Survey: Use of TikTok

About this Document

This survey summarises how the early adopters of TikTok – from the university sector – have started to use the service.

What is TikTok?

An article entitled “A Guide to TikTok for Anyone Who Isn’t a Teen” published in 2018 described the service as “a social network for amateur music videos“.

A more recent article published in September 2021 sought to answer the questions: “What is TikTok? Why Is It So Popular?” beginning by highlighting its popularity:

Every few years, a new app redefines the way we use social media. In 2021, TikTok the video-sharing social media platform is the current most popular app in the world.

and went on to describe the service as:

A mix of music,  lip sync videos, comedy, and micro-blog content, TikTok is not an easy platform to understand at first glance. It has even led to the growth of the competitor platform Triller, which aims to take some of the attention away from the app.

The article, which describes the history of the service, admits that:

TikTok is still undiscovered territory for anyone over the age of 25. 

It is probably true to say that many morris sides would welcome the participation of younger members. It is therefore useful to review how the early adopters on TikTok by morris sides are using the service.

Use of TikTok by Morris Sides

Oxford University Morris describe their @oxfordunimorris TikTok account as “Possibly the first morris side on TikTok“. They announced this on the 4 May 2021 on the How many Morris Dancers are on Facebook? Facebook group:


Thanks to this group, we know (roughly) how many morris dancers are on Facebook. But, how many morris dancers are on TikTok?

Oxford University Morris – OUM now are, as of last week, and can be found at @oxforduniversitymorrisIs this a wildly speculative attempt to recruit actual undergraduate students to the university side? Yes, absolutely. Might it work? Who knows. Is it an entertaining project so far? I think so!


Being an early adopter of a social media service has advantages as it means that those who arrives later will often find and follow your account – you don’t have to go looking for accounts to follow.

The followers of the @oxfordunimorris TikTok account has been used as the basis for this small survey, with details of morris sides with TikTok accounts summarised in the following table., together with the @glastonburymorris and @HugMug_Morris accounts which were also found.

AccountFollowersFollowingLikesBio
oxfordunimorris2918200Bells & hankies in Oxford, since 1926 Possibly the first morris side on TikTok
sheffieldunimorris19827Morris Dancing Society at the University of Sheffield
meonvalleymorris601Rock’n’Roll & Swing Jive Cotswold Morris & Clog Step fusion in the Meon Valley [USA]
glastonburymorris102922Glastonbury Border Morris Dancers. Somerset UK. Dancing to the rhythm of Avalon
HugMug_Morris 5 277None
Table 1: Early adopters of TikTok by Morris sides

In addition to these sides further exploration found the @morrisollie personal TikTok account provided by a morris dancer.

Viewing this account is recommended for those who wish to gain an understanding of the potential of the service in making morris dancing of interest to new audiences.

As can be seen in the accompanying screenshot this accounts has posted over 9 videos (currently 11 in total) and has 41 followers.

The Meet the Dance Like a Girl Team” video (shown in the top left) provides a good example of a clip which may appeal to other students considering joining a morris side.

In addition the Jurassic Purk” video illustrates a humorous clip, features a dinosaur!

Some Favourite Videos

The following table links to videos clips which illustrate the different approaches taken to using TikTok (best viewed with sound switched on).

AccountVideoAbout
oxfordunimorris[Watch]Lip-synch “Don’t be surprised if one day I just …” followed by images of morris
oxfordunimorris [Watch]Nutting Girl
glastonburymorris[Watch]High quality photos with sound track
Morrisollie[Watch]Meet the Dance Like a Girl Team
sheffieldunimorris[Watch]Morris dance

Discussion

The first websites were probably set up by members of rapper and morris sides who were studying at universities or working in IT and spotted the potential of the web to support their interests in traditional dance.

We now seem to be seeing something similar happening, with morris sides at Oxford and Sheffield Universities being the early adopters.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on how TikTok continues to be used, especially to see if it is useful in raising the profile of morris dancing.


Page created: 10 Sep 2021
Page updated: 15 Sep 2021 (with details of @HugMug_morris account
Date of survey: 8 Sept 2021
Page author: Brian Kelly


Sep 24
All day
Morris Federation Day of Dance and AGM 2022 (Darlington)
Dec 03
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Morris Federation EGM 2022 - to adopt a revised Constitution (Online via Zoom)
Apr 15
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Joint Morris Organisations' Day of Dance 2023 (Exeter)
Sep 30
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Morris Federation Day of Dance and AGM 2023 (Shropshire)

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