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TikTok User Confronts Man Allegedly Tearing Down Anti-Asian Hate Flyers in Mountain View

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The New York Times

A Disastrous Year for Brooklyn’s Chinatown: ‘It’s Just So Hard’

NEW YORK — First came the virus, which John Chan said cost his restaurant hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales. Then came the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes, which has made some people jittery and kept them at home and away from the restaurant, further hurting business. “It’s like the heavens are playing tricks on us,” said Chan, a community leader in Brooklyn’s Chinatown and the owner of the Golden Imperial Palace, a cavernous dining hall there. More than a year after the pandemic first swept through New York, the streets of Sunset Park in southern Brooklyn reflect the pandemic’s deep and unhealed wounds intertwined with signs of a neighborhood trying to slowly edge back to life. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The sidewalks are filling with shoppers and vendors, and more businesses are open and welcoming customers. But owners still struggle to pay rent and keep their enterprises afloat, while many workers laid off after the city locked down last year are still without jobs. And while the rate of vaccination in New York has increased significantly, the coronavirus still percolates through this densely packed neighborhood. The ZIP code that includes Sunset Park, which also has a significant Latino population, had the highest rate of positive cases in Brooklyn in early April, nearly double the citywide rate. Some residents have expressed skepticism about the vaccines, spooked by false information circulated over TikTok and other social media. The spate of hate crimes and violence against people of Asian descent in New York and around the country, fed in some cases by racist claims that Asian Americans are responsible for spreading the virus, has added to the stress. “I’m telling you, if things don’t get better, I’m finished. Really finished,” Chan said, describing his persistent financial challenge. “And now we have to deal with this discrimination against us.” As he sat inside his largely empty restaurant in Sunset Park, lyrics from an old Hong Kong pop song raced silently across the bottom of a large LED screen. Boxes of T-shirts reading “Stop Asian Hate” were stacked next to a banquet table. Nicole Huang, who runs a local mutual aid effort and has close ties with the business community, estimated that roughly three dozen establishments, including restaurants, clothing stores and hair salons, had closed for good during the pandemic along Eighth Avenue, the neighborhood’s commercial heart. Chan said he laid off 80 of his 100 workers and had not called any of them back. Like other restaurant owners, he tried to take advantage of outdoor dining, setting up tents in the parking lot. But after they were damaged by strong winds last November, he took it as a bad omen and gave up. Bunsen Zhu, who runs a hair salon on Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, closed the salon two weeks before the city went into official lockdown last year, alarmed after reading dispatches from China. He also stocked up on face masks long before many other New Yorkers did. Still, that did little to insulate him from the financial onslaught of the pandemic. Before the outbreak, many of Zhu’s customers were transient Chinese workers who spent brief periods of time in the neighborhood before fanning out across the country to work, typically in restaurants. But when the death toll soared in New York last spring, many of them did not return and still have not, hurting businesses that rely on them. “It’s just so hard,” Zhu, 36, said as he stretched out on a couch in his hair salon. An employee sat at the other end, fast asleep. “You either starve to death at home or you try to make ends meet, somehow.” Like most of the people interviewed for this article, Zhu spoke in Mandarin. Zhu used to have more than a dozen customers a day, but now he counts them on one hand. He has managed to keep paying rent after his landlord gave him a small discount, though he declined to provide details and is glum about what the rest of this year will bring. “We’re just waiting for this thing to finally blow over,” Zhu said. At Pacific Palace, a dim sum parlor down the street from Zhu’s salon, customers are slowly trickling back, but not enough for the restaurant to make much of a profit. The pandemic lockdown led the restaurant to postpone 40 weddings, according to its manager, Janet Yang, and all but four of the restaurant’s 60 employees were laid off. “We have tried so many things to survive,” Yang said. The restaurant started offering takeout for the first time, which now represents a third of its business. Outdoor seating never attracted many people, in part because the restaurant is known for hosting the type of large celebrations that were forbidden for months. “The noise level has gone back up,” said Yang, pointing to the larger crowds on the streets. “But I feel that overall the neighborhood hasn’t recovered.” Justin