Users watch TikTok videos to distress themselves during lockdown

Users watch TikTok videos to distress themselves during lockdown

The lockdown due to the spread of Covid 19 has spurred the access to TikTok videos with people of all ages reaching out to their mobiles to de-stress themselves from the liberal dose of negativism oozing from every frame of television news and saturated Corona coverage in newspapers.

The lockdown due to the spread of Covid 19 has spurred the access to TikTok videos with people of all ages reaching out to their mobiles to de-stress themselves from the liberal dose of negativism oozing from every frame of television news and saturated Corona coverage in newspapers.

Conservative estimates of industry experts point that there is a spike of nearly 40-50 percent in the use of TikTok, one reason being that several celebrities have also taken to this.

Overall, there is an increase of 70 percent use of social media during the lockdown. Says Nidhi, a Master's student in Singapore, "I take a break during the online sessions by watching TikTok forwards to refresh myself."

Several others echoed similar views and point to TikTok becoming a rage for several reasons. Durga Prasad, a senior advertising professional says, "the content of TikTok is closer to users' lives, realities and emotions meeting the psychological needs of users."

From theory of Maslow's hierarchy, this, getting friends and love, respect recognition, is a higher level of demand after meeting physiological and security needs, he adds.

People's attention is limited. The less attention resources the user needs to input the interactive interface, the better. TikTok app interface design, functional presentation, interactive design optimises the user's visual and auditory experience by eliminating meaningless information, says a UI designer from Bangalore.

Who are the producers of the content? The content producer is an ordinary user and has no professional knowledge. Take for instance, noted TikTok star, Riyaz Afreen Aly, popular as Riyaz Aly, who is out of high school and tops the heap with 27 million followers. He is popular for his lip-sync, dancing and humour videos.

Users create personalised, lively, fresh, fun, and creative 15-second music video content based on their own preferences, along with a variety of fun and interesting music, and the addition of personalized effects and filters and disseminate content.

The contents include all aspects of the world of beauty, handsome, child, cute pet, music, dance, food, travel, technology, games, beauty, fitness and so on. It not only mobilises users' enthusiasm for content production, but also enables the TikTok platform to obtain massive content at a very low cost and enrich the content form and continuous content source.

The sense of participation and sense of accomplishment gained by the TikTok users, also enhances their loyalty to it. The mechanism for generating mass content is its user-driven content production.

TikTok offers a very high engagement rate, says Rajiv Singh of Yug Technology which markets Video TikTok content which is widely popular. He says that the youth both urban and semi urban prefer this platform as it does not demand huge investment like in YouTube where one has to spend money and time to shoot, record and upload a video.

With the advances in mobile technology, people don't have to scour for gadgets, like a camera or editing software but turn to the app because it has everything they need. Thus, TikTok opens a huge window of opportunity for youngsters who had very limited avenues to showcase their creative potential.

For the first time, creators are empowered-making decisions for themselves, and are exploring their ideas, without others interfering in their work. TikTok satisfies the functions of user to searching, viewing, socialising and creating content.

The "user-centric" concept is reflected in the three dimensions of sensory, interaction and emotion when the user experiences TikTok. The fun, suspense, and novelty shown by TikTok are all emotional feedback.

The user enjoys a pleasant and comfortable aesthetic experience through a variety of channel senses, such as hearing and vision.TikTok 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.

But do they make money out of it ? Opinions vary. Ajewole David, M.S Digital Marketing & Social Media, Obafemi Awolowo University says, "TikTok influencers 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, only negotiation between influencer and the brand.

Neeraj Rajpoot, BCA Computer Science & Computer Programming, Mohammad Ali Jauhar University says: 'In India you can't earn money by just uploading videos on TikTok.

It depends on the folowers/ 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.

Driven by the slogan "Records good Life," TikTok has had a spectacular growth curve. TikTok 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 per cent of those downloads.

India accounted for 44 per cent, or 323 million, of 2019's total TikTok app downloads, a 27 percent increase from 2018, the App Annie report said.

Global time spent on the short video app TikTok grew 210per cent 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 per cent since 2017.

That TikTok has become the one-stop social media platform is guided by 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, 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

TikTok has had its share of controversies in India. In 2019, the platform was accused of fuelling 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, TikTok still remains the go-to social media platform for many looking for entertaining videos. No doubt , TikTok pays excessive attention to the user's experience and the creation of commercial value, leading to lack of social value guidance.

How to take the social responsibility of TikTok, as a social communication platform, especially during the Covid pandemic is worth reflection.

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