As TikTok dethrones Facebook as the most downloaded app, with 850 million downloads in 2020 alone, Craig Edwards looks at how high-energy physicists are taking advantage of the social-media phenomenon.
After being shown the app by her mother during lockdown, ATLAS physicist Clara Nellist downloaded TikTok and created her first two “shorts” in January this year. Jumping on a TikTok trend, the first saw her sing a CERN-themed sea shanty, while the second was an informal introduction to her page as she meandered around a park near the CERN site. Together, these two videos now total almost 600,000 views. Six months later, another ATLAS physicist, James Beacham, joined the platform, also with a quick introduction video explaining his work while using the ATLAS New Small Wheels as a backdrop. The video now has over 1.7 million views. With TikTok videos giving other social-media channels a run for their money, soon more of the high-energy physics community may want to join the rising media tide.