Early this year, the short video app TikTok joined Nairobi Garage, a leading coworking space in Nairobi’s Kilimani district.
The Chinese company behind the world’s fastest-growing social media app had already been holding “creator sessions” and meetups around the city in 2019, urging creative young Kenyans to learn about the benefits of joining the “fun, cool short video platform”. Last October it partnered with Chinese phone maker Transsion’s Infinix brand in Kenya with a hashtag campaign called #WeAreHot to boost a new phone model but also raise awareness of the app.
TikTok has been investing quietly, but significantly, to usher in a new age of influencers in Africa. It’s part of a concerted strategy for the youth-friendly app to get a major foothold in the world’s youngest continent and home to some of the leading global pop culture movers across music and film especially with the recent rise of Afrobeats and Nollywood.
In Nigeria, TikTok has been signing up comedians, dancers and singers from Instagram and YouTube with promises of higher visibility and more followers. By October, the company owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, hired a local “talent acquisition manager” tasked with “talent management, co-branding campaigns, and creative hashtags,” according to a LinkedIn post.
TikTok’s investment in local offices and hires has come with major gains. It is currently the third-ranked social media application among Nigerian users and the sixth-ranked social media app among Kenyans in the Google Play Store.
For South Africa, TikTok has a dedicated account @tiktok.southafrica with much of the usual youthful fare of the latest dance steps and quirky clips. In January, in a sure sign of the growing importance of TikTok to driving usage, phone company MTN inked a deal to create customized MTN TikTok internet data bundles. It was a similar strategy that saw WhatsApp usage rocket in South Africa.
When TikTok first looked at the African market in 2018, it had barely been searched by Africans on Google trends. Today, hits for TikTok top searches for terms like “influencer” in the apps three key markets: Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Facebook has worked tirelessly for the hearts and minds of African users going so far as to offer free data usage for its networks of apps in almost half of the countries in Africa. Over time WhatsApp has become the most popular platform across Africa.
But TikTok is taking a different approach by focusing on understanding the African market and encouraging users to express themselves in the way that they know best. It has been hiring local staff and developing creators in its three key markets (Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa) since 2018, giving the app a competitive advantage in targeting popular creators and gaining a feel for the type of content its users like to see.
“Instead of serving up videos from only the popular, big-name users on the platform, the individualized feed highlights video content based on the types of videos users like,” TikTok says in a statement to Quartz Africa.
#Africancheck on TikTok has 3.8 million views. Using this hashtag with video footage, overlaid by ambient beats, young Africans create videos showing off exactly what they feel it means to be African.“Lots of spices’ flash over TikTok Kenyan creator Polly Wachirah’s screen as she pans over her cupboard. “Kitengi” Tanzanian and Ugandan user quinlytfah0 shows off the classic East African fabric. The same hashtag on Instagram, has fewer than 100 posts a number of which are reposts from the TikTok app.
“If you want to think of Africa from a community standpoint, it’s a very tight knit, very highly networked, therefore if people are able to see their friends, people they know, celebrities they know, [and] what they are doing, it becomes very powerful as a feature,” says Mike Otieno, co-founder of Wowzi Technologies, an influencer marketing platform in Nairobi, localized content is an important feature for African users.Quartz Daily Brief
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TikTok’s ability to pull off hyper-localized hashtags that capture the spirit of African creators is largely due in part to the app’s powerful algorithm that utilizes location data and user tastes to recommend content under a tab aptly named “for you”. For example, when a TikTok user in Kenya logs into the app, they are fed an array of videos from a mix of Kenyan creators and popular TikTok creators from around the world. This enables up and coming creators on the continent increased visibility and more followers.
Popular Nigerian TikTok creator @mcshemcomedian posted his first TikTok video in May 2019. He currently has 2.4 million followers on his TikTok account alone, more than his following on his Youtube and Instagram accounts combined.
Creating a video on TikTok involves three key steps: making a video, adding creative filters and editing tools, and using the right hashtag. Users post variations of the same video under the same hashtag challenge and the results vary dramatically.
Community support has been crucial to getting African creators to transfer their skills and expertise to the app. Though says it does not pay creators, it does provide creators with “community management teams”, “offline support”, “creative filters” and “editing tools”.
For many young Africans these resources have been a major draw. On Instagram and Facebook, creators can be limited in the content they produce without third party tools that take up storage space and data on cell phones.
Though Africans are now using more smartphones because of affordable phone makers like Huawei and Tecno, video and photo quality still varies significantly from expensive premium phone brands. TikTok levels the playing field for all users regardless of the phone being used. As long as a TikTok creator has the app, they can use the full range of features offered, that are periodically updated without adding third party apps.
TikTok’s most popular creators in the US have been able to parlay their following on the app to full fledged careers. TikTok’s most followed creator Lorengray has skyrocketed from TikTok star to actress and music artist. The potential for African users to do the same on the platform is not quite there yet, but there’s plenty of promise as there are fewer legacy barriers unlike Hollywood.
