Popular Chinese app TikTok is now banned in India (😱 ) but Amit Varma, one of India’s most popular podcasters, and Mumbai-based writer/journalist is calmly continuing his popular online course ‘TikTok and Indian Society’ on WhatsApp.
What’s ‘TikTok and Indian Society’ about?
Before the ban, TikTok was the second most popular free app in the world. It gained an immense following in India. Amit got hooked almost immediately. He started to study the popular, addictive video-making app and watched thousands of videos and that’s when he realised the impact the app was making in the country.
“Anyone with a smartphone can make her own videos. You are your own Mani Ratnam or Zoya Akhtar,” Amit writes on his course page.
“I don’t think the world has seen anything like this before. Millions of people who were on the margins of entertainment now have both a voice and a platform. And the Invisible India is no longer Unseen – it is in your mobile phone, and all you need to do to go deeper is scroll,” he adds.
The course does not focus on the marketing aspects of Tiktok. Instead, it reflects and analyses why TikTok exploded with the Indian audience, especially those in tier 2 cities.
“Young people across the country use it for self-expression, and the inisghts I get from that are what fascinate me,” Amit told us in an email interview.
The course analyses the apps’ trends, topics, and the people who consume as well as participate in the videos.
“TikTok has touched every corner of this country. It has empowered creative people in small towns and villages, enabled by the fortuitous combination of affordable smartphones and cheap bandwidth. And it gives great insight into shades of India that many of us big-city elites miss, and our popular culture does not portray.”
How does this course work on WhatsApp?
Amit uses a simple WhatsApp group as a classroom to conduct the course. Once a user signs up to the course, they are added to the WhatsApp group where he shares content in different formats – text, videos etc.
“I needed to share hundreds of vertical TikTok videos to illustrate the points I was making. This is not practical on Zoom or YouTube. WhatsApp was perfect for it!” he explained.
Learn how India reacted to TikTok in the course:
The app may be banned, but Amit’s course won’t be. After a successful first batch of 80+ sign-ups, the course will soon make a comeback. If you are interested in applying to know all about the why’s, how’s and what if’s of TikTok, the second batch will begin soon.
For details and registration, check out the course landing page.
Coming Up Next – The Art of Clear Writing
Amit is also imparting some of his wisdom to aspiring writers. His course – The Art of clear writing aims to attract serious, creative writers all over India to learn writing, the right way.
“If there is one thing I have specialised in over the years, it is how to write about complex ideas in simple language. I find that the biggest problem writing enthusiasts face is how to get their thoughts down on paper, so that they seem as impressive on the page as they are in their heads. I created my course, The Art of Clear Writing so that I could share some of my learning over the craft of writing with others,” Amit added.
When it’s in your head, it feels so perfect.
Then you put it on the page, and it’s so convoluted.
If you want to bridge that gap, I want to help you. Registration for the July batches of my online writing course are open. 🙂
THE ART OF CLEAR WRITINGhttps://t.co/dFerbZikQ1
— Amit Varma (@amitvarma) June 26, 2020
To boycott or not to boycott TikTok?
TikTok was the most used app in India by teenagers and has the highest engagement rate across social media platforms. According to a recent survey by the Indian Institute of Human Brands, 21% of 408 randomly surveyed people said they would uninstall TikTok because it was Chinese!
What’s crazier? More than 30% of people didn’t know it was a Chinese app. The IIHB report also noted that consumers really don’t care about the origin of the app.
For those asking, this does not affect my ongoing course, TikTok and Indian Society. I’ve already downloaded the videos I need. Curriculum was in the making for a long time!https://t.co/0GT3bwnOKU
— Amit Varma (@amitvarma) June 29, 2020
“TikTok empowered many creators across small-town India who had no other access to a platform for their creativity. I hope the ban is overturned,” Amit said.
Can the ban impact how Indians consume video content or even generate video content? For a country that relies a lot on entertainment, we can stay assured that there is always a way to find it. Like podcasts.
Voluntary support > Paid subscription
When businesses are shifting to paid platforms, Amit keeps his podcasts free of cost and allows listeners to contribute via a voluntary support mechanism using Instamojo.
“When I thought of voluntary support, I figured that Instamojo was the most convenient platform for me. It’s easy to use and works like a dream,” Amit said.
How Amit Uses Voluntary Support for his podcast “Seen and Unseen”
If you enjoyed listening to Amit Varma’s podcasts, you know the content includes a lot of research, material and time. Since the podcasts are free, you can voluntarily contribute here.
Once you click on the amount you wish to contribute, it redirects you to the Instamojo payment link.
Looking to collect payments for your content? We have you covered! Check out our whole stack of business tools that can help you get your online events up and running.