Every platform has a culture that arises from it that has an impact on the wider world. Reddit birthed QAnon, Facebook the mommy groups, Instagram the influencer. What is TikTok’s mark on the wider world? BookTok.
TikTok has managed to turn the internet into a global book club. You could argue that concept was always there, but really on a smaller scale. Websites focused on discussing books usually have a paywall behind them, making them less accessible and, let’s face it, more work. But BookTok allows you to pop on for 15 seconds and say what you love about the book and move on.
TikTok is encouraging this with a shopping tagging system for books. Clearly they’ve seen the effect it has on the local bookshop, like Barnes and Nobel and Waterstones, which each has a pile of “famous on the internet” and offshoots of that idea by genre at the entrance in between “Crime” and “Young Adult”.
As explained by TikTok: “Users in the US and UK can now access the BookTok feature by clicking ‘Add Link’ and searching for ‘Book’ before posting their video. Users can tag any Penguin Random House title available in their respective country and once the video is posted, the selected title(s) will be featured above the captions.”
No doubt marketers of the immortal media of books, and publishers, will be happy of this prompt in virality.