TikTok India: wellness is trending and influencers are diversifying

Kavita Makhija (@imkavy) stands atop a wall, wearing gray leggings and a black high. An EDM observe crescendos, she bends her knees, swings her arms, and readies to leap. At the final second, she stops and breaks right into a dance. This video, on the time of writing, has over 11 million views, 3.5 lakh likes and 1,122 feedback. It is inexplicable. It is viral. It is TikTok.

Delhi-based Makhija says she anticipated “a lot of views” for the video. “I created an anticipation in the viewers, by trying to jump. But at the last minute, I deceived them with a dance,” she says, as if explaining a magic trick.

Wellness stars

  • Sahil Khan, @sahilkhan 2.9M followers, 28.7 M likes: The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner shares snippets from his life and travels. He additionally makes use of the brief video format to run by primary coaching strikes and showcase his each day [somewhat intimidating] exercises. We may not attain his chiselled physique, however as his catchphrase goes, #onelifebaby.
  • Indian Psychiatric Society, @indianpsychiatricsoc — 19.6K followers, 116.3K likes: The pandemic pushed these specialists from the nationwide organisation to share their tips about psychological well-being. They speak about how one can handle anger and destructive ideas, handle points like home violence, alcohol and stigma, in addition to social accountability.
  • Sakshi Khattar, @health365days — 1.8M followers, 15.6M likes: With an enormous following on YouTube and Instagram, this influencer has tailored her fast ideas for weight reduction and normal health in a shorter format. During lockdown, she shared a 21-day food plan plan, which she additionally adopted. Expect myths — will consuming mango make you pile on the kilos? — to be busted as nicely.
  • Mahendra Dogney, @mdmotivation1648.4M followers, 209.6M likes: The staggering numbers for this motivational speaker, who shares his views in Hindi, present how a lot want there is for open conversations on psychological well being. He talks concerning the significance of constructing good relationships, holding your thoughts occupied in a wholesome method, and why folks’s opinions shouldn’t matter.
  • Pooja Sharma, @iampoojas — 96.1K followers, 575.9K likes: If you are searching for nutrition-related data from the Indian context, Sharma breaks down details about macronutrients, low GI meals and extra in her channel. She intersperses it with life-style content material, workout routines and recipes.
  • Urmi Pandya, @yogaurmi.india — 2.6M followers, 29M likes: The yogis are to not be not noted: for many who don’t need to watch a protracted intro earlier than attending to the precise pose, this is excellent. Pandya shares fast tutorials on respiratory methods like Anulom Vilom in addition to strengthening workout routines for various poses.

Even if 11 million views for a video of a lady dancing on a wall escapes logic, her 8.2 million followers for her TikTok web page, Fitness Freak, could be defined. Indian customers spend 38 minutes on the app each day, in accordance with a businessofapps.com report, and well being and health are among the many most adopted matters on the Chinese video-sharing platform (owned by Beijing-based ByteDance).

In truth, India’s 200 million-strong consumer neighborhood kind an enormous chunk of the views raked up by #HouseFitness (two billion) and #PsychologicalHealthMatters (289.6 million) movies. Also, unsurprisingly, as of November 2019, India had probably the most TikTok downloads (over 190 million) outdoors China, in accordance with app analytics agency Priori Data.

15-seconds of fame

The short-video format app’s recognition is being pushed not solely by its no-frills strategy, but additionally its lack of an elitist tag — whereas Instagram has a extra city clientele, the Hinglish and regional language-friendly TikTok is fashionable throughout tier 1, 2 and Three cities. “They came to India [in 2017] when millions, especially in rural areas, were buying low-cost smartphones. Most people found it easy to use, with its simple editing and uploading tools,” says David Appasamy, head of name and technique at digital advertising company Social Beat.

Gujan Taneja’s web page, Gunjan Shouts, has over 3.6 million followers. She, like Makhija, predominantly posts health movies accompanied by peppy music and, often, foolish humour. Being upbeat and foolish sells right here, as a result of, as a video can’t exceed a minute, it has to hook the viewer throughout the first few seconds. “I want as many people as possible to watch. So I try to come up with different challenges that would make them participate and share my videos with others,” says the 30-year-old from Gurugram. Trend and problem hashtags associated to health and well being — #PlankChallenge, #HouseFitness and #SafeHands have been particularly fashionable throughout lockdown — fetching views within the hundreds of thousands and billions.

Everyone from meditation specialists, dieticians and gymnasium nuts to docs and psychological well being staff are turning content material creators now. For occasion, Sangeeta Jain (@theofficialgeet), a social employee from Delhi coping with psychological well being, has garnered over 4 million followers inside a yr of becoming a member of, along with her motivational movies. In truth, the views for movies with #StayPositive (4.7 billion) and #WholesomeMemes (175.Three million) reveal the sturdy following for psychological health-related matters. Liu Chuen Chen, a Delhi-based journalist who makes use of TikTok, says the app helps her de-stress. “Other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a lot of newsy content. There are arguments and debates. Consuming too much of that takes a toll on me. TikTok, meanwhile, is more entertainment and fun,” she says.

