Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge
Put these great creators into your algorithm
Maybe you’re new to TikTok, or perhaps you’ve been on the app for a couple of years and would like to find some new accounts to follow. While the algorithm does a shockingly great job of surfacing videos a user might like, it’s easy to get stuck in a bubble of repetitive content, so you’re seeing the same creators again and again or hearing one trending sound just a little too often.
I spend a lot of my downtime perusing TikTok, and I take pride in the list of accounts I follow. So much pride that I’ve got a sizable list of all the creators I’d recommend following. They range from creators who dole out advice to a forager and even to a heavy metal vocalist. If you’re just starting out on TikTok, these accounts are a great place to start. If you’ve been using it for a while, then unless we have the same algorithm, these accounts will be a good way to freshen up the videos you normally see.
It never fails — when I’m feeling particularly emotional or stressed, oldtimehawkey pops on my For You page with his friendly catchphrase, “Well, hello there, buddy!” This creator’s videos are so calming, invoking a sense of serenity through the screen. The creator takes his followers through the marsh he lives in, alongside his dog. In most videos, he’ll cook himself and the viewer up a little something, split a couple of cold pops, and finally, he’ll have us sit down with him as he watches old VHS tapes or plays vintage Nintendo games.
Mercury is one of the first creators I followed on TikTok out of sheer desperation after a few phone calls to my apartment’s maintenance team for embarrassingly easy fixes. She goes by Trans Handy Ma’am, and she doles out repair advice, life advice, and frequent hilarious anecdotes. Her videos have helped me on so many occasions that I actually keep some saved in my phone to send to friends in case they ever need repair advice.
Jacob Soule, better known as theplantprodigy on TikTok, is my go-to for advice on how to keep my plants alive. He offers helpful, often sassy explainers on different plant types and how to take care of them. Additionally, he debunks a lot of viral plant “hacks” and tips, which saves me a lot of time. Admittedly, even after having followed him for nearly a year now, I still have managed to kill many of my house plants, but that’s totally on me.
In a bout of misguided assumptions, I assumed the only plants that were edible were already sold in grocery stores. Come to find out from Alexisnicole, a vegan forager on TikTok, there is an abundance of delicious plants right outside my door. Alexis wanders around identifying and cooking up all types of different weeds, nuts, roots, and more. Not only are her videos extremely educational, but her excited way of sharing stories and telling the viewer how to get the most of something is incredibly contagious. I’m fortunate enough to be located in the same city as Alexis, so I use her videos as guides for what I can and cannot eat. So far, using her recipes, I’ve had great success putting hairy bittercress, purple deadnettles, lilac petals, and dandelions to use.
Don’t let Annrussel03’s nonjudgmental home and life advice deceive you. She won’t put up with any nonsense, and she’s not afraid to call commentators out for crossing lines. That being said, Ann gives wonderful tips on how to care for oneself and one’s home. I’ve kept her cleaning advice tucked in the back of my mind and have found it useful when I’ve got a particularly nasty mess to clean up. There are a lot of creators that try to do what Ann does, but no one delivers their tips in such an understanding yet commanding way.
Dementia and Alzheimers run in my family, although I don’t currently know anyone who has it. These diseases alter a person’s memory, often making it easy for them to forget who their loved ones are or even where they’re located in the moment and why. I wish I would have had a source like this when my family members living with dementia were around. Teepa Snow is a wonderful educator, teaching viewers how to interact with people who have these diseases in a way that still respects that person and calms them.
Farah, known by the handle hippiearab, has a gift for witty and engaging storytelling. She’s one of the more recent accounts I’ve come across, and she was an instant follow for me. Her tales alone are rife with comedic value, but it’s really her perfectly timed pauses and witty asides that have me laughing out loud. One of her most successful videos (with 6.1 million views) is about a new chair that is both well designed and easily mistaken for a person at night. It is a perfect example of how she can turn a mundane topic into a hilarious story.
I spent my high school days as a Scene kid going to heavy metal shows on the weekend. I loved the music, clothes, and community that came with these types of shows. However, it was a very male-dominated culture — I only ever knew of a handful of hardcore bands that had female vocalists. Jumping forward to the future, I found scenequeenrocks. Scene Queen has coined the term “bimbocore” and is bringing highly feminine aesthetics to heavy metal. She’s very tongue-in-cheek and unapologetic about taking up space within the heavy metal world. Her music goes hard, has a great message, and ultimately creates some diversity in a space where it’s needed. Rock on, Scene Queen, rock on.