What are POV TikToks and who are the people behind them
We delve into why local POV TikTokers are so popular, and find out why they film their videos.
There are many different “sides” of TikTok, including dance challenges, ASMR, and arts and crafts. Those are pretty straightforward, but what exactly are POV TikToks and why are they so popular?
POV is short for “Point of View”, and these POV TikToks let you experience a unique situation as if you are actually there with the main character in front of you.
Some popular POV videos on the app include “POV two best friends are arguing at a party until their favourite song comes on” and “POV you watch your friend develop an unhealthy obsession with the colour pink”.
Tristan, a 23-year-old POV creator more commonly known as @lordkimochi on TikTok, explained: “Basically the creator is a different character from what he is in real life, and the viewers are in on the POV. For example, if it’s ‘POV you’re my cat’, I’ll pat the camera.”
We sat down with three TikTok creators to learn more about POV TikToks.
Getting into POV TikToks
Tristan, whose TikTok account is filled with random videos and occasionally POV videos, revealed that he installed TikTok as he had watched compilations of Douyin xiao gege on Facebook and wanted to be in one of them.
He started making random videos, including POV ones, which blew up – gaining popularity very quickly.
“When I realised I had some traction, I started using it to speak up about the values that I believe in, such as equality in Singapore,” he said.
As for Melody, a 20-year-old who makes videos under the username @melodyrose.h, her first serious POV video was a duet with Tristan himself. It blew up and currently has about 90,000 views, with many requesting for a second part.
Since then, she has befriended Tristan and regularly meets him, even filming a TikTok at his place.
She has also continued to do duets with other TikTok creators. She enjoys doing POV duets as they “give a different perspective on what could happen on the other side”.
When Amy Ang first started making POVs, the only other creator she heard of at the time was Melody. The 17-year-old polytechnic student, who goes by the username @amyy.ang, recalls wondering how she could make her POV videos different from Melody’s.
Since then, she has found her niche: Localised content, inspired by her secondary school teachers, where she usually speaks Mandarin.
Why are POV TikToks so popular?
Amy is used to her localised POVs going viral, and she has observed that her local content always gets more views than her other videos.
When asked why she thought they were so popular, she answered without missing a beat: “Because local people love to watch things that are relatable! If you give them something fantasy-based or Westernised, they’ll say it’s not possible in Singapore.”
Referencing her first POV TikTok that garnered public attention where she imitated the lady at her old secondary school’s general office, she said: “I was thinking, ‘Maybe it’s just my school’ but I posted it and it went viral. So I was like, ‘Everybody else has that experience?’”
Amy also believes that POVs get popular when they are original.
“The market isn’t that saturated in Singapore for POV creators. If you have a creative idea, you’re going to blow up because no one has seen it before,” she said.
Melody agreed: “People will want to stay and watch to see what happens next to the character.”
TikTok’s time limit also lends itself well to POV videos. Since the videos can only be a maximum of a minute long, there is no time to set up a plot or beat around the bush.
These videos have to immediately grab viewers’ attention with a creative hook. With a swipe of your finger, you are spontaneously thrown into the climax or emotional moment of a scene.
Melody said: “You have to have really big, over-the-top expressions, or else people will get bored and just scroll past.
“Because of our short attention span, we can’t sit through and watch a YouTube video for 15 min, but POVs are one minute max.”
Life beyond POV TikToks
With a huge online presence, it’s no surprise that some international TikTok stars have been casted for music videos and even movies. While it has not happened in Singapore yet, it may only be a matter of time before we start seeing our local TikTok stars on the silver screen.
For Tristan, TikTok is merely something he does for fun as he has no interest in the entertainment industry. He even joked that he would delete his TikTok account once he reaches 100,000 followers, as it would be “quite funny”.
“I don’t want to be a real actor because it’s a lot of work, but I know Amy Ang wants to be a real actor. She’s very good,” he said.
As Melody wishes to be an entrepreneur, she uses TikTok as a marketing platform to build a name for herself. She hopes that her large following can help give her future business a boost.
Melody has garnered plenty of attention for her POV TikToks, and has since befriended many other TikTokers. Still, when asked for advice for aspiring TikTokers, she emphasised the importance of remembering “who was there from the beginning” and not letting go of old friends.
“Be yourself,” she said, “Don’t lose yourself in the process.”
Meanwhile, Amy emphasised the importance of creating a brand to stand out among the sea of POV TikTokers.
“If you ask ‘What do you think about Amy from TikTok?’, they’ll know me from the Chinese teacher POVs and they know I do Chinese POVs,” she elaborated.
Citing the hate comments he sometimes reads on TikTok, Tristan advised: “Keep doing what you like. Don’t be afraid of posting yourself and your content, because there are always going to be people supporting you.”