Posted on July 13, 2020 at 1:53 pm

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Exclusive: The Impact of The Tiktok Ban in India on Content Creators

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Tiktok Ban and TikTok Creators

Exclusive: The Impact of The Tiktok Ban in India on Content Creators

The Chinese app Tiktok has officially undergone a ban in India impacting many creators worldwide. The app has brought together creative minds and fans enjoying the humorous and informative content shared on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, the app is banned in India due to the country’s circumstances. The app has certainly made many creators find their niche and passion for content creation and entertainment. It has been said that the ban might continue and occur in the US overtime.

We wanted to find out the impact that the current ban might have on some creators during this time! We had the privilege of speaking to three well-known creators Jahnavi, Ashish Yamdagni and Ramis Ansari.

Jahnavi

Jahnavi started musically in 2016, and started posting In 2017. She downloaded Tiktok as a joke & it has now become so significant to her . Tiktok has definitely impacted Jahnavi in so many ways. Jahnavi stated that she downloaded it to make people happy with her content.

“Throughout this four year journey, I made so many amazing friends, and I got to learn so many new things. I’ve become so much more social, and creative since I’ve been on this app.”

How many hours do you spend on creating content on tiktok?

“I spend a lot of time on Tiktok. It depends what kind of content I’m creating. A simple lip sync would take me 5 to 10 minutes. But an art video takes me a lot of Time. My art sometimes takes days, but the whole process is portrayed in a 1 to 2 minute video.”

When asked what Jahanvi enjoys most about the app, she revealed that she enjoys going live on Tiktok. She got noticed by a team for her art videos and was given something called “Top Live”.

“Top Live basically means that whenever I go live, the whole app would get my notification. Going live is a lot of fun, I get to interact with people from all over the world. The most challenging part for me, would be competing against my friends.”

Jahnavi also stated that she had challenges as a content creator on Musically. 

“Two countries would compete and make videos under a hashtag. Whoever had the most videos would win, or another competition called “The 1 Million audition.” This was basically a competition against everyone on the app, we had to show our talents, Whether it’s art, singing, drawing, dancing, etc.”

With a huge India following, we wanted to find out what Jahnavi’s thoughts were on the recent ban.
“I know India and China are not getting along, but banning apps shouldn’t be the way to go. There are so many things that is made in China, that India is still using. I’ve made so many people online friends through the app, and I’ve seen them grow & the next day their hard work from four years is gone.”
The recent ban on the app would definitely affect the creators algorithms. Jahnavi states that most of her fan base and friends are from India. She made a lot of Indian content for her followers but is also attempting towards changing her content for others.
“The ban definitely affected me, but I think I can get back up, and entertain the other part of the world. It has discouraged a lot of Indian creators, & NRI Indian creators as well, but this ban shouldn’t affect people. People have gained so much through this app. An app might die, but real talent doesn’t. There are so many other platforms that aren’t banned.”

Ashish Yamdagni

Ashish Yamdagni has grown his platform tremendously from Tiktok. He started posting videos in November 2019 and had around 500 instagram followers. Ashish was struggling to find his niche regarding content. He never considered creating produced skits until he saw other creators doing it.

His instagram was mostly filled with images of him and captions that he claims were “trying too hard”. Once Ashish started posting on Tiktok, he found his own voice and niche as a creator and has grown from it.

Ashish‘s work ethic is impeccable. The effort that he puts into his content is commendable. We often wonder how many hours he spends creating such entertaining content! He mentioned the manner in which it varies based on the content at hand.

“The amount of time varies a lot based on the concept. One of my most viral Tiktok’s was a simple joke that took me about five minutes to record and post. That video has reached half a million people now.”

“My longest video was a recreation of Hasan Minhaj’s popular Desi Act, which required me to apply green screen effects and create a lot of graphics in addition to recording and performing. This took over five hours for me to make. On average, shooting and editing my videos takes me two-to-three hours. “

What do you enjoy most about the app and what’s been the most challenging part of being a creator on TikTok?

“I love that Tiktok carves out a space for everyone. When I first got on I was delighted to see so much South Asian content and even happier to see that it was so popular! Minority content with the ability to go mainstream based on the content itself was a godsend.”

“Keeping up with the algorithm and creating content on a regular basis has been pretty challenging. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers and continuously question why a video that took hours to make didn’t do so well. I specifically make series, at times when people continuously ask for more videos I definitely feel the pressure to continue making content of a certain caliber.”

Ashish is known for creating some amazing content that the South Asian can definitely relate to. We wondered how this current ban would impact on his content and the numbers!

“I had an incredibly small base of followers from India, so I’ll be sad to see them go — if they’re not VPNing to US. The bigger picture, in my opinion, is that India has now set the precedent for banning an app as a political move. Australia is talking about banning it as well, and now the USA is too. Had India not done anything, these conversations wouldn’t be happening, nor taken so seriously.”

