Tik Tok Employees Visit Venice High School


Zoe Woodrick, News Editor

TikTok employees Jamie Lee and Jonathan Lee visited Venice High this past Friday to present information about their work at TikTok to Journalism and AP English Language and Composition students. 

TikTok has allowed users to express their art, emotion, and themselves. The app also offers different short-form videos catered to their users. 

The pair work in different areas within TikTok, but still do a lot of work together. Jamie Lee works on TikTok’s internal tools and reporting team, whereas Jonathan works as a product manager. 

    “We pride ourselves in our community and our users being able to be their authentic self, whether it’s being silly, or you know, just being themselves,” Jonathan said. 

    According to Jamie Lee, “Our team tries to understand the types of questions that the creators have, and the types of questions that folks on this team might be trying to answer.”   

There are many different departments within TikTok. 

“For example, when it comes to effects, you’ve got to have a team of people just thinking about effects, only thinking about different kinds of creation tools, filters, what that experience is like to create a video,” Jonathan said.

When it comes to posting videos, safety is another aspect that is taken very seriously. “Safety is a huge priority for us. To me, those are like the MVPs of the company, making sure that the videos that are being posted and being watched are safe,” Jonathan said. 

    The app’s user interface is a large draw, with the ‘For You Page’ being one of the most notable features. “What gave it its success? Honestly, I think it’s the recommendation system,” Jonathan said. 

“It’s really like up to the users, what people end up seeing,” Jamie said. “So everyone’s collective interest is kind of driving what becomes a trend or what ends up on your For You Page.” 

    Both Jamie Lee and Jonathan Lee grew up with social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. So, now working for TikTok, they work to make the spread of positive messages an easier thing to do on TikTok than other social media platforms. “[A TikTok user] could get their message out there much easier than they could, it feels on a different platform,” said Jonathan.

    The company has a wide range of goals for the future, especially as a moderately new company, compared to other platforms. 

Many creators have become famous through TikTok. With users like Charli D’Amelio gaining her own show on Hulu, and other creators getting sponsorships with major brands, creators have used it as a way to get more recognition. 

Though TikTok is not directly responsible for creators getting the following they have, they have created a program called the ‘Creator Program’ that helps creators that are minorities and new creators succeed on the platform. “We’re mainly focused on small creators or small businesses,” Jonathan said.

During 2020, after the United States lockdowns took effect due to COVID-19, TikTok’s downloads grew in mass amounts, and many users experienced issues with mental health during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. TikTok has had to take time to implement ‘Take A Break’ videos, and other protocols to help combat this. 

“There are a number of initiatives around the company focused on mental health,” Jamie said. “It is something the company is very aware of.”

With TikTok being one of the most widely used social media platforms, there has to be a lot of learning and updating of the interface as the company grows. 

    TikTok has a lot in store for its future and users. The company has already seen rapid growth thanks to Generation Z, and it continues to grow and expand daily.