Cheng, 54, is one of the restaurant’s four remaining employees, called back to work as a waiter last September after being laid off in March. As the months wore on, he recalled, “we would eat less and less and eat cheaper food.” Pacific Palace turned some of its outdoor space into a market, where a woman sat recently overseeing the sale of packaged goods like Chinese cookies and bags of goji berries. There were few customers. Men hawked oysters and fish out of Styrofoam boxes, competing with the bigger storefront fishmongers whose bins of iced seafood splayed out over the sidewalk. Not far away, a woman was selling black chicken and duck meat; it was unclear whether she had the license required to sell raw poultry. “It’s just a little business to make ends meet for a few more mouthfuls of food to eat,” said the woman, Jiang, as she plucked stray feathers from a chicken. Jiang, 61, gave only her last name for fear of drawing the attention of the authorities. She hopped from the table where she was peddling poultry to another where she was selling earrings and bracelets. She lives in the neighborhood with her husband and son, but she had been working at a Chinese restaurant in Florida when the pandemic struck. The restaurant closed, so Jiang returned to Sunset Park. Not far away, Naian Yu, who operates a small garment factory on the fringes of the neighborhood, said he was dipping into his savings and he was worried about how much longer he could keep up with his $8,000 monthly rent. Last year, he switched from supplying clothes to department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s to making personal protective equipment, after he entered into an agreement with a company that was providing it to local hospitals. The work became vital after the department store contracts dried up, but then the protective equipment contracts also stopped in December, leaving him and his employees in the lurch. “It was our lifeline,” Yu said. Orders from department stores have resumed, he said, but they have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Tenants’ struggles to pay rent have also imposed hardships on smaller landlords who have mortgages and their own bills to pay. Abdallah Demes is still looking for someone to fill the storefront in the building he owns on Eighth Avenue. He released his previous tenant from the lease months ago, two years before it was set to expire. The tenant had been subleasing the space to a porcelain shop, but as a nonessential business it had to close during the lockdown, and the tenant told Demes he could not afford the more than $4,000 in monthly rent. Demes had offered two months rent free. “‘Just stay,’ I told him,” he said. “But we both knew the business wouldn’t be able to last beyond the two free months. It was the right thing to do.” Mengyao Zheng, 60, who operates a basement mahjong parlor, said players had been coming in and playing for hours at a time as “a way to relieve stress.” At Chuan World, a Sichuan restaurant, manager Queenie Dong was less worried about business rebounding than about social media posts she kept reading raising questions about the safety of coronavirus vaccines. Dong, 30, said she became afraid after her phone filled with TikTok videos and WeChat posts falsely claiming that the vaccines were harmful and even lethal. “Younger people feel that we should be fine,” Dong said. “We trust that masks are enough and that we’ll survive even if we get the coronavirus.” After debating for weeks, her desire to protect herself won out over her anxiety and she wound up getting vaccinated. About a third of the residents in Sunset Park have received at least one dose of the vaccine, roughly the same level as the city overall, according to the city health data. But local leaders say they want to push that number much higher. Kuan Neng, 49, the Buddhist monk who founded Xi Fang Temple on Eighth Avenue, said that people had come to him in recent weeks to express concerns over vaccines. “Why do I need to do that?” is a common refrain, according to Kuan, followed by: “I’m healthy now. The hard times are over, more or less.” “Many people want to delay and see,” Kuan said, himself included. Yu Lin, who operates two adult day care centers and is running for a City Council seat in a district that includes Sunset Park, contracted the virus last year, as did his wife and two children. He recently got vaccinated and encourages constituents to get their shots as he campaigns for office. “People believe more if it involves an actual person, rather than getting information off of traditional media,” he said. “I tell them my experience, that there’s nothing to fear except for a little muscle pain.” Yang, the dim sum parlor manager, is pinning her hopes on the vaccines. “Everything is contingent upon the city opening up,” she said. On the counter near the entrance was a red sign in Chinese: a prayer for good fortune. Next to it stood a cat figurine, one of its arms extended in midair, that is believed to bring good luck. Yang pointed to it and said, “That lucky cat has no batteries.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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TIKTOK