The app has become a major platform for brands looking to monetize user attention, especially that of Gen Z audiences. Big brands like the NBA, Chipotle and the Washington post have taken to TikTok with creative ideas for brand exposure.
TikTok’s largest user base in Africa is Gen Z and millennials, according to TikTok representatives. With a youth population that is expected to double by 2055 TikTok may become the core marketing tool for brands in Africa as it has in China and the United States.
3 Things To Do Stay Safe On Houseparty App
Following the novel coronavirus pandemic that has forced many countries across the globe to announce a lockdown, people have been exploring different ways to keep in touch with friends and family.
One of the apps that have come to the rescue for many is the Houseparty app. Houseparty is owned by Epic Games, the company behind popular battle royale game Fortnite.
Houseparty is a social networking service that enables group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps. Users receive a notification when friends are online and available to group video chat. On average, users spend approximately 51 minutes a day on the app in a group or one-on-one chats.
Recently, accusations surfaced on social media that the platform has led to other online accounts being hacked. Many uses alleged that their other online accounts including Netflix, eBay, Instagram and Spotify were being hacked thanks to the Houseparty app.
When signing up to Houseparty, users are able identify friends using phone contacts, as well as connect to Facebook and Snapchat to find and invite people on the platform.
The thing that really sets Houseparty apart from other apps is hinted at by its name. Anyone who’s friends with someone else in a chat can join – meaning that you’re likely to run into strangers – and it is not necessarily easy to lurk without being noticed.
Reacting to the hacking allegations, Houseparty put out a tweet to users saying all accounts are safe and that it does not collect passwords for other sites.
In a statement, the service said it has found “no evidence” of such a breach.
“We’ve found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts,” a spokeswoman said.
“As a general rule, we suggest all users choose strong passwords when creating online accounts on any platform.
“Use a unique password for each account, and use a password generator or password manager to keep track of passwords, rather than using passwords that are short and simple.”
In case you are one of those using Houseparty to stay social during this period of the coronavirus lockdown.
Lock sensitive chats
You are instantly on and live the moment you open your Houseparty app. With the way the app is structured, it means that anyone can join your for a conversation. The idea is like wandering into a houseparty and trying to see who is willing to have a chat. This same structure applies to everyone you are chatting with too so you could be in a serious conversation and without changes, another friend opts into that chat too.
To avoid this, the first thing you should note is to be careful of who you add on the app. Secondly, it is important to lock any conversation that you don’t want unexpected people jumping into. You can do this by clicking the little lock icon at the bottom of the chat once everyone you want to be online is available, but you need to remember to do that every time.
Turn off your notifications
As stated earlier, the minute you log on the app, Houseparty sends out a notification that you are online. As a user of Houseparty, you will both be sent plenty of notifications and have plenty of notifications sent about you and both can be very annoying. You can control your notifications by opening the app and clicking the smiley face in the corner of the screen – there, you’ll see the option to “Manage Notificatications”, and clicking that gives you the ability to stop them being sent when you open the app or being sent to you when somebody else does the same.
Another option to explore is to turn off notifications completely. You do this on both Android and iOS, but that will mean that you won’t even receive a notification if someone calls you, and you’ll still be sending out notifications to other people, too.
You can also change these settings on a per-person basis. If you scroll down a little on the notifications screen, you’ll see the option to “mute” or “ghost” any given person. Ghosting them means that they won’t see when you come online while muting somebody means you won’t get notifications when they come online.
Many people are unaware of this feature but one of the most useful features on Houseparty is that you can choose to sneak in. If you hold down the app icon, you’ll get the option to “sneak in” to Houseparty, meaning that you’ll open it up and be on the app without sending a notification to everyone.
Minecraft just unlocked free education content as a COVID-19 distraction
With the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of things have ground to a halt, including education in some places. Schools in many regions of the world are closed until the worst of the outbreak is over, with some universities and high schools switching to online instruction. In order to help keep the wheels of education turning, Mojang and Microsoft have launched a free collection of educational content for Minecraft on the Minecraft Marketplace.
“Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for the half a billion students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mojang’s Sofia Dankis wrote on the Minecraft blog today. “This is not an easy task and we want to do our part to help keep young minds sharp and stimulated.”
Mojang has uploaded some lessons from Minecraft: Education Edition to the Minecraft Marketplace, which are free to download for everyone who owns the Bedrock Edition of the game (sorry, Java players). The lessons from the Minecraft team include the International Space Station and The Human Eye, but those Mojang-crafted missions make up only a small part of what’s on offer.
That’s because Mojang has also made 10 lessons from Marketplace community creators free as part of this promotion. The lessons give players the chance to explore Greek history, marine biology, bees, and even fractals, so this collection of 12 lessons covers a pretty wide range of topics.
