• Dialogue writer

What TikTok meant for the Indian youth?

Authored by Ishita Dang

“ I felt I was kicked out of my job in a minute without any prior notice..several questions flooded my mind related to my livelihood, audience, and future plans”, a 21year old TikTok user said when asked about her plans after the ban on the widely popular platform. The Indian government imposed a ban on TikTok and 59 other apps on June 29 due to the on-going tensions between India and China. “India became Tiktok’s largest market with more than 200 million users” as per the reports by YourStory. This Byte-Dance owned, full video-based app excelled itself not only in metro cities but also in Tier 3 and Tier 4 towns which made it a democratic platform for youth to showcase their talent from any nook and corner. Now, the central worry rises-- Is youth still convinced about earning a livelihood from social media platforms?

Unfortunately, there are no direct responses to the question because of the dependency on social media via different approaches. If someone is a marketer, he/ she would face less trouble to switch to the other platform because people automatically approach you if you have established your name already. On the other hand, a content creator has to constantly come up with innovative ideas to make a connection with the audience otherwise in this highly competitive social media bubble the audience can forget you very quickly.“ Switching to more competitive platforms like Instagram or Youtube is difficult for me because I have to search for a niche to target the audience and to create useful content for them whereas TikTok was a more liberated platform where everybody was free to create and explore”, another creator said. There is no doubt, American apps tried to fill up the vacuum created by the TikTok ban immediately to attract the creators. For example- Instagram introduced a new feature reel to invite creators to show their talent. Structurally simple and easy to use were the two main features that contributed to the vast TikTok downloads among Indians belonging to different age groups, caste, creed, and religion.

You can be your boss. This nature of Social media platforms has attracted the youth all over the world due to the perks associated with it like working at your own pace, taking a break whenever you feel, and many more. To many, it seems more fun than a 9-5 desk job. On the one hand, these platforms can gain you stardom but at the same time, it can leave you with no way forward.

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