TikTok class is in session

Skyler Chase, 25, grew up watching vlogs and comedy sketches on YouTube. He wasn’t just entertaining himself. He learned professional skills to run his Los Angeles-based marketing agency and teach social media classes. Last September, he launched a course on TikTok, complementing his only offering, a course on Instagram. The class started because TikTok and its lower barrier to entry attracted people who were intimidated by YouTube, he said.

“On YouTube, content creation is completely different,” he said. “It really depends on the quality of your video. You must have a good camera. On TikTok, all you need to do is use your phone.”

Mr. Chase’s two-hour course, which the platforms say has more than 22,000 students on Skillshare and Udemy, borrows from his “YouTube background” but aims to be “a little more accessible to the older generation,” he said.

Classes like Mr. Chase have attracted businesses interested in marketing on TikTok and young people focused on content creation, said Alicia Hamilton-Morales, senior vice president of content, community and brand at Skillshare.

“Even though YouTube is so dominant and hugely successful, TikTok has fueled a much broader market’s desire to understand how to create and optimize video,” she said.

Angalee Schmidt, 25, took Mr. Chase’s class early in the pandemic to learn how to dream and then create TikTok videos. Her work in tourism had dried up so she reduced her travel and began living full time in Rochester, Minnesota, seeking a career change towards social media marketing.

“Part of it was figuring out: How can I make money now?” Ms. said Schmidt. Here came the answer on TikTok. “I saw all these people making videos and I was like, ‘I can do this myself.'”

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