By K.Stevenson

Hyderabad: A mini-survey revealed that TikTok videos have become a rage for several reasons. Industry experts say there is an increase of nearly 40-50 percent in the use of TikTok, one reason being that several celebrities have also started using the App. Overall there is an increase of 70 percent use of social media during the lockdown.

"The content of TikTok is closer to users’ lives, realities, and emotions. Human beings nurture an instinct to be attention seekers, being in the limelight, but the ones who corner all the glory are the achievers who are helped by luck”, said Durga Prasad, a senior advertising professional.

Tik Tok provides the answer with no investment. Just a mobile phone in hand and the users are producers. They are amateurs in content production with no professional background in making videos.

Sample this: Noted TikTok star, Riyaz Afreen Aly, popular as Riyaz Aly, who is out of high school and tops the lot with 27 million followers. He is popular for lip-syncing, dancing and humor videos.

Users create personalized, lively, fresh, fun, and creative 15-second music video content based on their own preferences, along with a variety of fun and interesting music. It not only mobilizes users’ enthusiasm for content production but also enables the TikTok platform to obtain massive content at a very low cost.

The sense of participation and accomplishment gained by the TikTok users also enhances brand loyalty. The mechanism for generating mass content is its user-driven content production. “TikTok offers a very high engagement rate,” said Rajiv Singh of Yug Technology which markets Tik Tok content.

According to him, both urban and semi-urban youth prefer this platform as it does not demand huge investments like YouTube where one has to spend money and time to shoot, record and upload. With advancement in mobile technology, people don’t have to scour for gadgets, like a camera or editing software. Thus, Tik Tok opens a huge window of opportunity for youngsters who had very limited avenues to showcase their creative potential.

'For the first time, creators are making decisions and exploring ideas without others interfering in their work. TikTok satisfies the functions of the user to searching, viewing, socializing and creating content. The “user-centric” concept is reflected in the three dimensions of sensory, interaction and emotion when the user experiences Tik Tok. The fun, suspense, and novelty shown by Tik Tok are all emotional feedback. The user enjoys a pleasant and comfortable aesthetic experience through a variety of channel senses, such as hearing and vision. Tik Tok allows users to shoot, edit and add music and effects within the app itself, download their videos easily or upload them to other platforms (like WhatsApp) directly' Mr Singh adds .

“Tik Tok app interface design, functional presentation, the interactive design optimizes the user’s visual and auditory experience by eliminating meaningless information,” said a UI designer from Bangalore.

Ajewole David, M.S Digital Marketing & Social Media, Obafemi Awolowo University said Tik Tok influencer get paid, but not by the platform itself for running ads or whatever, but by brands looking to contact them to promote their branded videos. There is no fixed rate but only negotiation between the influencer and the brand.

“In India, you can't earn money by just uploading videos on Tik Tok. It depends on the followers/ traffic and linking it to your Instagram or Youtube IDs to garner more followers on other social sites. This will catch the eye of sponsors who want to advertise their brand, they will contact you and make a deal”, said an avid Tik Tok follower pursuing computer science programming from Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.

Driven by the slogan “Records good Life”, Tik Tok has had a spectacular growth curve. Tik Tok, which was the breakout social app of 2019 in India, has emerged as the most engaging application in India, according to a report by data analytics firm App Annie.

The ranking is based on year-on-year growth in both Apple’s iOS and Google Play downloads toppling Facebook and hit 1.5 billion downloads worldwide with India on the top contributing to nearly 44 percent of those downloads

India accounted for 44%, or 323 million, of 2019’s total Tik Tok app downloads, a 27% increase from 2018, the App Annie report said.

Global time spent on the short video app Tik Tok grew 210% year-on-year in 2019, both from expanding user bases and rising time spent per user. Consumers averaged 3 hours and 40 minutes on mobile in 2019, up 35 percent since 2017.

That TikTok has become the one-stop social media platform is guided by a strategy that went into launching the app in the first place. ByteDance first launched Douyin, the version of TikTok meant for a Chinese audience in 2016. In 2017, ByteDance acquired Chinese-founded Musical.ly, the lip-syncing app that was popular among teens across Europe and the US. In 2018, ByteDance merged the two and launched what became the international version of Douyin, TikTok. In other words, TikTok was built on the backs of Musical.ly.

Tik Tok has had its share of controversies in India. In 2019, the platform was accused of fueling hate speech. It has updated its community guidelines from just a couple of bullet points, with a focus on child safety owing to its large number of teenage content creators.

Notwithstanding the controversies surrounding it, Tik Tok still remains the go-to social media platform for many looking for entertaining videos. No doubt, Tik Tok pays excessive attention to the user’s experience and the creation of commercial value, leading to a lack of social value guidance.

(All views and opinions expressed are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NewsMeter as an entity, or its affiliation with it )

Prof. K. Stevenson

Prof. K.Stevenson, is on the Faculty, Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, Osmania University. He started his career as a journalist before switching over to academia. He is a recipient of the Telangana State Best Teacher Award-2018 and Mass Communication trainer - 2019. He worked for a couple of years in the Gulf and was Editorial consultant to a general interest magazine. He was also Senior Editor for a magazine for entrepreneurs. He also holds additional charge of Media Advisor to Osmania University and Director of the Centre for Digital Education Technology. which is tasked with the responsibility of producing digital educational content

Next Story