By The Malketeer
The influence of TikTok, the social media sensation, is captivating and rapidly transforming industries such as marketing, advertising, and even die-hard politics in Malaysia.
HUMOUR IS A WEAPON
A significant factor that catapulted TikTok’s meteoric rise is the liberal use of humour. In our highly stressed societies, humour plays a positive role and helps build formidable resilience. Humour builds bridges in times of hardship and crisis.
TikTok capitalised on this very successfully.
With over 1.5 billion global users in 2022, TikTok continues to reign as an undisputed social media giant with some researchers claiming that Instagram usage is in decline among younger audiences.
Owner ByteDance indicates that TikTok prided in over 14.59million users aged 18 and above in Malaysia in early 2022. However, other research houses place Tiktok users at 8,103,70 in 2023, which is expected to reach 10,643,189 by 2026.
There’s no doubt that TikTok has emerged as a meeting place for the under-25 generation – a target group social media platforms are scrambling everything to win over.
Another impact of TikTokisation is the catalytic rise of influencer marketing in Malaysia.
Many popular TikTok users in Malaysia have built up large followings. An increasing number of brands and even political parties are signing-up with these influencers to promote their products , ideologies or services.
This trend has led to the growth of a new generation of social media influencers in Malaysia, who are now able to monetise their popularity on TikTok.
TikTok has launched its own advertising platform, allowing brands to run ads on the platform and target specific audiences based on factors such as location, age, and interests.
The platform also offers a range of ad formats, including in-feed ads, brand takeovers, and sponsored hashtags.
KINGMAKER IN COMING STATE ELECTIONS?
It is highly likely that TikTokisation will have an impact on the upcoming Malaysian state elections, especially in terms of how political parties and candidates communicate with and mobilise the younger voters.
However, it is important to note that there are also risks associated with using TikTok for political messaging….
During the GE15, TIkTok faced mounting criticism over issues such as spreading of misinformation and extremist content. Political parties and candidates would need to be extra careful to avoid such pitfalls.
My sources say that both Madaniland and Hadiland camps are leaving nothing to chance and are vehemently crafting a series of entertaining TikTok videos. There is an abundance of comical political talent awaiting.
For one, I am waiting to watch an entire TikTok series featuring the maestro himself – Mat Sabu. I am certain his authentic humour is something no politician can match. He is so lovable.
PERILS OF MISINFORMATION
One of the main risks associated with TikTok is the potential for misinformation and the spread of extremist content. Political parties and candidates who use TikTok to communicate with voters must ensure that the content they share is accurate and not misleading.
Another risk associated with TikTok is the potential for negative feedback or backlash from users. TikTok users are known for their outspokenness and are not afraid to criticise political content that they disagree with.
TikTok is a double-edged sword that can misfire and turn the tide against politicians in the coming state elections. While TikTok can be a powerful tool for political messaging and mobilisation, it also poses risks for political parties and candidates.
It must be noted that TikTok’s algorithm is designed to promote content that is engaging and shareable, which can lead to the spread of viral content that is not necessarily accurate or representative of a political party or candidate’s views.
This can create a situation where a politician’s message is distorted or taken out of context, leading to misunderstandings and negative perceptions among voters.
Let the games begin.
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