Aug 27 2021
Taylor Swift made her TikTok debut, causing a Reformation dress to sell out, a new dangerous challenge is taking over social media, the internet has opinions about a Basquiat painting being featured in Tiffany & Co.’s new campaign with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and an influencer known as the “serial tipper” on TikTok is going viral for her crowdfunded Venmo tip jar—plus more youth-focused news taking over social media!
Taylor Swift’s TikTok Debut Made This Reformation Dress Sell Out
More celebrities are making their TikTok debut, and fans are loving every second of it, blowing up views and the comment section for Zooey Deschanel’s reimagined New Girl introduction and Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” debut with Tony Hawk. So it was only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite Millennial country-star-turned-pop-singer, Taylor Swift, stepped up to the plate. In her 9-second debut clip, Swift cycles through different outfits corresponding to her most recent albums: “Folklore,” “Evermore,” “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” and “Red (Taylor’s Version)”. Not only has the video racked up 2M views since debuting three days ago, the yellow Reformation Joyce Linen Dress Swift is wearing for her Fearless look immediately sold out. The dress quickly became a hot topic on Twitter with @daliaverse posting, “Taylor Swift in a yellow dress making a TikTok video is what I need to be happy,” and @walkersarahs, “I’m actually going feral over this dress probably top 10 taylor swift looks it’s so pretty and her hair and the necklace it’s just a perfect outfit I’m screaming.” And @rachelsmitts sums up what everyone was really thinking about: “I know material things can’t buy you happiness but I really think if I got the Taylor Swift reformation dress…….” Swifties are also blowing up #SwiftTok (currently boasting 1.2B views), sharing everything from their own outfit cycle clips put to the sound of Taylor Swift songs to users trying to decode the artist’s “Red” album vault release teasing who will appear in Swift’s re-recorded album dropping November 19. The power of celebrities/influencers is real—YPulse’s celebrity and influencers research shows that more than half of young consumers have been influenced to purchase something after seeing it from an online celebrity—and when combined with TikTok’s power for making products go viral, the two cannot be stopped once they hit young people’s feeds.
#MilkCrateChallenge Took Over Social Media, Then Got Banned By TikTok
As if the internet needed another viral (not to mention questionable) challenge to obsess over, videos of people making ill-fated attempts to walk over a staircase of milk crates without falling took the internet by storm this week as social media users reacted to some insane attempts from participants aiming to conquer the #MilkCrateChallenge. The challenge appears to have started on August 1 when one user shared his attempt to walk over a tower of milk crates on Facebook, but didn’t gain viral attention until the video was reshared this week—gaining more than 5 million views in one day, and the tag amassed more than 15 million views before TikTok banned it . As sturdy as they are on their own (a standard milk crate can withstand thousands of pounds of pressure), when stacked on top of each other the milk crates become less than useful—making the trend that much more entertaining as people gathered in awe, waiting to see if challengers would master the crate staircase or fall victim to it. Successful or not, several videos of people attempting the real-life Jenga challenge have gone viral—major claps to the woman who successfully completed the challenge in heels—while turning into a gambling event, and gaining attention from brands and stars like singer YK Osiris who offered $1,000 to anyone who was able to nail it. Of course, plenty of memes have been born, like one from Twitter user @CAdreamboy who tweeted a side-by-side image of Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model and a tower of milk crates with the caption, “So for today’s runway challenge,” and another @SparrowsAlive dubbing it as the “funniest challenge since the ice bucket challenge years ago.” Celebrities including Mark Ruffalo and Conan O’Brien have also made jokes about the trend in Twitter posts, plus Snoop Dogg referring to the challenge as “the bridge of death.” Medical experts and health departments have also warned people against participating in the challenge (fearing it would lead to another Tide Pod Challenge incident), and Baltimore’s Health Department tweeted, “With COVID-19 hospitalizations rising around the country, please check with your local hospital to see if they have a bed available for you, before attempting the #MilkCrateChallenge.” *Cue hospital memes.* Since gaining viral steam this week, some participants have indeed faced injuries, which ultimately led to TikTok’s decision to ban the #MilkCrateChallenge. TikTok also responded to the viral challenge in a statement from a spokesperson explaining, “TikTok prohibits content that promotes dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Tiffany & Co. Ad Is Stirring Strong Reactions
