If you didn’t know already, this June is Pride Month! And video-sharing app TikTok has announced a range of new features and initiatives to help users celebrate Pride in style. After Pride 2020’s absence of in-person celebrations, parades and parties, the LGBTQ+ community were given back the time to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go.
In 2021, TikTok is celebrating Pride Month with an important message, ‘Free to be’. They want to convey the message that on TikTok, they want you to ‘feel empowered and free to be you, #ForYourPride.’
TikTok has also launched the hashtag #ForYourPride to encourage user participation in the event. Interestingly, the popular hashtag #FYP, in which almost every TikTok user adds to their video captions in hopes of their video being shown on ‘for you’ pages, is closely associated with the campaign. TikTok has stated previously that the ‘fyp’ hashtag doesn’t even work and has zero impact on the algorithm!
New in-app creative tools are also being launched, meaning your ‘for you’ page will be full of rainbows over the next month. The design team was inspired to create effects that looked beyond identity and admired the different dimensions of the LGBTQ+ community. They’ve added nine new creative effects, including ‘Rainbow Hair, Rainbow Curtain, Rainbow Trail, Pride Lighting, Pride Time Warp, Pride Rainbow Cheeks, Pride 3D Lashes, Pride Glittery, and Pride Flag Sky AR.’
After the success of last year, TikTok is again showcasing creators who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and making a positive impact on the app, naming them the LGBTQ+ TikTok Trailblazers. Each creator is being their true selves and defining what it means to embrace self-pride on the platform and each will be highlighted through the month of June with feature spots on profiles and the Discover page.
TikTok Live will also be centre stage, hosting a range of musical performances and community-building events, including performances from Charlie XCX, BennyDrama and Gia Woods. TikTok has also planned to run their first-ever global TikTok Pride March, a fundraising event with a duration of 12 hours across 24 different programs around the world.
TikTok is also doing its best to make its platform a welcoming and supportive experience for everyone. They’ve pledged to remove hateful, anti-LGBTQ+ content or accounts that attempt to bully or harass people on their platform. Praise for TikTok who are also investing in a range of tools to empower users, including measures to report up to 100 comments at a time or block hateful accounts in bulk. Furthermore, they’ve introduced prompts that ask people to reconsider posting a potentially unkind comment - doing their bit to promote a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ+ users.
Finally, to celebrate Pride month, TikTok is also donating $500,000 to organisations that are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community. This money will help raise awareness about the issues still surrounding gay rights and facilitate better understanding and broader acceptance of alternative lifestyles.
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