TikTok Expands Creator Tipping and Video Gifts, Providing More Monetization and Marketing Options

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TikTok continues to expand its creator monetization tools with the addition of video tipping and virtual gifts for regular uploads, in addition to live-streams in the app.

To be clear, live tipping and digital gifts have been available for selected live-stream creators via its Creator Next program since last year. This new expansion brings the same functionality to regular TikTok videos, which will add another way for users to generate direct income from their TikTok videos.

TikTok Creator Next

As you can see in these screenshots, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra (via Dan Schenker), to be eligible for the new Creator Next program, users will need to have at least 1,000 followers, and will need to have generated more than 1,000 video views in the previous 30 days.

Though TikTok does note that these requirements vary by region – TechCrunch has reported that creators need to have at least 100k followers to qualify in some cases.

As explained by TikTok:

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The new Tips feature allows people to directly show gratitude to creators for their content, much like recognizing exceptional service or giving a standing ovation. As is standard for tipping in person, with Tips creators will receive 100% of the tip value.”

Tip payments will be processed by Stripe, with creators required to sign up to manage their earnings in the app.

“With Video Gifts, also available today, creators can now collect Diamonds not only by going LIVE but also by posting videos. This also gives people an all-new way to interact and engage with content they love.”

TikTok live gifts

That will provide expanded capacity to generate real money from posting, without having to go live, which will open new doors to many TikTok creators.

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In addition to this, TikTok’s also lowering the threshold for those who can list their profiles in its Creator Marketplace brand collaboration platform, which enables businesses to find TikTok influencers to partner with on in-app campaigns.

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TikTok Creator marketplace

Up till now, creators have required 100k followers to qualify for these listings, but now, TikTok is reducing that number to 10k, which will further expand available opportunities for both users and brands.

That could make it much easier to find relevant creators to partner with, in a lot more niches, which will add more considerations into your TikTok posting and engagement process.

As noted, these are the latest in TikTok’s broader efforts to provide comparable monetization opportunities, in order to keep its top stars posting to the platform, as opposed to drifting off to YouTube or Instagram instead, which have more established monetization systems.

The advantage that other apps have in this respect is that longer videos can include pre-roll and mid-roll ads, facilitating direct monetization, which TikTok can’t utilize given the shorter nature of its clips. As such, it needs to look to alternate funding methods, which will also include eCommerce listings, with direct product displays now the primary source of income for the Chinese version of the app.

The platform’s continued growth facilitates even more opportunities in this respect, with more brands looking to tap into the various opportunities of the platform, and partner with creators to maximize their presence.

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How popular, and valuable, direct tipping and gifting can be is more variable, as some dedicated fan bases will pay, while others will see no reason to donate for what they can already access for free.

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But even so, it adds more opportunity, and the lower thresholds for monetization will see many more opportunities across the board in the app.

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Shorter Videos Are In Demand. Here’s How Different Social Media Platforms Are Reacting.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With TikTok and Instagram Reels slowly conquering social media marketing, there’s no mistake: Short videos are in demand.

The average length for most, if not all, business videos is only six minutes long. And that number is set to decrease as consumers look for shorter videos.

With that in mind, why are short videos in demand? What platforms are implementing short-form videos the best? And most importantly, how can they benefit your business?

TikTok – Changing consumerism, one video at a time

Where shorter videos are concerned, TikTok has always led the industry. What started as a merger with Musical.ly quickly became one of the world’s most powerful social media platforms. And what made it so famous? The same concept that made Vine viral short videos.

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TikTok has over 1 billion active users, twice as many as Snapchat and Pinterest. For reference, Twitter only has 397 million users. With such a massive user-base, the only thing keeping the platform alive are the 15-second-long videos.

But why are short videos so popular? Simple – people don’t have time on their hands. When they open apps like TikTok and Instagram, they’re more likely to spend time watching shorter videos.  And businesses are already catching up.

The impact of Instagram Reels

With the invention of Stories by Snapchat, other platforms like Instagram caught up on short videos. Instagram Reels presents adults and young users with a more straightforward way to tell others about their day. It employs quick photos and videos that are only available for 24 hours instead of being permanently posted. Now engagement is encouraged, especially after Instagram included the “Swipe” option. This has allowed e-commerce sites to both advertise their products and make instant messaging easier.

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Youtube has joined the bandwagon

While YouTube is more or less a platform for long-form videos, its recent update offers shorter vertical videos. Known as YouTube Shorts, the feature allows creators to engage with their audience in under 60 seconds.