Know your recreation

  • #KeepingActive: Joined by the likes of singer Lizzo, this problem is a go-to for manufacturers seeking to make inroads on TikTok.
  • Pushup #ToosieSlideChallenge: Drake’s newest hit track took some #fitspo inspiration and was modified right into a push-up, the place you raise your “right foot up” and then let your “left foot slide”. You may also do the identical with Ciara’s ‘Level Up’.
  • #BoxChallenge: This one is for lively {couples}. One associate lies flat, whereas the opposite is within the plank place. When the individual on the underside sits up, it creates an epic field form with their our bodies!
  • #FitTok is a well-liked hashtag to seek out all kinds of exercises and influencers to comply with.

Bad press and court docket orders

The pandemic has elevated curiosity within the platform and its wellness content material. Last month, TikTok pledged $250 million in direction of Covid-19 assist, of which $50 million was channelled in direction of its Creative Learning Fund (to assist creators producing content material that educates and engages). The lockdown has additionally meant extra time to create content material. Urmi Pandya (@yogaurmi) has by no means been extra lively as she has been within the final two months. “I gained more followers and even started an online yoga course [some of her students live abroad],” says the 26-year-old yoga trainer from Ahmedabad.

But with the great comes the unhealthy. Along with helpful content material, misinformation, particularly about Covid-19, has elevated. According to a Reuters report, India’s IT ministry wrote to TikTok and Facebook in April, asking them to take away customers who are misguiding others. Dr Animesh Gupta (@surgeryonline) joined TikTok final yr to counter such misinformation. “People share [things like] how one can treat gall bladder with medicine and not opt for surgery,” exclaims the 30-year-old normal surgeon from Ballia, UP. “There are a lot of false claims and treatment methods about Covid-19 too. So since January, I’ve been making videos about the latter; they’re getting more views than my other videos.”

Misinformation, nevertheless, is simply one of many complaints that’s come up towards TikTok. Last yr, they got here beneath fireplace for “promoting suicides” (the Madras High Court even briefly banned new downloads of the app). Recent border tensions between India and China instigated a marketing campaign to boycott it, amongst different Chinese merchandise — a number of celebrities, together with Milind Soman and Arshad Warsi, stop the app. And final month, #BanTikTok trended on Twitter India following a controversial video on acid assaults. Online mudslinging between YouTubers and TikTokers additionally contributed to the hashtag, and a 1.3-star organised downrating of the app on Google Play Store.

But cyber crime advocate, NS Nappinai, reckons a blanket ban could be a knee-jerk response. “In case of violations by any platform or service, we need effective enforcement of existing laws,” she says, “It’s this lack of enforcement that needs to be addressed.”

Tapping manufacturers

Despite the latest criticisms, India is amongst TikTok’s greatest markets. Jain, who visits slums in Delhi for her social work, says, “The youngsters have smartphones and they use TikTok more than other platforms because they find a lot of regional content there, and the videos are short, so it doesn’t consume a lot of data. They are the kind of audience I want to reach.”

The poisonous aspect of TikTok

  • #Weightloss on TikTok has over 5.6 billion views worldwide. But, similar to the detox tea scams on Instagram, this platform has its fair proportion of “tips and tricks” — from an egg food plan to the favored one which makes use of varied iterations of cinnamon and lemon in water. Most just lately within the US, an organization known as Rae Wellness needed to pull their “Metabolism Drops” as a result of it had change into a problem/fad amongst teenagers on the positioning. With a demographic that is younger and impressionable, the platform has to have a look at methods to make it a safer setting.

TikTok’s customers — primarily between 18 and 35 years in India — are additionally what units it other than different social media platforms, says Gautam Mehra, CEO of Programmatic at digital advertising agency Dentsu Aegis Network. “Unlike Twitter, which is opinionated and text-heavy, and Instagram, which is about having an aspirational lifestyle, TikTok is more raw and is about your real self,” he says, including that manufacturers are seeking to leverage this, particularly as they faucet a brand new viewers outdoors tier 1 cities. Many focused campaigns — from model takeovers to in-feed native movies and hashtag challenges — have executed rather well. Take for instance, skincare model Clean & Clear’s #UnBottleApnaSwag problem final yr which bought over 15 billion views, or Pepsi’s #SwagStepChallenge that had 50 billion-plus views.

Sangeeta Jain

Sangeeta Jain

The drawback, nevertheless, is knowledge transparency. TikTok doesn’t enable the monitoring of any knowledge associated to efficiency — be it viewership, watch time or engagement. “Since there is a lack of such metrics, we are still learning the platform and are concentrating on finding the right influencers,” says Mehra, whose TikTok finances is anticipated to develop by 70% quarter on quarter.

With twice the quantity of profiles on TikTok (a million-plus followers in comparison with Instagram) this is solely going to develop. “As people continue to use it, brands will have more opportunity for marketing,” shares Appasamy, including that the massive names dealt with by his agency are prepared to pay between ₹5,000 and ₹2 lakh for influencers. So a sports activities attire model wanting to achieve health lovers in tier-2 and tier-Three cities can now attain them by… a lady who dances on partitions.

With inputs from Susanna Myrtle Lazarus

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