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TikTok: 2021 year in review

Social & Digital

TikTok: 2021 year in review


2021 felt like the year of TikTok. Many users and creators jumped over to the platform citing distrust with Meta and a better algorithm. But which accounts and creators dominated the app this year?

TikTok is a unique platform. In 2021, it clocked over one billion active monthly users. Spurring creativity and unique content, TikTok has been a platform for humour, entertainment, skills and social causes. 

More Australians started to use the platform, and from here big names were born. Here are the best local TikTokers.



TikTok videos transcended cultures and borders. The For You feed is where the discovery of TikTok begins. Not bound by specific genres, here are the top Australian accounts from the organic For You Page hashtag (#FYP).


@winniethecattledog ♬ Nothing – Bruno Major

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TikTok videos can make you smile, cry, laugh or maybe laugh until you cry. Whatever emotion they spur, one thing is for sure: TikTok can spark joy. In 2021, many TikTokers celebrated their animals and kids. Here were some of the best furry friend and heartwarming Aussie accounts.

  • @markifrah – A dolphin and seal trainer introduces his seal to the world. 
  • @angeatwell – a brother meeting his baby sister for the first time. 
  • @martyandmichael – two guys doing their best cat and dog impressions. 
  • @randyfeltface – a puppet has some very furry friends. 
  • @cardqueenkatie – up close and personal with lots of Aussie natives. 


@randyfeltface #camelfriend ♬ original sound – Randy Feltface

The Playlist


TikTok has become a place to discover new music, as songs go viral across a plethora of videos. Be it pop, hip-hop or rap, music is an essential part of the platform. This year, two Australian artists cracked the global top five most popular songs on Tiktok in 2021.



@kimdrac This is only the beginning ❤️ #paparazzi #kimdracula #covers #kimdrac ♬ Paparazzi – Kim Dracula

Breakthrough Stars

TikTok has broken through a dominant platform this year in Australia. Many unique creators have been discovered, from those specialising in technology, education and fashion being part of the trending videos. These are the top five breakthrough Aussie stars.

  • @oneminmicro – content creator team producing products, art and content through microscopes. 
  • @rhyleep95 – a creative cosplayer.
  • @samfrickerr – Olympic diver, Sam Fricker, took the world by storm in the pool and on the platform. 
  • @lukefalzon – an Aussie outdoor survivalist. 
  • @ulaulaula – Sydney-based singer Ūla went viral with her acoustic covers of popular songs. 
@ulaulaula probably my favourite song ever ever ever &lt3 everlong – @Foo Fighters #foofighters #everlong#voiceeffects ♬ original sound – Ūla <3

Only on TikTok


With the bounds of creativity on TikTok at times feeling limitless, creators used their imagination. From filters to green screens, some Aussie creators made magic, just using their phones. The filters and effects Australians were obsessed with in 2021.

Voices of Change


TikTok found itself as a safe place for creators and the community. Many creators supported causes they cared most about throughout the year, including LGBTQ+ advocacy, mental health, cultural diversity and sustainability. The Australian changemakers making an impact.

  • @lawrencebing – campaigns for trans rights at every chance he can, making the world a better place, especially kids being bullied at school. 
  • @zulfiyeah – an Oromo and Turkish rollerblader who is shaking up the world of modest fashion. 
  • @drkarl – Dr. Karl continues to educate with his energetic and educational content about the world. 
  • @lottiedalziel – a former journalist fighting for a more sustainable future. 
  • @astrokirsten – advocating for women in STEM, while teaching about the universe.

Eats on Repeat


With many people stuck inside their homes in 2021, unable to go out to restaurants and cafes, recipes were popular content. Around the world some Australian foodies piqued users’ interests with unique recipes.


@morganhipworth What better way to celebrate National Schnitzel Day than with a classic veal schnitty #ReVeal ♬ original sound – Morgan Hipworth

The Throwbacks

Perhaps people were reminiscing about a pre-COVID world, but throwback videos were a big hit in 2021. In Australia, the audience loved throwbacks to school days, making fun of primary school teachers, retro electronics and coming of age moments. 

  • @alinora_ – Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s License, but a bit more local. 
  • @samanthaandrews – a throwback to asking for a first mobile phone.
  • @weinerfinger – what all excursions looked like in the 2000s for Aussie millennials. 
  • @milligram96 – wildly accurate portrayal of every Australian teacher growing up. 
  • @jaytag – remember the Cup Song? 

Big Little Communities


There are so many communities across TikTok from #witchtok to #candletok. It’s about finding people with whom there is a shared passion. #Straya brought a nation that felt divided at times united, through uniquely Aussie content.

  • @brontecrawley – remixing Gladys’ daily press conferences for a funny break from the long lockdown.  
  • @ybsbrodie – an encounter with a frustrated and potentially aggressive sea snake.
  • @mrsamcotton – a turkey loses his car. 
  • @daniandblake – not even a wedding stops a groom from checking the footy score.
  • @theinspiredunemployed – comedy duo The Inspired Unemployed have a lot of ‘days for it’.


@ybsbrodiesea snakes normally avoid humans but this time of year they become very active, sexually fustrated and potentially aggressive as they look for a mate♬ original sound – Brodie Moss

Liv Croagh

Liv Croagh was the Managing Editor of Marketing Mag from September 2021 to September 2023.

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