But YouTube has another trick up its sleeve, and this one is mainly towards advertisers. It is “YouTube TrueView” and is the primary advertising technology for YouTube. Through this, advertisers can promote long or short videos, with some being skippable after five seconds.

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However, since most people are unlikely to click on longer ads, YouTube now offers 6-second non-skippable ads. The clickthrough rate for shorter 15 and 30-second ads is around 70%, a whopping number for any business.

It’s time to say goodbye to IGTV

With Instagram’s IGTV coming off as less captivating than its Reels and video posts, it has decided to remove IGTV. Instead, it has a separate section for videos. These videos will appear on a person’s profile and can be viewed from the Instagram app.

The change they made here is that videos posted to the Instagram feed can be up to 60 minutes long. The exact reason for doing this is not confirmed. But it seems like Instagram wants a seamless platform where short and long videos co-exist.

This makes long videos more accessible to users using the Instagram app. And it helps promote video tutorials that people typically do not consume on social media apps.

Another significant change is that Instagram videos that are longer can be monetized, a feature not available on Reels. This significantly shifts the focus towards creators who don’t sell a service and want to gain cash through Instagram.

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Does this mean long-form videos are out of the picture?

With short-form videos becoming more popular among consumers, will long-form videos die out? While it’s highly recommended for any business to create videos as short as possible, the answer isn’t that black and white.

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While short-form videos will drive traffic from new users, long-form videos are better for brand loyalty. Shorter videos will get more engagement and show up on new users’ feeds. But longer videos will be the backbone of your business.

Of course, that depends on what service you’re offering. Ecommerce companies will want to direct their attention towards short-form videos and ads. However, long-form videos are better suited for when you want to go in-depth about product details. That is, of course, only after you’ve grabbed the user’s attention with a short-form video.

Companies that offer webinars will benefit from longer videos. And so will companies that post interviews. However, promos and how-to videos should remain under a minute or two, depending on how long the tutorial needs to be.

Essentially, ask yourself two questions:

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  • First, can the video content be summarized in a short-form video?
  • Do you want to merely catch the attention of the consumer or develop brand loyalty?

The correct formula is neither short nor long, but a mix of both.

What this all means for an entrepreneur

Short-form videos hold substantial market value, especially for new businesses. Take the example of the Dollar Shave Club. What started as a viral video on YouTube grew to become a behemoth of a brand.

And that’s not where the examples end. There are countless success stories like this one that prove the value of short videos.

Short videos have a higher clickthrough rate, and for entrepreneurs, that’s all you need. Short videos are of particular interest to people with ecommerce businesses. For example, 84% of people say they are more compelled to buy a product by watching a video. And the statistics keep on showing a friendlier short-video market.

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There is no doubt that short-form videos are gradually creeping up the graph. And while long-form videos are great for information and brand loyalty, shorter videos are better for PR.

This begs one last question: Are videos beneficial for you? The answer is – yes!

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How to Make a TikTok Video: Beginners Start Here

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Let’s face it, TikTok is the moment.

And with 1 billion monthly active users, it’s time to join the action and get your brand out there to a wider audience!

Want to learn how to make a TikTok Video but don’t know where to start? Don’t sweat it! We broke down all the steps and tools you’ll need to make a viral-worthy first video and make sure your debut is anything but cringe.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to prioritize and plan your social strategy in 2022.

How to create a TikTok account

First things first, you’ll need to create a TikTok account.

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There are different ways to sign up for one: you can use your phone number, email address or social media account. Here’s how to do it using your phone number.

1. Download TikTok from Google Play or the App Store.

2. Open the TikTok App on your iPhone or Android.

3. Click the “Me” or “Profile” icon at the bottom-right of your screen.

profile icon on TikTok

4. Choose a method to sign up (we’re choosing “use phone or email”)

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sign up for TikTok using phone or email

5. Enter your birth date and phone number (make sure this is accurate because it’s how you’ll retrieve passwords and confirm your account).

enter birthday when signing up on TikTok

6. Enter the 6-digit code sent to that phone number (see, told ya!)

7. You did it! Celebrate by scrolling TikTok for too many hours.

How to make a TikTok video

Here’s how to get started on your very first TikTok video. Luckily for you, it’s way easier than learning this TikTok Shuffle dance.

