Many TikTok users have been left baffled by hundreds of comments that appear under random videos promoting ‘cults’ relating to celebrities or memes, but why exactly are these cults so popular?
Over the past year in particular, TikTok’s userbase has expanded to include not just more users in general, but more communities, with the app being a hub for content relating to various fandoms and hobbies.
More often than not, these communities tend to stay relatively self-contained, as TikTok’s bizarrely accurate algorithm generally does a good job of suggesting the most relevant content for each individual user. This means two people can use the same app but have totally different experiences in terms of the content they see.
However, a new trend sees some groups of people banding together to make their community stronger, spreading the word by putting copy-and-paste messages in comment sections of unrelated viral TikToks.
A key element of the cult trend, is that participants will change their profile to the exact same picture, usually a meme, and they use this to identify each other so they can follow each other back.
Why do people join TikTok cults?
The purpose of the trend is fairly innocent, with people generally wanting to make friends with similar interests to them. Having a matching profile picture makes it easy to see who wants to participate in the trend, thereby making connecting with people easier.
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Posting the comments about the cult under popular TikToks serves as another way in which users can find each other, and many people have experienced a huge surge in followers since they joined in on the trend, proving to be appealing for those who want to grow their account.
I JUST JOINED LANA CULT AND WHAT TF IS HAPPENING pic.twitter.com/3EV0rB0uKV
— Ana 🍓🍓 (@mspaulson_) February 19, 2021
How to join a TikTok cult
After identifying which community you want to be a part of, you’ll need to locate the picture that everyone is using as their profile picture. The images that are used are generally popular memes, so by typing a few keywords in on Google you should easily be able to track down the image.
Once you’ve changed your profile picture, keep an eye out in comment sections of popular TikToks for other participants, and make sure to follow these accounts. As you begin to follow people you should have others follow you back, and you can speed up the process by posting comments yourself.
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However, it’s worth noting that not everybody is on board with the cult trend, as sometimes comment sections can be overtaken.
the lana del rey cult on tiktok is so embarrassing and cringe please stop
— m̶̷͔ͪ̽͡ă̶̸̝ͦ͊̿͋͞r̶̷̲͍̭͐̾̀͟z͕͓̼̼̽̃͘ (@whokilledmars) February 19, 2021
Regardless, it seems like the popularity of TikTok ‘cults’ is on the rise, so if you see these kinds of comments while browsing the app, you’ll know why there are so many of them.