October 13th 2020

TikTok: From giant fan to abstinent

MCiT Insights - Part 2: Master‘s student Daniel Celeschi gets to the bottom of TikTok

Management, Communication and IT Master’s student Daniel Celeschi talks about the phenomenom TikTok. In our interview, he gives exciting insights into this video platform.
LTR: Susann Kruschel, MCiT Master's student Daniel Celeschi and Rebecca Agerer met for an interview on the roof terrace of MCI II and talked about the phenomenon TikTok. Photo: Arno Rottensteiner

Out of boredom, our Management, Communication and IT Master’s student Daniel Celeschi downloaded the TikTok app during the lockdown. The video platform is praised to the skies - huge reach, anyone can go viral etc. He wanted to try it out for himself! No sooner said than done! The million mark in views was cracked in no time.

Daniel, what exactly attracts you to TikTok?

In the marketing industry, there is a great danger of getting lost in numbers: ever greater reach, more likes, more comments. TikTok is of course the perfect channel for this, because you have the chance to grow very quickly and implement ideas in a directly measurable way. On TikTok you can make a video and the next morning there are suddenly 10,000 more followers. That is the fascinating thing about this platform!

Your TikTok account was very successful with almost 28,000 followers and over 4 million views. How did you manage to go viral?

I used techniques that the algorithm likes. For example, you can stimulate discussions or encourage people to subscribe to the account because they are waiting for a previous video to continue. The videos should generally be as short and concise as possible. That way they are watched more often and are skipped less often.

Do you see yourself as an influencer?

No, I am not such an influencer. An influencer is by definition an opinion leader. I see myself more as a content creator. I upload something onto the internet that people consume but does not necessarily influence their opinion. For me, influencers are lifestyle bloggers, for example.

Do you still feel responsible for your followers and community?

Partly, because what I say can have an influence on someone. That was one of the reasons why I picked up the content of my podcast mindhack2go on TikTok. I wanted to give young people something meaningful to take away with them.

Despite your success on TikTok, you made the courageous decision to stop. What were your reasons for this decision?

One of my biggest criticisms of TikTok is that the platform is addictive! It is simply perfect in this respect. There is always new content available, so the app quickly grabs all the attention. Although I was aware of this, I still spent far too much time on the platform. I am more the type of person who wants to go deeper into a subject. That is not possible on TikTok. It is more about short hacks, fast-paced entertainment and going viral. It also involves a lot of effort, although the videos are only a few seconds long. To generate income via TikTok, you would theoretically have to upload several videos a day. In the long run, that is just not what I want to do.

How important is conscious media consumption to you?

Conscious media consumption is very important to me. I have been trying to reduce it continuously for years. For most apps I deactivate the notifications. With TikTok, on the other hand, I decided on a clear cut. I noticed that I was spending more and more time on the platform without it offering me any real added value.

What do you want to give young people in terms of conscious media consumption?

Basically, social media is not a bad thing. It always depends on how you deal with it. It is okay to spend some of your time on social media. However, you should question whether it is really worth "hanging out" on TikTok and Co. during your holidays.

Thank you very much for this exciting and honest interview, Daniel!

Prof. Dr. Peter J. Mirski | Head of Department & Studies Bachelor's program Management, Communication & IT
Prof. Dr. Peter J. Mirski Head of Department & Studies