The covid-19 lockdown definitely had something to do with it. Not that we needed any help in cultivating content talents in the first place.
Nigeria has always had a thriving community of content creators, from the absolutely hilarious to the ridiculously mundane. But the unprecedented growth of content creators over the span of the lockdown is a new high, even for Nigeria.
It looked like everyone and their uncle had an epiphany and took to the social space to try and combat the boredom that came with staying indoors.
In a matter of just days, the social media ecosystem was plagued with a torrent of attempts to engage people using an assortment of content types.
Instagram usage was at an all time high, the zoom app became the only way to engage with your tribe or colleagues and twitter conversations spiked astronomically.
But in the midst of the regular and predictable social tools, one became a favorite of Nigerian content creators.
Nothing prepared us for the onslaught of the video sharing app that had been a favorite of content creators globally for a while now.
But even though Nigerian creators had arrived late at the table as regards the use of the addictive ‘new’ app, TikTok, in just days they had made it look like they had been using TikTok all their lives.
No one was left out. From celebrity accounts with thousands of followers to stragglers seeking to increase their dwindling fan base, everyone had a TikTok moment, mimicking recognizable audio snippets to cultivate audience reactions.
The Chinese-owned, AI-driven app has always been a fan favorite when it comes to viral challenges and mimicking popular speeches and comments. Experts tout those features as the reason for TikTok’s addictive nature, but unlike other social apps that need you to select your interests so as to create a customized visual, based on who or what you indicate as interest points, TikTok simply launches you into a pool of challenges that people are doing and expect you to latch onto the trend or wither away in social obscurity.
And if the millions of challenges being duplicated globally is any indication of the app’s success, then TikTok is neck-deep in success.
A scroll through your social timeline is sure to reveal a face in a strange monologue, lip-syncing in time to an audio snippet while conjuring a convincing facial expression to sell the act.
The demographic for TikTok like Snapchat is the very young Gen-Z, digital native, but Nigerian content creators are not having it. We have millennials and a few baby boomers proudly editing their profile to include the words, ‘TikTok content creator.’
We have even seen content creators monetize the trend with funny TikTok videos that help sell brand ideas.
The most awesome thing about the viral app is that there is no patent on the challenges being recreated. You can simply jump in on any challenge without the fear of being ‘dragged’ by someone somewhere for stealing their intellectual property.
But will the Nigerian TikTok craze result in the takeover of other social tools like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter?
Not really. At least not for straight-laced brands.
Brands in Nigeria are still skeptical about the ‘seriousness’ of snapchat, and so another app that aligns itself with entertaining challenges and funny mannerisms will definitely not be absorbed that quickly.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here