October 20, 2020

BTS fans didn’t break TikTok; a broken link did

Like all things related to popular K-pop boy band BTS, pandemonium broke out online yesterday when the group debuted a clip of their new single on TikTok, only for part of the app to stop working in response.
Not long after the clip was posted, a section of TikTok’s search function — one dedicated to looking up particular sounds, like a song track — started displaying error messages. People trying to use the specific search function, including multiple Verge staffers, were greeted with messages saying the app was unable to connect to a network. The rest of TikTok functioned properly, but BTS fans quickly started tweeting about how they broke the app by flooding the app trying to find the song.

It’s not a bad guess; the BTS “army,” as they often refer to themselves, have reportedly overloaded other apps and websites trying to access new merchandise, concert tickets, and song debuts, but that’s not what happened this time. A TikTok representative confirmed to The Verge that the issue was “a URL link to the track that needed to be updated, not an app crash.”

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