“I think it does put Tiktok at risk across the globe to be banned. I am worried that USA could follow suit. There is no comparison to that app right now in terms of organic reach, and I’ve asked my followers to join me on other platforms, but it would be an overall detriment to my online growth if Tiktok gets banned here too.”

“In terms of the algorithm, Covid-19 caused more people to adopt Tiktok and create content for it, so we’ve already seen a slower growth pattern in terms of algorithm changes. Outside of South Asia, I doubt Tiktok will change its algorithm specifically because of India’s ban.”

The ban has discouraged many creators. How can we all as a community show our support towards creators in general?

“Follow them on other platforms! The best way to support a creator (non-financially) is to support them on every platform they’re putting content on. That way if one platform falls, they aren’t hurt and can focus on another.

“In addition, if you really like a certain creator, comment on their content and show your support, this helps the algorithm and inspires the creators. It’s a two-way street. We make our work for you, and love to hear your thoughts (even if you don’t like the content, we want to know why and how to improve).”

Ramis Ansari

Ramis Ansari brings the vibrancy to the Tiktok For You Page on the daily. Tiktok has played a huge role in establishing & solidifying his public online persona. Ramis stated that prior to TikTok, he had never interacted with creating content or sharing on other platforms.

“Since I started posting on Tiktok it has definitely helped me to grow & appreciate the art of content creation. The organic reach, unlimited room for creativity, entertaining trends & the audience on Tiktok has all played a contributing factor in my journey of growing an online presence.”

Tiktok creators are filled with a world of ideas on the Tiktok #fyp (for you page) leaving them to create content for hours that encourage other younger creators. The amount of hours many spend on the app is insane! We can only imagine the hours in comparison to the actual content creation.

When asked about the hours spent on content creation, Ramis shared his content schedule with us:

“I usually spend anywhere from 3-5 hours a day on Tiktok. This usually consists of me scrolling on the For You Page being genuinely entertained by what I am coming across but also as a researching tool to see what trends or songs are becoming more popular.”

“Upon spending hours on Tiktok, I am then able to narrow the song, trend or type of content I want to utilize to produce a video. Then the hard part is initiated where I try to come up with original & creative ideas for my videos.”

“Once the idea is solidified, shooting and producing the actual Tiktok doesn’t take me too long. Maximum half an hour for videos that require a little more effort.”

Along with online content comes hard work. All content creators certainly have something worth loving and some challenges regarding social media apps.

Ramis loves the freedom and flexibility that Tiktok provides for creators and creativeness.  Whether it is dancing, acting, preaching, entertaining or educating; Tiktok caters for it all. He states that one never gets bored when scrolling on Tiktok’s For You Page as every video will be completely different to the last one.

According to Ramis, the most challenging part of being a creator on Tiktok is definitely thinking of ways to not only maintain good quality videos that you may be known for but improving on them.

“I feel as though I need to be posting videos which are improving more and more in comparison to my previous ones as people won’t necessarily stay interested in the works of a content creator who isn’t improving.”

“Another challenging part of being a content creator is knowing that your content has an impact on the viewers of it, therefore ensuring that you produce content that is beneficial for the viewer is important.”

Reflecting on the current ban, Ramis mentioned that is definitely sad to see the app banned as India has some of the most popular creators. He mentioned that this can be taught as a lesson regarding the fact that apps may get banned at any time. Therefore ensuring that you provide your followers with reasons and initiatives to follow you on other stable platforms.

The sudden change would certainly impact on the algorithm of many creators. We asked Ramis how the sudden ban would impact on his algorithm and content at hand. 

“The Tiktok ban will definitely impact my content in terms of views. Many of my most popular videos have gone viral as a result of users from Tiktok India engaging with it. Content creators are now losing out on a big audience as a result of the ban & this will most certainly impact many.”

“However it is a good time to focus on other niche markets rather than changing the type of content you produce. For example, the ban will not discourage me to create South Asian related Tiktok’s as this type of content is what I can relate to most & feel most comfortable creating.”

“I may now start introducing ‘subtitles’ for non Urdu/Hindi speakers in other parts of the world. Even producing content targeted to South Asians that reside in other parts of the world like Pakistan, UK, USA, etc.”

The ban has discouraged creators from putting in the needed effort into the app at this current time.
Ramis proposes that as a community, the best way to support our creators is to engage with their content on other platforms.
“For example following their instagram accounts where they post Tiktoks, subscribing to their YouTube accounts and most obviously if Tiktok is not banned where people reside then engaging with their content on Tiktok in terms of liking, commenting & sharing.”
Furthermore, the Tiktok ban will definitely impact on many creators due to the majority of many creators and their audience being situated in Asia. Creators are feeling the pressure with the current algorithm at stake and the effort done with creating new content.
Content creators deserve a platform to showcase their creativity and fortunately, tiktok has created that space for everyone. The ban is supported by many and understood, we are hoping that content creators get the necessary support and exposure on other platforms!
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