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Here’s How TikTok Made PM Modi Popular Among Young Voters

The clip became a sensational TikTok topic that floated on social media platforms for quite a while

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

Nearly 1.5 crore young “digital natives”, most of whom cast their votes for the first time, chose to vote for Narendra Modi as India’s next prime minister and Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok played a great role in creating a “Modi wave” among them.

While the seasoned members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were busy charting out strategies and organising rallies, the younger, tech-savvy karyakartas took charge of expanding Modi’s digital presence across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — and TikTok.

TikTok, which claims to have over 120 million monthly active users in India, played a crucial part in circulating dialogues, speeches and candid reactions from Modi on smartphones across the length and breadth of the country.

“One day, my Instagram was flooded with TikTok videos showing Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Modi sharing hugs and winks during a Parliament session with ‘Aankh maare, ladka aankh maare’ song playing in the background. It will always be one of my favourites this election season,” Riya Kalwani, content writer from Mumbai told IANS.

“Seriously, whoever took the time and energy to make these videos, hats off to them,” she added.

The app-struck young voters took to the platform to record themselves, shouting the famous “Mitro” and “Iss baar fir Modi sarkar” videos, hash-tagged them with social media trends and shared those.

After Modi prefixed the word “Chowkidar” before his name on Twitter, TikTokers went berserk.

violent attacks, muslim minority, rights group
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves toward his supporters during an election campaign rally in New Delhi, May 8, 2019. VOA 

Not just individuals but families recorded themselves imitating Modi’s “Aap aashvast rahiye, aapka ye chowkidar, poori tarah chowkanna hai” dialogue along with videos on the “Mein bhi chowkidar hu” songs.

“So many people did TikTok videos on ‘Zyada se zyada ye mera kya kar lenge? Aree hum toh fakeer aadmi hai, jhola leke chal padenge’ dialogue. It was everywhere. There was also this one where people have dubbed Modi discussing popular daily soap ‘Ye rishta kya kehlata hai.’ Just hilarious,” said Deepika Tiwari, a media student.

Another TikTok video that trended showed a TV screen recording of Modi speaking in a session with a paper in hand and his supporters banging the table behind him in agreement along with a famous dialogue from Bollywood movie “Munna Bhai MBBS”: ‘Sir, bahar casualty mei koi marrne ki halat pe raha, toh usko form bharna zaroori hai kya?”

Also Read: India 2nd in Government Requests for Users’ Data on Facebook

In addition to Hindi, several TikTok videos were shared in other regional languages including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Gujarati and Bengali.

In an interview with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, Modi said that he enjoys memes on the Internet.

The clip became a sensational TikTok topic that floated on social media platforms for quite a while. (IANS)

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TikTok ‘Poaching’ Facebook Employees Right in its Backyard

According to the Facebook CEO, TikTok is almost like Instagram's Explore Tab

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

Chinese short-video making platform TikTok is reportedly poaching Facebook employees and has moved into an office space in Mountain View, California that used to be frequented by WhatsApp workers before it was acquired by the social networking giant in 2014.

According to a CNBC report, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have also posted several job postings in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to LinkedIn.

“Since 2018, the company has hired more than two dozen employees from Facebook,” the report said.

The new location gives TikTok a strategic presence as it is just a few blocks away from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters and employees can just walk-in for jobs.

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that TikTok is doing well in the US and growing quickly in India, unveiling his own plans to counter the rising clout of the Chinese short video-sharing platform in meetings with employees.

Saying that Facebook has a “number of approaches” to compete with TikTok, Zuckerberg said the company would first test the efficacy of its strategies in markets where TikTok is not already big, according to the details of the meeting published by The Verge.

With over 200 million users in India, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is fast closing the gap with Facebook in the country.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“We have a number of approaches that we’re going to take towards this, and we have a product called Lasso that’s a standalone app that we’re working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico, is I think one of the first initial ones,” Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.

In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called “Lasso” to compete with TikTok.

ByteDance claims it has over 700 million daily active users globally. Facebook has more than 2.1 billion people that use one of its apps daily, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

According to the Facebook CEO, TikTok is almost like Instagram’s Explore Tab.

Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Publishes ads Containing Lies

“I kind of think about TikTok as if it were Explore for stories, and that were the whole app,” Zuckerberg said.

“We’re taking a number of approaches with Instagram, including making it so that Explore is more focused on stories, which is increasingly becoming the primary way that people consume content on Instagram, as well as a couple of other things there,” he said. (IANS)