TikTok has turned high school students into social-media celebrities, helped musicians launch careers and made dance trends like the Renegade household names. Now, Black entrepreneurs are using the platform’s success at viral marketing to build their brands, helped in part by the movement to support Black-owned businesses online.
For Brian Moller, his TikTok career began in March 2020. At first, his account was an opportunity to pass time during quarantine, engage in the platform’s latest trends and practice his social-media skills as an on-air personality at Boston’s 103.3 AMP Radio. But when the station underwent a format flip, letting go all of its on-air staff, Moller was suddenly without a job. The 33-year-old was soon using TikTok as his sole creative outlet. His original content quickly built an online following.