Nitin Saluja, director Public Policy, TikTok India said that the #Skills4All campaign has so far garnered over 456.8 million views. “TikTok has become the preferred platform for expression of India’s digital-savvy youth, given its easy-to-use tools and features to create and discover great content, all made easy on the mobile,” said Saluja.
TikTok has been in the process of monetising the platform by collaborating with brands to conduct campaigns through hashtag challenges. Now it wants to ensure that its business is not derailed by poor image management, said experts. Hence the proactive attempt to define its public persona around social causes.
The platform is also keen to diversify the content library, go beyond the brand-led song and dance shows or the user-led challenges that have led to serious trouble in the past. For the state-run agencies that have stepped in as partners, it opens up the possibility of finding and engaging young audiences in a more interesting fashion.
TikTok is easy-to-use and mobile-friendly, which explains its huge popularity in the country, said experts. Plus it is available in 10 major Indian languages, giving it a reach that goes well beyond urban audiences. Many on the platform are also first-time Internet users.
For NSDC, the platform’s debutant users are a big draw. “Through diverse content on TikTok, we aim to excite and educate the youth about the various opportunities in vocational training. We believe that by harnessing the potential of short videos, we will be able to motivate youth to join Skill India mission,” said Gaurav Kapoor, senior head, communication and advocacy and industry partnership and CSR, NSDC.
Out of TikTok’s active users, 80 per cent are in the age group of 15 to 35 years, the same target group that Skill India caters to, the NSDC spokesperson said. To drive a more effective campaign around such issues, TikTok has an exclusive segment called #EduTok for which it hopes to get enough content and brand partners in the coming months.
“It is imperative that we explore unconventional routes to reach the youth, along with traditional ones and there is no cost or financial implication involved in this partnership,” the NSDC spokesperson said.
For TikTok such initiatives help take the attention away from the controversies that have dogged its heels ever since it entered the country. For its partners, however, there are areas that need careful monitoring. Given the nature of the app that allows users to improvise and expand the scope of the content uploaded by a brand or the government, all partners must guard against abuse. A good video may not be the only thing to watch out for. Especially in the shifting sands of social media.