This week, Beyoncé and Jay-Z made history as the face of Tiffany & Co.’s About Love campaign aimed at “celebrating modern love,” and marks the first campaign the artists have appeared in together. Beyoncé also became first Black woman (and the fourth woman ever) to wear the iconic 128-carat Tiffany Diamond—a gem the company acquired in 1878 and only puts on display for the highest occasions. (Audrey Hepburn famously wore the jewelry for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Lady Gaga wore it to the 2019 Academy Awards.) Tiffany & Co. released the ad (shot at the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat) via social media and is also set to appear across digital billboards in Times Square—and more pieces tied to the campaign are also on the way including a film directed by Emmanuel Adjei and a song that was originally written for Hepburn to perform in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And while the internet can’t get enough of the triumphant moment for the couple, what social media really can’t stop talking about is the Basquiat painting featured in the spot. The painting from the Neo-expressionist entitled “Equals Pi” was recently bought from Tiffany & Co. and unveiled to the public for the first time in the ad. And while the luxury jewelry brand viewed the painting as an “homage” to the brand as it’s graced in Tiffany’s signature robin eggshell blue, the internet is having mixed reactions about the artwork’s appearance in an advertisement, with one Twitter user noting, “Basquiat wasn’t the type of person or artist to approve of his pieces being used in an ad from multiple billionaires (uncontextualized, at that).” Others went straight for Jay-Z (a noted Basquiat fan and collector) for recreating the painter’s iconic lopsided pigtails saying “He wanna be basquiat so bad,” and “Jay Z cosplaying as Basquiat is hilarious to me.” But Twitter user @gardenoutro went straight for the haters in a post reading, “Now everyone is suddenly a Basquiat enthusiast? ‘He wouldn’t want this’ did he tell you this via oujia board?”—garnering a reaction from everyone’s favorite fashion and internet commentator @diet_prada (2.8M Instagram followers) reminding everyone that Tiffany’s Basquiat tie-in isn’t the first time the artist’s pieces have been used for commercial gain. Despite stirring mixed reactions from some social media users (and big Basquiat enthusiasts apparently), Tiffany & Co.’s partnership with Beyoncé and Jay-Z as the faces of its campaign shows how the brand is “ushering in a new brand identity” and committed to supporting diverse communities as Tiffany & Co. has also pledged to donate $2 million to scholarship and internship programs for historically Black colleges and universities.
A “Serial Tipper” Is Going Viral On TikTok For Giving Massive Tips To Restaurant Staff
TikToker Lexy Burke (@lexylately) is building a viral following (over 1.6M to be exact) for a video posted this week where she asks a restaurant server for his name and Venmo handle, and proceeds to send him a $1,000 tip. The video shows the server’s stunned reaction after seeing the tip money, with Burke explaining how she crowdfunded the Venmo money via TikTok. Burke’s video has amassed 2.2M views and has over 400K likes since being posted on Sunday. TikTokers are commenting their stunned reactions, commending Burke for her process: “I love how you do Venmo payments so the restaurant owners can’t force the server to split the tip,”; “As a server, if someone came to my section and did this, I’d simply pass away”; “This brought tears to my eyes” a third said. This isn’t the first restaurant worker to receive a generous tip from Burke and her followers; Burke has become an influencer from her serial tipping adventures and has dedicated her TikTok account to the venture as her bio reads, “LET’S MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY / Serial Tipper” along with her Venmo username. According to her TikTok, Burke has tipped over 150 times and has run 21 rounds of requesting tip money from her followers to support her cause. Burke also tips bartenders and musicians, and has even gotten country musician Chris Young in on her serial tipping adventures. Publicizing one’s Venmo handle on TikTok is a trend that’s been taking off in multiple ways this summer—YPulse told you how TikTokers were using #venmoroadtrip to crowdfund their bachelorette weekends and vacations—and Burke’s effort is giving everyone hope that some people do in fact know how to tip servers properly and are using their publicized Venmo handles for good.
Links We’re Passing:
Lil Nas X and fans are calling out Tony Hawk’s blood-infused skateboard design, explaining how the backlash the musician faced for his “Satan Shoes” is an industry “double-standard”— Lil Nas X’s Twitter post currently has 419.3K likes.
Drone footage of a man dancing to Kid LAROI’s and Justin Bieber’s hit “Stay” is now one of the most-viewed videos on TikTok with 241M views—garnering attention from Bella Poarch and Dr. Phil.
TikTokers are tricking their parents with #scholarshipprank videos, amassing more than 36M views on TikTok.
The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home racked up 355.5M views within the first 24 hours of dropping on social media—an all-time high viewership record, topping Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame’s 289M views.
Angelina Jolie made her Instagram debut with a post sharing a letter from a teen girl in Afghanistan, garnering 700,000 likes within four hours.
Domino’s Australia is trying to make watermelon pizza a thing—and the TikTok video showing people how to make the questionable food has racked up 406.3K views.
Social media users are fueling a demand for Y2K-inspired home decor.
Jojo Siwa will dance with a female performer in Dancing With the Stars’ 30th season, marking the first time a same-sex duo perform together on the show.
Travis Scott surprised his daughter Stormi with her own big yellow school bus—and Twitter users are sharing their thoughts.
Olivia Rodrigo’s “Brutal” music video dropped this week and it’s punk rock, Y2K vibes make it the ultimate “teenage dream-turned-nightmare.”
Billie Eilish released the official trailer for her upcoming Disney+ concert film: Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles.
Ariana Grande is launching her own makeup line, R.E.M. beauty.
Social media users can’t stop talking about “Broke Bobby” after a TikToker (a.k.a. “spreadsheet guy”) leaked a spreadsheet that him and his friends use to plan events based on how much money they make.
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