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TikTok, Bigo Live turn the page with educational content

The educational content push comes when bulk of the content on such apps revolves around entertainment.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 25, 2019, 06.25 AM IST
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TikTok’s content strategy thrives on trending hashtags. The other popular hashtags on the app include #yogaday, #cricketworldcup, #mytiktokstory, #tiktoktravel.
Short-video apps such as ByteDance’s TikTok and Bigo Live are increasing the quantity of educational content for Indian users after facing censure for inappropriate content on its platforms.

Bigo Live, a Singapore-based live steaming platform, launched education channels earlier this month, for which it hired broadcasters, while TikTok’s #EduTok has become a trending hashtag with over a billion views.

The push into educational content comes at a time when a bulk of the content on such apps revolves around entertainment. TikTok faced a temporary ban in India after the Madras High Court ruled in April that the app was “dangerous for children”. It has been since revoked. Google-owned YouTube has also been focusing on educational content. It is investing $20 million in developing such content. “For YouTube, such content adds engagement as it has a wider audience.

But, for short-video apps which are purely for feed-driven entertainment purpose today, core educational content is challenging till they evolve their product and search capabilities,” said Madhura Singhal, managing director, Praxis Global Alliance.

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On TikTok, motivational speakers and tuition teachers are creating videos and giving life lessons through #EduTok. TikTok has over 240 million users in India. Tuition teachers are promoting math and language classes through short videos by teaching simple tricks or making entertaining videos.

An English tutor who goes by the handle @alwalcreations with 3.6 million followers teaches English through translation, while promoting his classes. Another content creator with the handle @officialdear with over 300,000 followers has multiple videos of simple mathematics tricks.

Motivational speaker Mahendra Dogney aka @mdmotivation164 shares simple life lessons on Tik-Tok about how to be happy.

TikTok’s content strategy thrives on trending hashtags. The other popular hashtags on the app include #yogaday, #cricketworldcup, #mytiktokstory, #tiktoktravel.

Bigo Live aims to bring in more localised content to make it more accessible and is training over 14,000 paid broadcasters for this, said Nagesh Banga, deputy country manager. It also planning soft skills-based training, like personality development and interview skills.

“Seeing the larger picture, we want to make Bigo Live a one-stop platform where, along with entertainment, one finds content on education, reviews on products or movies, chat shows,” said Banga. “During this season, students are usually off for vacations, so it’s the right time to engage with those who want some vocational training.”

Owned by Nasdaq-listed Chinese company YY Inc, Bigo Live has already hired over 70 teachers for its English-training program and aims to raise that to 200 by end of this month. In India, the company competes directly with ByteDance-backed videoapps and Alibaba-backed VMate.

EThad reported earlier that Bigo Live plans to invest $100 million in India in the next three years.

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