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Benjamin Cucchi
Why scrolling on TikTok is not a “complete waste of time”
Feb 13, 2023
5 Minutes

Much more than other social networks, Tik Tok is fostering an educational revolution. Before you get FOMO, here are some reasons why you should give learning something on TikTok a try. 


But first, let’s start with a YouTube story.

From YouTube to TikTok to viral book author

When Hank Green joined TikTok as @hankgreen1 in 2019, he was mostly known as one of the beloved hosts of the educational YouTube channel Crash Course. However, he realized he had to stay up-to-date with the times. That’s why he filled his TikTok’s “For You” profile with fun and informative videos on Chemistry, Biology, and other scientific subjects – explaining key concepts and doing the occasional silly dance. 


TikTok calls for a new communication style, and Hank (cleverly) adapted. By creating a new informal and sometimes chaotic internet persona, he conquered the platform! And when a fellow Tiktoker reviewed Hank’s new book An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, sales on Amazon were boosted by 3200%


Hanks’ TikTok legacy can be summarized in two hashtags: #LearnOnTikTok and #BookTok, two cultural phenomena that can easily turn scrolling into a valuable activity and bring new food for thought to everyone’s educational diet.

What is #LearnOnTikTok

When Hank joined TikTok, this hashtag didn’t even exist. Now it has more than 490 billion views. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators discovered an incredible platform to keep their educational communities alive, on which:

  • The content is digestible thanks to the short length of the videos;
  • There are countless possibilities for interaction;
  • Students are active learners on a platform they know how to use (and love to use). 


On the other side of the screen, Gen Z students discovered that social media could also be used as a learning source, as was revealed by a compelling survey among users in the United States.

By the numbers

got help with their own or their child’s homework, proving that TikTok can be a learning ally;

9 out of 10

reviewed the experience positively, saying that they found the app helpful when used for educational purposes;


appreciated the accessibility and usability of the platform, while around 50% loved the quantity and variety of content.

Now educators and students alike can learn and teach anything on TikTok. You just have to find the right content creator for you (or be one for others)! 
3 Educational TikTokers to follow in 2023

his TikTok bio - “I teach people how to become Self-Taught Programmers” - says it all


you’ll love her humorous grammar lessons, her melodic voice - and her students too


if you need some personal finance education, that’s the go-to place

What is #BookTok
Remember the first rule of Fight Club? Well, that of BookTok is rather the opposite: you do have to talk about BookTok!

BookTok is like a giant social reading group of friends that share stories, nonfiction, poetry and everything that happens around the passion for literature. This community accomplished something remarkable – they made reading trendy once more. How were BookTokers able to translate reading into a social phenomenon?

BookTok is a giant social reading group of friends that share stories, nonfiction, poetry and everything that happens around the passion for literature.

🎯Reaching people who are not readers. Creating short and interactive videos, riding trends and popular formats, using relevant hashtags: BookTokers take advantage of TikTok’s strengths to get on the personal feed of virtually anyone.


👭 Peer-to-peer recommendations. BookTokers expose themselves personally. They’ll tell you why that particular story touched them, what major lessons they learned from that nonfiction bestseller, or even what fictional character they’re secretly in love with


👁️ Attention to aesthetics and visuals. Books are beautiful objects. BookTokers know this and craft aesthetic visual journeys where covers and the movement of pages are undisputed protagonists. We are on video, and the eye wants its share!

📖 Focus on the experience of reading. You won’t just find reviews and recommendations, but many different types of videos: visits to the local library, personal challenges, Q&As, tips to set reading goals (or reasons why that’s not a good idea), and sketches about little things that only book-lovers will understand.

3 BookTokers to follow in 2023

arguably the most influential BookToker with 920+k followers, famous for her direct style;


follow her this year as she reads a book by an author from every country in Asia (that’s 48 books!);


you’ll be intrigued by her first-person narrations of novel plots.

TL; DR: What can instructors get from TikTok creators?

As we have seen, rather than being a “complete waste of time”, TikTok can power teaching and learning. Omnipotent superpowers include: 


  • Microlearning as a delivery method. Bite-sized content that’s short and sweet.
  • Content in video format, so good that you can’t stop consuming it.
  • An active online community that truly puts fun and substance into social learning


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