1. Hit the + sign at the bottom of your screen.

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2. You can upload photos and videos from your phone’s library or make a video directly using the TikTok camera.

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3. If recording directly, hit the Record button at the bottom of the screen. Hit it again when you’re done recording. The default video mode is “Quick” which is for 15 second videos but you can switch it to “Camera” for more editing options and longer videos (15s, 60s and 3 mins), or “Templates” to create a specific style of video.

record button on the bottom of TikTok screen

4. Tap the check mark when you’re done shooting all your footage.

tap checkmark after shooting footage

5. Make any edits or changes on the post page. All your edits are on the right sidebar of the screen. Also, add music or sounds by hitting “Add sound” at the top of the screen.

add sound on TikTok

6. Post that video and share it everywhere! Make sure to include a description with some hashtags so it finds its way to your audience.

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post video on TikTok with description

How to make a TikTok with multiple videos

Instead of taking one long video, why not capture shorter videos and edit them together to make your TikTok video? Here’s how to do that (and you don’t need a film degree).

1. Hit that “+” sign to start your video

2. You can either shoot multiple videos directly by hitting that record button after each clip, building up your video with different shots. Or, you can hit the “Upload” button next to the record button and add multiple videos and photos you have stored on your phone.

3. Select all your media and tap Next.

4. You can now sync sound across your videos and make adjustments (or try “Auto sync” which will do the syncing up for you.)

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sync sound on TikTok

automatically sync clips

5. Hit Next when done. You’ll be brought to a preview screen where you can further add sounds, more effects, text, and stickers.

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hit next and add suggested sounds

6. Tap Next when you’re done editing your video and proceed to the Post screen.

7. Remember to throw in a description and some hashtags and bingo-bango-bongo you’re the Steven Spielberg of TikTok!

5 things to know before creating your first TikTok

TikTok style is less polished than other types of video

Don’t worry about being too precious with your videos. On TikTok, videos are meant to be candid, and natural—and they should show off your personality. Things like perfect edits, smooth transitions or flawless lighting shouldn’t get in the way of your idea and your own charisma.

Sure, there are lots of editing options, effects and filters to choose from (what the heck is the difference between B3 and G4 filters anyways?) but the real star is you —or, at least all 6 of these friends belting out Lady Gaga for the #caughtinabadromance challenge at this bachelorette. If that’s not candid, I don’t know what is.

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@ariellehartford

That finger stole the show! 😂😂😂 #bachelorettetrip #gatlinburg #caughtinabadromamce

♬ original sound – Arielle Hartford

You don’t have to dance

Good news! You don’t have to spend 2 hours trying to perfect the LaLisa dance tutorial to make sure your video stands out (unless you want to, then no judgment over here!).

There are so many different ways to engage your followers that don’t involve you popping and locking in your living room in front of a ring light (but again, no judgement if you do, except maybe from your pet and their adorable judging eyes).

You also don’t have to attempt whatever this is.

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@sdavidrodriguez

♬ Grab Da Wall & Rock Da Boat – 504 Boyz & Weebie

Hashtags can help more people see your post

It’s no secret a good hashtag can go a long way on TikTok. Strategic use of hashtags will help people find your videos who don’t already follow you, and maybe even see it on their For You Page (FYP).

Find the best hashtags to grow your views and help get your content recognized by the algorithm. You worked so hard on it, might as well show it off to as many people as possible.

The right song can go a long way

Attaching a trending song to your video or audio from a popular TikTok video can help it get seen by more people. This app has a big music following (lots of new songs are intentionally promoted through the app to help them climb the music charts) so lassoing your video to one of these shooting stars is only going to help you get on more FYP and in front of new audiences.

@suzyjonesmusic

♬ original sound – Suzy Jones

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Your greatest asset is you

Don’t overthink it, just come up with a simple idea and let your personality shine through. The sense of intimacy and community that TikTok brings is why people love this app—it feels personal.

Even if you’re doing a TikTok challenge or trend that’s popular, the thing that will make you stand out is your unique take on it. It’s not about gimmicks but about putting your best self out there. Nothing should feel too staged or self-aware (that’s cringe territory). Pretend your audience are your good friends and approach it with that energy!

@janikon_No, I can’t re-record this, I’m laughing too hard #fyp♬ original sound – Stu (he/him)

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