What Is Elite TikTok?

“Elite TikTok is this weird group of chaos that these kids have made into a thing,” said Connie Yao, 22 and a talent manager for influencers in Sydney.

As multinational corporations face a reckoning, thousands of American teenagers are playfully posturing as retail stores and popular household brands on TikTok.

This universe of faux brand accounts makes up just a sliver of what is known on the platform as Elite TikTok, or Alt TikTok. It is not marked by the attractive dancing young people most readily associated with TikTok — that’s called Straight TikTok — but instead a loose group of subjects and behaviors: beans, frogs, fairy-speak, Elmo edits and self-referential jokes.