If you are a regular on TikTok, you probably know it is by and large a medium for entertainment. But you would also have come across a few educational and instructional posts. Indeed, as the social media platform matures, it is increasingly seen as an eclectic mix of education and entertainment.
Saunak Bhatta, 29, a motivational speaker from Kathmandu, uploads motivational videos and even talks on contemporary social issues on his TikTok account (@saunakbhatta). He has 144.5k followers.
“As TikTok became popular, I started uploading videos by cutting and pasting images and clips from other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. After the lockdown, I started making videos exclusively for this platform,” he claims. Soon, viewership surged.
Bhatta finds TikTok a challenging platform. “I am more used to motivational speeches spanning 2-3 hours. So it was a challenge to cram everything into a minute-long video. That, I think, made me more creative,” he adds. For some videos, he claims, he took around 60 takes just to fit within the given timeframe. TikTok, Bhatta says, taught him to be courageous, creative, and share his knowledge.
Another user thinking out of the box and using the platform to share skills, knowledge, and ideas is Lila Nath Ghimire, an advocate and freelancer from Sindhuli. He opened a TikTok account (@advocate_ln) back in August during the lockdown. He did so to share his knowledge on law, and he is happy with the response.
“I started giving legal advice through TikTok, and in no time gained 20.8k followers,” he says. His basic premise was that everyone should be acquainted with law.
Similarly, Mamta Shiwakoti, 24, from Kathmandu, also disseminates legal information through her account (@lawwithmamta). She has 45.7k followers.
When Shiwakoti was randomly scrolling TikTok earlier this year she came across a video in which a doctor was giving health advice. That in turn motivated her to do something similar. At the end of June, she too started making videos on law.
“I find TikTok is a good medium to share knowledge,” she says. She claims she is getting positive feedback and feels proud to be helping people. “I seem to inspire many people, females especially, to take up law, which is highly motivating,” she says.
Likewise, Dinesh Bajgain, 25, a teacher from Kailali, uploads videos with math and GK tricks on his Tiktok account (@dineshbajgain1) that has 122.8k followers. He joined TikTok around two years ago but started making educational trick videos only after the lockdown. “At first, I used to upload comedy videos. But then, my friends started mocking me for my frivolity even though I was a teacher,” he recalls. He then changed his course.
Another TikTok user Jyotish Sudeep Dhakal, 29, who is an astrologer from Bara, has 39.4k followers (@astrologer_sudeep_dhakal). He says he started making videos back in April when he says the paucity of astrological services online. “You would be surprised how many TikTok users are curious to know more about their future,” he says.
He says the “direct and immediate” feedback he gets has been the most helpful. Inspired by his TikTok videos, some even call him for astrological services.
Subash KC, 34, an English language instructor in Kathmandu, teaches English language through his account (@mercy_education) that has 133.6k followers. He joined TikTok three months ago. “After the lockdown started, students started approaching me to make TikTok videos to help them fill the education void. It was a hit right from the start.”
Even TikTok messaged him a short time after he opened the account with a request to display ads in his fast-growing account. “This motivated me even more to tailor my content to audience taste,” he says.
He claims to have worldwide audience and says regularly updating videos encourages him to keep himself updated and learn more.
Sushma Karki, 25, a make-up artist from Kathmandu, started using TikTok two years ago. She shares make-up and beauty tips via her account @ksuskalology that has 16.6k followers.
Karki points out some loopholes in TikTok even though it is by and large a great platform. “I think a minute is too short a time and I also feel that there could be a bit more monitoring of the content,” she says.
As most users like to watch entertaining videos on TikTok, adds Bhatta, the motivational speaker: “Whatever we make, it should be creative and entertaining.” He says if a trend of educating people with entertaining videos can be established, it could even revolutionize the traditional teaching-learning process.