Short-form videos have topped the popularity charts. These videos are snackable content -- short, snappy and easily accessible with minimal production costs.
Short-form videos have many uses, including marketing, live-streaming, tutorials or just for fun. And they're found on many social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. But the most popular social channel is TikTok.
TikTok -- owned by ByteDance -- was launched in China in September 2016. Since then, it has grown exponentially and currently has more than 1.677 billion users, according a Demand Sage report. TikTok offers its users the opportunity to create and engage with short-form video content. These bite-sized videos can range from 10 seconds to three minutes in length.
But TikTok isn't all marketing and comedy sketches -- it is also a tool for education. TikTok created a new feed specifically dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in 2023, giving users the opportunity to refine their feed in a granular way. To date, STEM-related hashtags have received more than 110 billion views. Here are some of the top STEM TikTokers to follow.
Andre Isaacs is an associate professor of chemistry at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts with more than 484,000 followers on his TikTok channel. His page gives a glimpse into the lives of chemistry students. Popular videos include educational experiments, dance videos and TikTok trends with his students, and collaborating with other STEM content creators and influencers.
In 2023, Isaacs was featured as one of TikTok's LGBTQ+ Visionary Voices for his work showing that STEM culture can be inclusive and representative.
Ariel Daniel specializes in science, physics and astrophysics with more than 419,000 followers on her TikTok channel. Daniel gives guidance on stargazing and explains the movement of the planets. She also answers common questions such as, "How do space telescopes work?" and "What is the Zodiac?"
Darrion Nguyen's TikTok channel has more than 534,000 followers, and his content is often lighthearted and comedic. He lip syncs to popular sounds on the app and makes humorous videos observing pop culture, but he does this alongside clear, informative and engaging content for anyone with an interest in chemistry.
Institute of Human Anatomy
In 2019, the Institute of Human Anatomy Instagram page had only 292 followers. Four years later, its TikTok page boasts more than 10.4 million followers. The Institute specializes in using human cadavers for advanced anatomical education, medical device training and prototype testing. The Institute's TikTok page is a place for curiosity about human biology and often features content using real cadavers to define the structure and inner workings of the human body.
The Interesting Engineering TikTok channel is dedicated to the wonders of engineering, including jetless flight, the inner workings of a steamboat and the goings on at SpaceX. This channel with more than 1.2 million followers breaks down engineering marvels and delivers them in an accessible yet dramatic way.
Kendra Nelson's content focuses on marine biology, and her TikTok channel boasts more than 254,000 followers. Her Ocean Vlog includes day-in-the-life styled video content, which follows Nelson as she attends conservation conferences and goes on diving trips. She's also a part of BookTok and shares her top environmental reads.
Santos is a self-described math-teaching drag queen with more than 1.5 million followers on his TikTok channel. His content brings math into the real world, and explores core everyday principles, including the Fahrenheit temperature scale and game theory in the modern workplace.
Mattaniah Aytenfsu is a design engineer at YouTube, and her TikTok channel has more than 201,000 followers. Mattaniah's most popular video, with more than 3 million views, is a step-by-step guide to turning an abstract painting into a musical instrument. She uses paint that conducts electricity, which when touched, triggers a current and releases a signal from a computer. It can even play a full octave.
Phillip Cook is a chemistry teacher who was inspired to share his students' experiments on social media. Cook's TikTok channel has more than 3.9 million followers, and his most popular videos include an experiment that heats coffee using thermite and another where he makes black fire using table salt.
Samantha Cristoforetti is an astronaut with the European Space Agency. She created her TikTok page at the same time she began her journey to space, and her first video was taken from the International Space Station. Cristoforetti's TikTok channel now has more than 814,000 followers, and her content is an insight into what it's like to be in space. The first pinned video on her page explains how to use a toilet in zero gravity.