TikTok Class Is in Session


Skyler Chase, 25, grew up watching vlogs and comedy sketches on YouTube. He wasn’t just entertaining himself. He was learning professional skills to run his Los Angeles-based marketing agency and teach social media classes. Last September, he started a course on TikTok, supplementing what had been his only offering, a class about Instagram. The class has taken off because TikTok and its lower barrier to entry have lured people who were intimidated by YouTube, he said.

“On YouTube, content creation is totally different,” he said. “It really comes down to having the quality of your video. You need to have a nice camera. On TikTok, you just need to use your phone.”

Mr. Chase’s two-hour-long class, which, according to the platforms, has more than 22,000 students across Skillshare and Udemy, borrows from his “YouTube background” but is meant to be “a little more accessible for the older generation,” he said.

Classes like Mr. Chase’s have attracted businesses interested in marketing on TikTok and young people who are focused on content creation, said Alicia Hamilton-Morales, senior vice president of content, community and brand at Skillshare.

“Even though YouTube is so dominant and hugely successful, TikTok has made the desire to understand how to create and optimize video greater in a much broader market,” she said.

Angalee Schmidt, 25, took Mr. Chase’s class at the beginning of the pandemic to learn how to dream up, then create TikTok videos. Her work in tourism had dried up, so she pared back her traveling and started living full time in Rochester, Minn., and sought a career change to social media marketing.

“Part of that was figuring out: How can I make money now?” Ms. Schmidt said. Her answer came on TikTok. “I was seeing all of these people make videos and I was like, ‘I can make that myself.’”



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