TikTok Steps into Education in India
Bytedance-owned TikTok has recently released an education program in India.
Owned by the world's most valued start-up Bytedance, TikTok said it’s working with a number of content creators and firms in India to populate the platform with educational videos, reported Techcrunch.
TikTok said it has been working with Indian content creators and companies to distribute educational videos on the platform. These newly released short-videos cover subjects, such as science, math, language learning, health, psychological tips, etc.
With over 200 million users in India and MAU of 120 million as of April 2019, TikTok said this program aims at "democratizing learning for the Indian digital community on the platform." In May 2019, Tik Tok ranked 1st in terms of the free App’s download volume on Indian Google Play.
It has teamed up with edtech startup Vedantu, Toppr, Made Easy and Gradeup which will be responsible for producing educational content. It is also working with Josh Talks, a social media platform and Nudge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that plans to provide mentoring to 5,000 people in India. Some of these partnerships were disclosed months ago.
Sachin Sharma, director of Sales and Partnerships at TikTok, said that stepping into education is a response to the demand it has seen from users. Educational videos are some of the most popular and engaging videos on the platform globally, he said at a press conference in New Delhi.
In recent months, more than 10 million educational videos have been created and shared on TikTok, where they have garnered more than 48 billion views, Sharma claimed. He did not reveal the financial structure of TikTok’s deal with its creator partners.
Considering that now the world's most valued edtech startup hails from India, it is a good step for other huge companies to give it a try at the country’s ever-growing education industry.
Another reason for this move might be to improve brand image in the country. Back in April, a local court in India passed an order which asked the government to ban the download of TikTok as it stated short videos on the platform to be harmful to the growth of children.
On the other hand, the parent company is trying its best to make its mark in China’s education industry as it recently announced to release a 24-hour artificial intelligence teacher for K12 students in China by early 2020.
In addition, Chen Lin (陈林), who is currently responsible for the innovation business side of Bytedance, is focusing more on educational hardware.
According to a report by IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation) India’s higher education segment is expected to increase to USD 35.03 billion by 2025. As of December 2018, internet penetration in India had reached 46.13%. Increasing internet penetration will help in education delivery.