Sometimes, it seems like the people who use TikTok the most have their own language — and in many ways, they totally do! “FYP” meant nothing until TikTok came along, and now you see it all over the video-sharing app. “Xyzcba,” “POV,” “Heather” — suffice it to say, there’s a whole list of TikTok-specific vocabulary words that only people who use the app regularly truly understand.
We found a new one recently: “ib.” We’ve been noticing a lot of people include the #ib tag in the captions of their videos and had no idea what it meant. So we did some digging, and now we can tell you that it has at least two meanings. Here they are!
What does “ib” mean on TikTok?
Often, when you see “ib” (or #ib) in the caption of a TikTok video, it’s followed by someone’s username — not the person whose video you’re watching. In that case, there’s a simple explanation for what it means. Basically, “ib” stands for “inspired by.”
People tend to use “ib” as a way to give credit for a certain dance or trend when it has inspired them to make their own video. It’s similar to when people use “dc” to give “dance credit” when uploading a video of them performing a TikTok dance that was developed by someone else. It definitely seems like “dc” is more popular for dance videos, but you do see plenty of uses of “ib” as well.
There aren’t any official rules about crediting the accounts that inspire you in your TikTok caption, but it is nice to give a shout-out to the original creators. It’s also definitely not a good look to pretend that an idea was 100 percent your own if it was heavily inspired by someone else (and we’ve all seen followers of popular accounts come for people who “steal” content in that way!).
All that being said, there’s another meaning for “ib” on TikTok (and in real life, too).
“Ib” may also refer to International Baccalaureate classes.
Some of the videos using the #ib tag on TikTok have nothing to do with being “inspired by” other people’s work. Rather, they have the #ib tag because they include content about IB (or International Baccalaureate) classes. IB classes are somewhat similar to AP (or Advanced Placement) classes in that high school students can take them in order to earn college credit before actually entering college.
If you ask IB students about the program, they’ll probably tell you about how intense and difficult it is (they’ll also probably say their classes are way harder than AP classes). Basically, there are IB classes in six subject groups (Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts), as well as an additional class called Theory of Knowledge.
IB students must take classes in all six categories and Theory of Knowledge in order to qualify for their IB diploma and to receive college credit (assuming the schools they apply to give credit for IB classes).
TikTok videos about the IB program are usually about how difficult their workload is — which makes sense! It does seem like a pretty intense method of education (especially now, when a lot of students are taking their IB courses online instead of in-person).
Anyway, now you know what “ib” means on TikTok! That’s one more TikTok mystery solved.