Life at 24 fingers towers moves fast, and that’s how we like it. December is no different, but the Christmas holidays give us, and everyone else in the business community, a bit of a breather. 

As we stand on the brink of a new year – a glass of Prosecco in one hand and a half-eaten mince pie in the other – what better time to look back at 2023 on TikTok? 

UK users spent more time on the social media platform than any other country in the world this year. If you’re still unsure about TikTok, talk to us and we’ll get you started. 

But which videos went viral? What trends did everyone embrace, both here in the UK and around the globe, and which content creators became social media sensations? 

Pour a glass of something bubbly, pull up a chair and find out as we look back at 2023 on TikTok.  

(Em)powering small businesses

All the social media platforms have their bits that drive us all mad, but we reckon there’s a lot TikTok gets right. 

In 2023, its hashtags #SMB, #SmallBusiness and #TikTokShop helped put a rocket under hundreds of UK-based businesses, covering every sector you can think of. 

Trust demi-diabetic Scheenagh to pick @sosweetshopuk as one of her faves from this year. She’s got good taste: it has more than 924,700 followers and has racked up 14.3 million likes. 

Proving she’s got an eagle eye for ones to watch, Emma plumped for @lovendu. They make planners for mental health and self-empowerment, and have over 101,000 followers and 1.2 million likes. 

You may be thinking “ah, but it will never happen to me”. Trust us – TikTok’s hashtags can pay off. If you want proof of how they can push a small business into the global spotlight, watch this:

@lazy_butt_club Were gonna be in the NYT?! Like whaaaaat?! #smallbusiness #retro #80s #90sthrowback #dadsoftiktok ♬ original sound – LAZY BUTT CLUB

Education, education, education

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action” said philosopher Herbert Spencer. Not only did he rock some kick-ass sideburns, we think he would have loved TikTok. 

In 2023, #BookTok made reading cool again (though Anne swears it never went out of style), while #ArtTok lifted the lid on all things… um… art. 

What both hashtags did was bring them to the widest possible audience. In August, the winners of the first-ever TikTok Book Awards UK and Ireland, as voted for by the #BookTok community, were announced. 

#BookTok is not to be sniffed at. The community has racked up 167 billion views, is driving record book sales, supporting independent book shops and launching careers of up-and-coming or previously underrepresented authors and genres.

#ArtTok is set to go the same way. Creators from across the country flocked to the platform in 2023, and gave Instagram a real run for its money. FWIW, we recommend posting on both. 

But there’s more to learning on TikTok than books and art. Want to learn the basics of British Sign Language? Then @hipster_sunshine, with their 170,000 followers and 5.4 million likes is for you. 

Alternatively, learn more about science with @big.manny1, who has 1.7 million followers, racking up 27.6 million likes (including us). 

If your business involves specialist knowledge, or offers a service that helps people, share it on TikTok. You won’t regret it. 

Fool-proof food

Millions of people love cat videos. Millions of people love music clips. At 24 fingers, we are fans of food. We (almost) don’t care what nosh it is – film it, put it on TikTok and we will drool all over it. 

This year was a bumper one for UK food influencers on TikTok. Movers and shakers in 2023 include the lovely @nannabea, who has 1.7 million followers and whose epic Yorkshire puddings no doubt added to her 51.5 million likes. 

Emma went in search of cooking hacks and ended up with culinary whiplash (she’s 100% fine), thanks to @ollie_eats, who has over 498,600 followers and 13.5 million likes.

Anne went all continental on us this year and spent a lot of time in the company of Italy’s @chefmaxmariola. After clapping eyes on his tasty tutorials, we can’t blame her… 

If you’re in the business of creating delicious dishes, and you haven’t showcased them on TikTok, make 2024 the year that changes. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to us

Viral videos we loved

If there is one thing social media, and TikTok in particular, does very well, it’s providing a constant stream of entertaining content that keeps us glued to our screens. 

In 2023, there were so many creators who made us laugh, cry and think just a little more deeply, it was hard to pick just a few. But we managed it. 

Who would have thought a video, shot in a muddy, foggy field would be so captivating? We and 111 million (and counting) others could not take our eyes off @seanthesheepman’s speedy sheepdog. 

@seanthesheepman Kate #fyp #fypシ #foryou #bordercollie #amazing #viral #trending #tiktok #beautiful ♬ original sound – Sean the sheepman

We lost hours in the 24 fingers office to the @guinnessworldrecords page, even if it was to wince at the limbo skater, which has racked up an impressive 199.5 million likes. 