All of them are free to download from the Marketplace until June 30th, 2020, giving you a little over three months to claim them. The full list of lessons can be viewed over on the Marketplace, and they’re compatible with any device that runs the Bedrock Edition of the game.
FIFA 20 vs Pro Evolution Soccer 2020: Which one should I get?
The two biggest football games have plenty of unique features and modes. What are the differences between them?
Football fans love debating between two things, whether it is Messi vs Ronaldo or pro-VAR vs anti-VAR, there will always be people who come down on one side or the other.
The FIFA vs Pro Evolution Soccer debate has lasted decades and despite FIFA’s dominance in the number of sales category, many hardcore PES fans believe that their game is the superior one.
Both FIFA 20 and PES 2020 are excellent games in their own right, but what are the differences between the two?
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Licenses
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Career Mode and Master League
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Ultimate Team and My Club
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Best players
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Icons and Legends
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Graphics
- FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Gameplay
The main criticism FIFA fans have for any version of Pro Evolution Soccer is the lack of licensed teams in the game.
EA Sports has long had the rights to use the real names of the vast majority of teams, but Konami recently acquired exclusive rights to Juventus, meaning that Italy’s most successful team are called Piemonte Calcio in FIFA 20. From over 700 teams in 37 leagues in the game, only Juventus are unlicensed. Every other team has their correct name, kits and club crest.
In PES 2020, 19 of the 24 leagues are fully licensed, including Ligue 1 and Serie A, but only Arsenal and Manchester United from the Premier League use their real names. Manchester City are called Manchester Blue in PES 2020 and while Barcelona are licensed, Real Madrid are not. Los Blancos are named Madrid Chamartin B, with the rest of La Liga all having fake names.
PES 2020 allows you to edit club names, badges and kits. These edits can also be saved as options files which can be exported and imported. Fan sites such as PES World have made these available for download, meaning you can download these and transfer them to your console via a USB device.
FIFA 20 also has exclusive rights to the Champions League and Europa League, and recently added both CONMEBOL club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, complete with logos, stadiums and broadcast packages.
For most players, Career Mode and Master League are very similar game modes as you take control of a club, managing key aspects such as transfers, contracts, scouting and playing the games themselves. In PES 2020, Master League added new cutscenes like those in FIFA 20 for signing players and negotiating contracts.
Master League offers the option of playing as a legendary manager such as Diego Maradona or Johan Cruyff rather than using your own custom avatar. As well as taking charge as a manager, Career Mode also lets you start as a specific player, seeing your career progress by playing matches, improving your rating and earning moves to better clubs.
The most popular modes in both games are Ultimate Team and My Club.
These game modes allow you to build your dream squads, with FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) focused on opening packs and trading on the transfer market and My Club giving you easier access to super players, but the challenge lies in making sure you can earn enough GP to keep them active in your squad.
My Club is much more straightforward than FUT, as it does not have mechanics you need to learn like chemistry and players are not set to just one assigned position. As a result, it is much easier to build a team with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in PES 2020 than it is in FIFA 20.
With both Barcelona and Juventus licensed in PES 2020, the game’s best players are both Messi and Ronaldo, with the pair each receiving an overall score of 94.
FIFA 20 places Barcelona’s Messi as the best player in the game with a 94 rating and Piemonte Calcio’s Ronaldo in second with a score of 93.
These are the 10 best players in the world using the combined ratings from both games:
|Player||FIFA 20 Rating||PES 2020 Rating|
|Kevin De Bruyne||91||90|
|Virgil van Dijk||90||91|
Both FIFA 20 and PES 2020 contain notable former players, known as ICONs in FIFA 20 and Legends in PES 2020.
Some of these players are specific to one game or the other, but a few such as Diego Maradona, Paolo Maldini and Lothar Matthaus are included in both games.
One of the biggest draws in PES 2020 has been their attention to detail regarding graphics. The players look realistic and the animations are smooth, which adds to the real-life feel of the game.
FIFA 20’s extensive licensing means they have broadcast packages for all of Europe’s top leagues and competitions, which means playing a match between two Premier League teams looks and feels like a real Premier League game.
Both games use 3D scanning to add real faces, with each adding new player scans throughout the season to update their database and make their games look more realistic.
Gameplay is a big difference between FIFA 20 and PES 2020.
Some players like the more arcade-like feel of FIFA, which is easier to pick up and play for newcomers to the game. Matches are fast and exciting but can sometimes end as high-scoring encounters, unlike PES’s more patient approach.
PES 2020 aims to reflect real-life football with its gameplay, meaning you will experience a lot more scoreless draws while playing it than you would in FIFA 20.
Both games have their critics, who prefer one style to the other, so it is best to give both a try to see which game’s play style suits best.