ASMR content has been around for years, most of which is hosted on YouTube. The acronym stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and the category content generally features creators, or ASMRtists, speaking softly into a microphone, pretending to put makeup on a viewer, directing a viewer’s attention to focus, or any what, really; an exclusive ASMR video emphasizes soothing visuals and soft noises or sound effects (think light crackling, buzzing, or scraping) and enthusiasts love them for the physical and mental sensations they supposedly elicit.
On YouTube, these videos can go on for hours, but like so many others, the smaller versions of the trend have found a new audience on TikTok.
What is ASMR really?
Luna Bloom, a 26-year-old creator and ASMRtist with 1 million followers on TikTok and 283,000 subscribers on YouTube , explains ASMR this way: it’s “the feeling you get when you consume ASMR content, rather than the content itself. It is described as a tingling sensation, often on the back of the head or along the spine, and / or a trance state, which usually helps relieve anxiety, insomnia, and the like.
Bloom says she has had feelings all her life, but she didn’t have a name for them until 2013, when she, like so many others, “found that someone had named this feeling, and even better, that people were making videos with the purpose of inducing him [it]”.
What do ASMR videos usually present on TikTok?
On Bloom’s account, you can find clips of her calmly guiding you to look at various objects or mime while putting on makeup, and there’s a lot more where she came from – the app’s #ASMR tag has 171.2 billions of views. Some of the ASMRtists responsible for the videos that generate those views eat in front of the camera, some speak softly to their audience, some organize their workspaces, and some mimic the stressors by “snatching” from viewers by gesturing towards the camera. The types of content are seemingly endless, so you’ll be able to find almost any niche you’re looking for.
The difference between ASMR content on TikTok and YouTube, of course, is length and style. This summer, the app increased the time allowance per video, giving creators a full three minutes instead of one. However, that’s nothing compared to time assignments on YouTube, so instead of full-length reenactments of a trip to the salon, you might find TikTok ASMRtist mimicking just by giving you a quick trim. These videos are also designed for mobile-first consumption, so they will almost always be vertically oriented and were likely shot on a phone.
There is an ASMR crowd dedicated to TikTok, and although Bloom says he noted that some app users later find their way to his YouTube, “they are still largely separate audiences.” TikTok, therefore, offers new ASMRtists the chance to grow and explore by giving the most established YouTube-based creators the opportunity to expand into new territory.
“The benefits have been amazing,” says Bloom. “He has broadened my audience, boosted my creativity and allowed me to make short videos when I want to bring out an idea that I may not have thought of in a full video yet.
Bloom says her YouTube audience tends to be more familiar with ASMR and it’s exciting for her to find newcomers to TikTok who are just learning about the content.
Nicole Villaneuva a 28-year-old makeup artist, claims she loves “ASMR anything” and was thrilled to find short versions of the videos when she joined TikTok in July of 2019.
“It’s shorter and plays in a loop than YouTube videos, which can be up to an hour long,” says Villaneuva. “I have a lot of tingling and goosebumps from the sounds. It’s a really relaxing feeling and it often helps me sleep. “
What can you expect to find in the app?
“I’d like more people to discover their love for ASMR and I think the platform is a really great space for that,” says Bloom. He points to the ability of ASMR content to “give people a mental break while scrolling that doesn’t seem like you’ve paused a good time.”
TikTok, he notes, is a destination for people looking to relax and get distracted for a while, so ASMR content can sometimes “feel blunt” when it comes after a series of fun clips. Bloom’s goal in creating short-form content for the app is to “meet the people where they are and allow them to benefit from that sense of calm.”
The sense of calm is one of the main points of the whole thing, so pay attention to how you feel when watching certain types of videos. If a mukbang, or a video of someone consuming a heap of food, often complete with popping and chewing sounds, doesn’t do it for you, try the ASMR content of personal attention, or look for creators who produce story-based sounds by scratching or hitting Objects. The ASMR sensation is typically described as a tingling sensation in the brain, so look for something that produces it. Don’t worry – there are so many options in the app that you are sure to find something that has the perfect trigger.
Villaneuva says she likes best compilation videos that combine a variety of triggers, including scratching, brushing, tapping, and typing. (If you’re looking for some advice, she suggests starting with @ serenity11117asmr And @sassyselenaa .)
“I want to emphasize that ASMR can be experienced outside of ASMR content,” says Bloom. “Whether it’s a real-life situation or a video that wasn’t made with the purpose of inducing ASMR. If that happens to you, I say hug it, it’s pretty cool! And it might teach you something about the kind of things that calm you down. “
It suggests newcomers to this type of content to start by looking for one of their interests and adding “ASMR” at the end. From “ASMR gardening” to “ASMR video games”, there is a lot to choose from.
How can you maximize your ASMR experience?
To get the most out of the ASMR content you find, Bloom says, you should keep an open mind. Understand that you and your triggers are unique, so what works for your best friend or sibling may not work for you. It’s okay to spend some time researching the right content.
“Also, as much as it has become more mainstream, it’s still pretty new and niche, and that can come with a lot of backlash,” he warns. “If you feel a little hesitant – or embarrassed – while exploring, lean in and know that that feeling makes sense … when [provo] something new. Everything is alright.”