@guinnessworldrecords Fastest time to limbo skate under ten bars ⏱️ 1.69 secs by Shrishti Sharma 🇮🇳 Shristi is proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder as it gives her the platform to bring attention to ‘Save the Girl Child’, a charity close to her heart which seeks to fight for gender equality in infant females. #rollerskating #rollerskate #guinnessworldrecords ♬ original sound – Guinness World Records

If you’ve ever wanted to know what a well-groomed pooch looks like, join 5.7 million followers and head over to @carlcunard. More than 172.6 million people have watched that fluffy tail pop out of those trousers… #suchagoodboy 

@carlcunard Weekend ready 👱🏼‍♂️✌🏼🦁What’s everyone up to? #fyp #mensfashion #dogsoftiktok ♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor

More than just entertainment…  

TikTok in 2023 has been brilliant for business, but it’s also been amazing for advocates. 

Creators have worked hard all year to bring the causes they care about to our attention, and for many it has paid off in style. 

One of Emma’s faves is Toby Addison, or @blindtobes, who has 284,500 followers and gained 15 million likes for his posts about living with blindness. 

We’ve all been alternately inspired and left sobbing by posts from @tyreeceinheels. The Queen of SLAYification has one million followers and racked up 45.7 million likes – and we are here for it. 

As a chunky lady, Scheenagh has been shouting all year about influencer @rosiebreenx. She has 585,300 followers and 12.1 million likes, and her posts about mid-sized fashion put a smile on all our faces. 

The 24 fingers’ jury is in: if you have a message that needs a wide audience, TikTok is one of the most innovative platforms to help spread it. 

Going live and aiming high 

At 24 fingers, we work hard for our clients, but we also make sure that we play hard too. In 2023, there were lots of ways for everyone to let off some steam, and TikTok got in on the fun too. 

Live events covered on the platform included Eurovision (Mae Muller was robbed), and Glastonbury, as well as charity extravaganzas Children in Need and Comic Relief. 

#BookTok made its presence felt with The Hay Festival racking up 38,300 followers and one million likes. 

We know all too well that 2023 was a World Cup year, so it’s no surprise the England Women’s football team, @england, ended up with 7.7 million followers and more than 125 million likes. 

Whatever your business is up to in 2024, make sure to advertise, document and analyse it on TikTok. Not sure how to get the best out of the platform? Let us guide you

TikTok’s music makers 

Emma is always down with the kids, and she was front and centre when the Glastonbury crowd lifted up a struggling @lewiscapaldi

The emotional video added to his 8.4 million followers and swelled his likes to 181.9 million. 

@lewiscapaldi♬ original sound – Lewis Capaldi

Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones may have been around since god was a boy, but it seems you can teach old dogs new tricks. 

The veteran band and their lead singer joined TikTok at the start of 2023, gathering more than one million followers and 8.5 million likes between them. 

If Mick ever wants a quick 24 fingers TikTok tutorial, let us know and he can teach Anne how to boogie. 

Meanwhile, Emma was hooked on everything from @annemarie, happily adding to her 7.9 million followers and 108 million likes. 

Rising stars on TikTok

There’s an argument for popping Mr Jagger in this section, given he is a relative TikTok newbie, but Anne wisely pointed out that he’s older than some trees, so sorry Mick, you didn’t make the cut. 

One who does is the model, influencer and all-round amazeballs person Fats Timbo, AKA @fatstimbo. This talented woman has racked up 2.9 million followers and more than 51 million likes for her insightful, authentic videos. We love her. 

On a different plane altogether is @2girls1bottl3. Better known as Mixie and Munchie, this silent, hilarious duo have amassed a near-cult following by having a drink in all sorts of places. Their oddly addictive videos have attracted 813,400 followers and 15.9 million likes. 

Two more women who made a splash on TikTok in 2023 are @brookieandjessie. They’ve racked up 3.7 million followers and 164.2 million likes with clips of them dancing to everything from Barry Manilow to Abrina (ask the kids). 

These creators are proof that authentic content, no matter how niche, will find an audience on TikTok 

The best of the rest

Which brings us neatly to our final category, which features one of Anne’s absolute faves: girl dinners. 

The #girldinner hashtag has attracted a truly staggering 2.8 billion views, and is packed with fun, silly and sometimes downright outrageous videos of women telling us what they eat. 

As an example of a trend that does what it says on the tin, they don’t come much better. Solid choice Anne. 

Next up is a hashtag that had Scheenagh alternately baffled and amused for weeks: #romanempire. Make of that one what you will, but it’s had three billion views. 

Emma chose one of the most influential hashtags of the year (no, not #wesanderson, or #redflag, #greenflag or #beigeflag). She went with #datebark, a weird combo of chocolate, peanut butter and dates that has amassed 28.4 million views.

So, there you have it – the trends and hashtags that made 2023 one to remember on TikTok. If you’re curious about what else is in store for social media in 2024 could have in store, check out our blog

PS if you want using TikTok to be your New Year’s resolution, we’ll make sure you keep it. Guaranteed.