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Willis Raburu, Erick Omondi, Azziad Nassenya.. Kenya’s top TikTokers

Amid a petition in Parliament to ban the operations of TikTok in Kenya, Nairobi News looked at the impact of the famous social media platform in the country.

The app which was launched in 2016 by Chinese technology company ByteDance has gained popularity in the country and is used by millions to create, share, and discover short-form videos, typically ranging from 15 to 60 seconds in length.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula said on August 15, 2023, his office had received a petition from one Bob Ndolo, an executive officer of the Briget Connect Consultancy, concerning the use of TikTok by Kenyans.

“The petitioner has decried that while it has gained popularity among the youth in Kenya, the content that is being shared is inappropriate and thus promoting violence, vulgar language, explicit sexual content, hate speech, and offensive behaviour which is a serious threat to the cultural and religious values in Kenya,” the petition read.

Although the application is available in more than 150 different markets, it has gained the most popularity in Kenya.

According to the recently released Reuters Institute Digital News Reports 2023 survey, Kenya is the world’s top TikTok users

The report showed that Kenya had 54% of TikTok usage for any purpose and 29% for news.

Thailand follows with 51% for general use and 30% for news, followed by South Africa with 50% for general use and 22% for news. Peru follows with 48% for general use and 30% for news.

Digital News Reports 2023 also shows that users of TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat tend to pay more attention to celebrities and social media influencers than media companies when it comes to news topics.

The platform has gained immense popularity for its focus on creative and entertaining content, often involving music, dancing, challenges, comedy, and various trends. Users can add music, effects, filters, and text to their videos, making it a dynamic and engaging platform for self-expression and entertainment.

On the other hand, ChatGPT is the newest Artificial Intelligence (AI) providing a list of 40 top Tiktokers “who have gained a significant following.”

Among the top Tiktokers in Kenya include comedians Eric Omondi and Njugush, content creators Azziad Nasenya and Vera Sidika, and TV journalist Willis Raburu

If successful, the ban on the social media platform will immensely affect content creators and consumers who depend on the platform for various reasons.

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