Saturday, June 19, 2021

Fake Fame

Faking follows fame. Fame comes through furtherance. Social networking websites have a major role to play in promoting this feigned tactics. In an epoch, where people consider the number of ‘likes’ a celebrity page has hit over Facebook to be the popularity of any public personality, or total number of ‘views’ garnered by any video over Youtube as a chartbuster, one must not get surprised by ‘Paid Likes – Views’ over social media besides the advancement in usage of such online mediums to promote – cough– self-proclamation. If the ranking of fan following of Indian celebrities over Facebook, on the basis of ‘likes’ hit and ‘views’ count over YouTube, were to be believed, then some not-so-worthy celebrities precedes over legends like Honourable Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Oscar-winning music composer A.R.Rahman, and none but Shahrukh Khan- the king of romance ever! This cannot be mere ‘Blind Fan Following!’

There are a number of websites that offer to sell Facebook likes. Basically the premise with these sites is that you pay them a fee and they add likes to your Facebook page or website. Facebook is growing and how, with 1.65 billion users worldwide with a big chunk coming from India alone. They also have acquired other giants like Instagram and WhatsApp. This makes them an important marketing platform. Many companies have started allocating a large proportion of their marketing budget for social media, TCS had quoted that spending on social media will reach $22 million in the coming years, the actuals are rumoured to be much higher. So yes, basically social media is not the next big thing, it’s already pretty big. Over Facebook it’s always to get more ‘likes’ for a page. There are two methods of garnering likes: advertise on Facebook or visit some sites (Google search ‘buy Facebook likes’ and you will get hundreds of results). Same is the case with YouTube; people are taken on for watching videos and get paid for same. Purchasing views from third-party websites, for instance, paying $17 for 10,000 views has become quite common. The price paid is proportionate to the number of likes purchased. One can not only buy views, but even subscribers, likes and dislikes for YouTube channels. As Forbes pointed out, “You do not have to be a singer to become a YouTube star. If you are lucky, you could shoot a video of your child, pet, or a double rainbow that strikes a chord and goes viral.” On the contrary are organic likes. Organic reach is the total number of unique people who see the post through unpaid distribution. Paid reach is the total number of unique people who get to see the post as a result of ads.

Eventually, true worth is always recognised no matter what.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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