Tik Tok star urges app not to forget ‘incredible community of people of North East’ with new scheme

Rebecca Baty says the TikTok Local Ambassador Programme is wrong to leave out the North East

A local TikTok star who shines a light on all the North East has to offer is calling on the viral social media platform to not forget the region.

Rebecca Baty has become one of the area's most recognisable online faces thanks to her TikTok account @rebbeebee18, which boasts a following of nearly 45,000 people.

Rebecca visits independent businesses in Newcastle, across Tyneside and the North East to show followers hidden gems on their doorstep.

The social media whizz took to the app this week to send a rallying message to followers, asking for support in getting TikTok to expand their Local Ambassador Programme.

Rebecca told NewcastleWorld: "TikTok has set up the Local Ambassador Programme in the UK and Ireland. They support TikTok content creators who highlight local things in their areas, but the only areas that have been included are London, Manchester, Liverpool, Wales, Scotland and Ireland - so the North East has been completely left out of it."

For creators like Rebecca, the programme would give her a shot at an even wider audience, which could reap benefits for the local businesses she showcases too.

The content creator regularly gets messages from local people thanking her for shining a light on somewhere they didn't know existed, or using her favourite restaurants and bars and date locations.

Rebecca is a much-loved figure in the North East

After Rebecca visited one restaurant in North Shields, Pigalo's, the venue reported being fully booked for two full weeks as a result - something the TikToker described as an "amazing feeling".

When not in front of the camera, Rebecca works with O.agency to help local businesses gain the tech-savvy skills to benefit from such videos themselves.

She added: "For creators, the programme puts a bit more of a spotlight on them and gives them a bit of extra support. That then in turn would enable me to highlight more of the North East, show how amazing it is and support the local businesses here even more."

Users wanting to support Rebecca's TikTok mission can do so by heading to her recent video talking of the issue and adding a comment of support along with tagging TikTok - as nearly 500 people already have done.

Asked about what makes the region so special, and why TikTok is missing out by not promoting the North East, Rebecca said: "Two things - one is the people. We have an incredible community of people in the North East who are helpful, friendly and innovative.

"The second would be that we have a collection of relatively small but mighty cities in the North East, such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Middlesbrough. Around that we have incredible countryside and beaches as well - we have everything in the North East and it often goes unsung."

NewcastleWorld asked TikTok why the region had been left out of the programme, and if any changes may be made.

A spokesperson said: “The TikTok local ambassadors programme launched in July, bringing together creators from six regions across the UK and Ireland, to spotlight and celebrate their local communities. From the foodies uncovering the best restaurants, to the history buffs helping us explore local sights, TikTok is a place to discover hidden gems, local recommendations and quirky town secrets that you won't find anywhere else.

"Whilst there are no current plans to expand this initiative, we always welcome feedback from our community so we can continue to improve the TikTok experience for everyone and would absolutely encourage creators from across the UK and beyond to continue sharing their favourite local spots on TikTok.”