Social media firms asks creators to make 'at home' videos during lockdown

BENGALURU: Sameeksha Sud, a popular TikTok creator with over 20 million followers on the short-video platform, has started making all her videos inside her home. Sud is known for her short dance videos but now her focus is on making comedy vines and videos.

“There is an environment of tension around so I am trying to make comedy videos. The type of content on TikTok is also changing so users are getting used to it. Engagement is also good. TikTok has also instructed its creators to make videos only at home,” she said.

Sud is not the only creator forced to experiment with new formats. Standup comedian Zakir Khan is trying a sit-down format at home and tech creator Gaurav Chaudhary is reviewing ventilators instead of gadgets on YouTube.

Social media platforms including YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are reaching out to their creators in India to continue to make engaging videos during the lockdown as users turn to social media for entertainment.

“Our efforts are more focused towards ensuring that they create content that is actively being sought by users who find themselves at home for a long stretch of time, and help creators contribute to amplifying the social distancing message with #StayHome,” said Satya Raghavan, Director, YouTube Partnerships, India.

The Google-owned platform has kicked off a Live series to enable creators to engage with their audience and has curated multiple playlists around popular themes like cooking, workout, and dancing. It is conducting webinars to handhold creators with ideas around content creation during the lockdown and sharing tips on how to shoot indoors with minimum equipment and indoor lighting.

YouTube said average global daily uploads of videos with "at home" in the title increased over 590% since March 15th compared to their average uploads for the rest of the year.

“With the new reality of social distancing, we're glad to see public figures and creators connecting with their communities and engaging with them in new and creative ways. We continue to engage with them, as we always do, to enable them to best use our platform and engage and educate their communities,” said Manish Chopra, Director, and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India.

Facebook is curating and augmenting experiences working with public figures and creators, using Facebook and Instagram Live and sharing new features such as the ‘I’m staying at home’ Facebook badge, ‘Stay Home’ and ‘Ghar Pe Raho’ Instagram stickers and co-watching on Instagram. Instagram Live views have increased by more than 60% in the last week in India.

TikTok has started #GharBaithoIndia campaign with creators pushing them to create home videos. It has also launched virtual effect games to keep users entertained.

“We are teaming up with creators, celebrities, musicians, education institutes and other partners to bring LIVE content to you,” TikTok said in a blogpost recently. “There are a range of amazing celebrities and creators who have come forward to share things we can do, while staying inside and stopping the spread.”