymusic

Whether you’re looking for new book recommendations or reviews of books you’ve recently read, #BookTok may be the place to be. It’s evidently a popular genre on the app with a massive 19.8 billion views on the hashtag. What might surprise you the most is the real world impact as sales of books have surged alongside the hashtag, and physical book sales rose 8.2% in 2020. 

The most prevalent genre on TikTok is Young Adult fiction and, amazingly, YA fiction sales rose an impressive 21.4% last year. 

3. The Invention Of New Cocktails  

Just when you thought you might have avoided the TikTok trends, it turns out you might have drank one.

Ever heard of a Corona Sunrise? While it might not be an entirely new concept, it was launched into popularity in Summer 2021 on TikTok. The viral craze saw people adding tequila, grenadine and orange juice to a bottle of Corona, before topping with a wedge of lime. The hashtag “#CoronaSunrise” has an impressive 165.3 million views on TikTok, showing people turning a simple bottle of beer into a summery cocktail. Even some members of our team have made one! 

4. The Resurgence Of Roller Skating  

It’s no secret that we were stuck in lockdown for the best part of 18 months and have most likely been looking for ways to keep ourselves occupied. 

TikTok has probably been one of the ways for a lot of people, so when we started seeing people roller skating in some gorgeous, sunny location, it’s no surprise we wanted a slice of that for ourselves. Roller skating has made a major comeback and according to Google Trends, since the start of quarantine, “roller skates” have been searched more than ever, reaching their peak in May 2020. On TikTok, “#rollerskating” has an incredible 5.4 billion views and multiple shops have reported to have experienced a rapid increase in roller skate sales. Might just need to get some for ourselves. 

5. The Rise Of Greta Van Fleet

If you were on TikTok in Summer of 2021, you might have stumbled across some jokes directed at the American rock band, Greta Van Fleet. A clip of their SNL debut in 2019 resurfaced this Summer and quickly became viral, with thousands of TikTok users mocking the front-man’s quirky mannerisms. 

It was all in good fun and gave Greta Van Fleet a new-found popularity they would have never expected. The hashtag “#GretaVanFleet” has over 330 million views on the platform and the band’s sales have sky-rocketed. From July 16 to 22 2021, Greta Van Fleet gained 7.6 million on-demand streams of their music, with 6,000 digital downloads of their songs and 5,000 downloads in album sales. Maybe meme culture can be positive after all.

6. The Love Of Dalgona Coffee

Lockdown boredom and a universal love for coffee resulted in a delicious craze – dalgona coffee. The iced coffee consists of milk topped with a thick layer of coffee foam that’s made by mixing instant coffee, sugar, and water together, resulting in a whipped coffee concoction that looks like an upside down cappuccino. 

TikTok Trends Dalgona Coffee

According to Google Trends, the phrase “dalgona coffee” was basically nonexistent until the 26th of January 2020 and whilst the coffee may have first appeared on YouTube, it was TikTok that launched it into popular culture. The hashtag “#whippedcoffee” has an impressive 2.3 billion views on TikTok. It must be popular for a reason so maybe one for us to try. 

7. The Increase In Gua Sha Sales  

Ever heard of the gua sha? Neither had we until they became popular on TikTok. The app has become one of the go-to places for tips about makeup and skincare, with the most viral recommendations becoming massively popular. 

@harperkaminski

thank god for chinese medicine!!! i’m in love with my gua sha now #guasha

♬ originalljud – S U P E R M O D E L S

Finding popularity on TikTok, the gua sha is a traditional treatment in Chinese medicine which has only recently gained attention in Western society. The treatment involves gently dragging a stone over your skin in upwards motions, and studies have shown that it helps increase circulation, which aids in the skin’s ability to purge dirt, sebum, and buildup in the pores that leads to acne. The hashtag “#guasha” has over 644 million views on TikTok and many shops have started selling the gua sha in the past year or so, making the Chinese beauty tool a massive craze which is now very accessible. 

TikTok’s lip syncing stereotype is becoming a thing of the past, as the app continues to make an impact on trends across the globe. Speak to us about your social media strategy, or connect with our very own TikTok fan girl Catriona Hannah on LinkedIn. 

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