TikTok has announced a range of new creative tools and initiatives as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which is being celebrated in the US throughout May.
And with the Asian community being subjected to increased tension in recent months, with race-based violence on the rise, the event this year is more important than ever in facilitating support and community around API users.
First off, TikTok is adding new stickers and effects to help users participate in the event, and share stories of API culture and community.
As explained by TikTok:
"The creation of the stickers was led by Julia Yellow, a TikTok employee of Taiwanese descent, who was inspired to create stickers that looked beyond identity and celebrated the different dimensions of API cultures. To feature an API Heritage Month sticker, open the Stickers tray after filming and add them on top of your video."
In looking to further highlight creators in the API community, TikTok has also announced its inaugural "API TikTok Trailblazers list".
The list includes some of the platform's most influential users:
"These individuals were recognized and nominated by the North America API creator community for their passion and dedication to creating content that connects and inspires. Our Trailblazers are using their platform to educate, entertain, and advocate for the API community. From a Korean vegan lawyer to a fire-breathing dancer from Polynesia, these creators are proudly representing their API heritage authentically and creatively every day."
TikTok will look to further highlight their work throughout the month.
In addition to this, TikTok will also celebrate broader API culture and trends with #WeAreAPI and #AsianTikTok content featured on the Discover page, which will also connect TikTok users through to a schedule of TikTok LIVE programming featuring API creators and artists.
And finally, TikTok will donate $275,000 to non-profit organizations that are working to fight for racial equality and justice, and providing programs and resources to local API communities.
Again, given the current climate, and the rise in Asian-based attacks, it's likely more important than ever that people participate in the celebrations, and show their support for the API community.
The new features will be available in TikTok from May 1st, with programming to be scheduled through the month.