Impact of Tik-Tok ban on those who earn a livelihood - New Delhi Connect

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Impact of Tik-Tok ban on those who earn a livelihood

“Social media is addictive precisely because it gives us something which the real world lacks: it gives us immediacy direction, and value as an individual. But it is totally on the individual on how he uses it."

Every few years, a new app redefines the way to use social media. Till the last couple of years, folks were having fun with memes, Instagram and Facebook. In 2018 Tik-Tok came and within months it steadily grabbed the whole social media’s attention towards it. It came in collaboration with byte dance and musically. This mini-vine maker app turned ‘knight in the shining armour’ for various talents to showcase them and made it easy for social sharing. Tik-Tok emerged as a platform with many talents from singing, dancing to DIYs and magic tricks.

As jay beer said “content is fire and social media is gasoline”, content on Tik-Tok spread among millions like fire. In India, it reached to the nooks and corners of the country and within months Tik-Tok became a sensation on the internet. It ranked No. 1 in Apple’s App Store in terms of worldwide downloads. It managed to become the fourth most downloaded app worldwide after WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook. Tik-Tok became a much user-friendly app with its diversity in 14 languages. This lead to a new way of online sharing. A couple of months earlier, Pepsi launched a “Challenge-Driven” campaign. As a part, Pepsi’s summer campaign ‘Har Ghoont Mein Swag’, the brand created an anthem first uploaded to Google-owned YouTube, which picked up on other platforms too. On Tik-Tok Pepsi ran #SwagStepChallenge for six days where it invited users to share their “swag step”. The challenge generated over 4 billion views, which made it the most successful brand campaign on Tik-Tok.  It would be surprising to know that the #hashtag challenges emerged from India and Tik-Tok gave them a platform, which became famous worldwide. Soon users started gaining popularity and stardom, many rose from grounds with their unique talent and became Tik-Tok stars gaining a huge amount of popularity and fame. Soon within month’s famous talents on Tik-Tok turned into influencers.

Observing the increasing craze, brands deployed Tik-Tok as a social media vehicle. Retailers and brands started investing money. Of which some retailers were Myntra, Zara, ShopClues and Snapdeal. Entertainment, Production companies and OTT platforms like Dharma Productions, Hungama Music, Voot and Viu, started paying for their promotion. If a popular Tik-Toker is aged between 13 to 18 years then brands who sell products to teens will start investing with him. With this Tik-Tokers started earning money. The top Tik-Tokers earned $50k–150k for a successful brand partnership. By attending brand-sponsored events, the brand will usually pay to represent them at a brand-supported platform. Many even made their way as actors, singers, choreographers.

Everything was going good till some content on Tik-Tok started turning objectionable and cringe. A lot of videos portrayed and propagated violence, sexism, animal brutality, Rape culture, misogyny and much more. Girls between ages 10-16 for fame uploaded many videos with their body parts visible.  This led to a question on content of whether is it secure to use Tik-Tok? Whether it is relevant to be used by teens. Many analysts raised a question on security of millions of bytes of data. In this generation where users data is as valuable as gold its security turns to be the most important question. Byte dance was unable to provide a good explanation to the questions. This went to the notice of the government. Observing the increasing rage and hate against Tik-Tok and for the security of people of India, the Government of India took a step to ban the app permanently.

According to reports, Tik-Tok ban in India is causing approximately $500,000 a day for its developer, Beijing Bytedance Technology Cooperation. For those who earned their "Rozi roti"(bread and butter) from making videos on this app are now suffering the most in India. According to estimates of 119M users of Tik-Tok in India, approximately 2M will be affected by the ban of Tik-Tok. Surprisingly, many Tik-Tok stars welcomed the step and thanked the government for the concern. Many learnt about the danger of selling mass data and decided to turn down the app. Many unspoken talents went into the dark without being identified. Teens who earned money through the app are welcoming the move. This ban made people realise the proper use of any application. Hope to see good changes in future.

Author: Y Sarvani Swapna Priya for NDC

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