TIKTOK- AN APP EVERYONE LOVES TO HATE

In India, the new trend of posting lip sync videos began with music.ly. Back then when it was growing, I looked at it as a platform that would simply waste my time. I didn’t pay much heed until 2016 when TikTok became the platform that hit the market. In 2018, it was the showstopper among young audiences being on a head-on competition with giants such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. 

Tiktok is compatible with even the most basic smart phones and is accessible to anyone with an internet connection as data rates in India are reasonable. The platform was crowded with videos providing comic relief, some lip sync videos and some utterly cringy. Nevertheless, they were all addictive and entertaining. The Tiktok snippets began making rounds on Whatsapp and Facebook.

People who felt they were ‘too good for Tiktok’ criticized the content which circulated the fast-growing platform. I was on a similar bandwagon and shut off my devices every time someone shared some cringy clips from TikTok. They were all pure meme materials at the end of the day.

While a lot of us were sitting on our high horse, brands, media houses and celebrities were taking a keen interest in the platform. 15 seconds of fame was now possible to the common man.

Fast forward to 2019, content creators are getting monetary deals and are making a living via the application. Various content such as sharing fitness advice, English classes, stunts, lip sync videos, memes etc are always available here.

As per the report by industry leading media agency Zenith, India features very high where Tiktok stars are concerned. Though Youtube has more users than Tiktok, the short video creating app has helped the common man reach fame in no time. Users have also gone to the extreme to appease their ‘fan base’. Some users resorted to violence, self-harm, religion slandering and criminal activities which caught the attention of the government and the parents alike. The platform also received 11 government requests for removing content from the platform that was viewed as a violation of local laws. Tiktok has since removed content from 8 accounts.

On November 2019, A petition was filed by a resident of Mumbai stating that Tiktok was encouraging children to consume unfiltered sexual content. This has proven to be detrimental on young impressionable minds. The resident also filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a ban on the app due to its objectionable content.

A ban was placed on Tiktok on April 2019 by the Madras High Court stating that the application was promoting harmful and illicit content. The ban was eventually lifted.

Despite the downsides and angry parents, the application has helped plenty of content creators earn a living.
Vaibhav Vora, a content creator from Gujarat shot to fame when he posted his video on “Mature Bag” via Tiktok. He goes by the name Style Centric on Instagram and shares fashion tips to the people. The idea behind the video was that he suggested a bag that would be a little ‘grown-up’ if people wanted to be the centre of attention. The video went viral and people flocked to Amazon in hoards. He received some profit from the sales and is now enjoying the limelight with other brands.

Content creator Manjul Khattar is one of a Tiktok celebrity with 8.5 million followers. He shares quirky lip sync videos and is also a professional singer.

Brands are keenly looking at the platform for rising stars and fresh content. The growth of this platform is no small feat. Thanks to our youth, they now have a visual way of expressing that could not be done in a mere 140 characters. If you are not on Tiktok, I’d safely say you can jump on the bandwagon and look at how this app works. I have currently changed by mind for the better after looking at its potential. This is a gem for all content creators following YouTube so be sure to become a trendsetter while it’s still hot.