No money, no followers: Telugu TikTokers stare at bleak future

By Priyali Dhingra  Published on  2 July 2020 5:12 AM GMT
No money, no followers: Telugu TikTokers stare at bleak future

Hyderabad: TikToker Venu Virat is at wits end how to come to the grips with life post-TikTok. Virat had 1.3 million followers on Tiktok and all earned by dent of hard work.

Come Monday, Virat lost everything in the blink of an eye as Centre moved at lightening speed to ban 59 Chinese Applications (apps) in retaliation to violent face-off at Galwan valley that left 20 army soldiers dead.

“TikTok has been my only source of catharsis since I left school after class X," Virat said, who was popular on the platform for his Adhoni Abbai videos.

Virat is not an isolated case. For many Telugu users, TikTok was a platform that helped them to improve their skills and showcase their talent. Sample this: Popular TikToker Nagender Babu's dance videos were a runaway hit on TikTok. Such was his popularity that he gained 500,000 followers in just one and a half years

"We understand the Center’s intention, but we need an Indian alternative (to TikTok). We accepted the decision of banning TikTok. But I believe it was taken in haste," he said.

Nithyasree, a TikTok influencer from Vishakhapatnam said the central government should have given them time to find an Indian alternative before banning the application.

Nithyasree, who played an important role in C/O Kancherapalam, had been using TikTok to hone her acting skills. Her character helped her gain 1.9 million followers in just a few months.

"I have no Plan B," said Bhargav, a Telugu actor who had 8.4 million followers on the application before it was banned. "I was aiming to reach 50 million subscribers."

Like him, TikTok was a source of income for many. Bhargav was able to earn up to Rs 300,000 every month because of brand advertising on his profile.

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