As a TikTok content Creator, the dream is to make a video that performs so well that it starts a new trend. Not only do the views, likes, comments and shares come pouring in, but you also start to receive notifications that people are using your sound and recreating your video with their own unique twist.
But… wait a minute! Some people have started to hop on a trend without crediting correctly, and as Creators we all know that credit matters – it just isn’t fair that others reap the rewards of someone else’s creativity. And as more and more accounts jump on a trend, it becomes harder and harder for anyone to know just where it began.
Sometimes, bigger accounts will recreate trends, receiving audience engagement that surpasses your own. Even when they might want to credit the originator, the trend has become so popular that they have no idea who to give the credit to.
Some people don’t realise why it’s so important to give credit when jumping on a trend. It’s just a trend, right? Isn’t that the point of TikTok? Everybody’s doing it!
But it’s always important to credit the originator.
Why a "culture of credit" on TikTok is important
Whether you’re on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, or any other corner of the internet, if you’ve ‘borrowed’ an original piece of content, it’s important to credit the original Creator, even if you’ve put a unique spin on things and made it your own.
Taking inspiration from another video doesn’t make you any less of a talented Creator. The new content is still your content that you put the time and effort into filming. By giving the appropriate credit, you’re simply pointing out your source of inspiration.
As Mark Twain once said, ‘There is no such thing as a new idea.’ See how we credited Twain here? It’s easy stuff.
In the same way that you wouldn’t plagiarise the words written in a book and try to pass it off as your own, you shouldn’t post a TikTok video that you made based on someone else’s idea and claim it as an original creation.
Here’s an example. Last year, the #BlackTikTokStrike saw black content Creators boycotting the app to take a stand against the continued way in which brands, influencers, and publications from outside the black community were profiting from black culture. Influencers with larger followings were recreating TikToks from black influencers with smaller followers, failing to give credit and taking the credit for themselves.
Without proper credit, Creators find it difficult to get visibility for their work, making it harder for them to gain followers. As we all know, in this day and age, more followers mean better leverage to earn money from content creation, so not providing credit on TikTok can have a larger impact than you may realise.
So now that we know why getting credit for content is so important, let’s see how you can give or receive credit where credit is due.
How to give credit on TikTok
Giving video credit
TikTok recently introduced new features to help Creators give credit. Now, it’s easier than ever to credit originators for their ideas. These new crediting tools allow Creators to direct users straight to the original video they used as their source of inspiration.
Here’s how it works:
1. Create your TikTok video. Or, if you’ve already started making it, go to the editing section.
2. You’ll see a new button labelled ‘video’ on the posting page. Tap it!
3. This will take you to the video tag page. Here, you’ll see videos that you’ve previously liked, favourited, posted, or that have used the same sound you’ve used in this video that you’re posting.
4. Select the video that you’re giving credit to. And you’re done!
Once published, the original video will be tagged as a mention in your caption.
Other ways to credit
Before TikTok introduced these tagging tools, there were other ways to give credit on a TikTok. Best practice was to write ‘inspired by’ — often shortened to ‘IB’ — or when the video is of a dance trend, ‘dancing credit’ – often shortened to ‘DC’. Then, you’d mention the originator's account using the ‘@’ symbol to tag them. If the video has already been posted, you can credit it retrospectively by doing the same in the comments. However, it is better to use the caption, as more people will see it that way.
Assume good intentions
We get it, it can be frustrating when other Creators gain followers and traction on TikTok content that you believe should be attributed to you. It’s important to remember that failing to credit an originator isn’t always intentional. Often, people will see great ideas and then decide to recreate them at a later date. When they get around to making their video, it can be hard to remember the originator or even find the video that inspired them.
If you do see a video where credit has not been given, you could write a polite comment along the lines of ‘Originator credit’ and tag the appropriate account.
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It’s as simple as downloading the app, connecting your social account and submitting a pitch to the brands you'd love to work with.