Viral Guardian Australia Video On Afghanistan Shows The Potential Of News On TikTok

Viral Guardian Australia Video On Afghanistan Shows The Potential Of News On TikTok

A TikTok video explainer by The Guardian Australia explaining the current situation in Afghanistan has received significant traction online, showing the power TikTok can have for news publications.

The video, which sees journo Matilda Boseley explain the history of the conflict in the region from the US invasion until now, has receieved just over 400,000 likes and 3.5 million views.

@guardianaustraliaThe group are expected to proclaim a new Islamic Emirate of #Afghanistan in the coming days. 📸Getty/AP/AFP/Reuters #usarmy #joebiden #auspol #🇦🇫♬ original sound – Guardian Australia

The video has also received 400 likes on Boseley’s Twitter.

In just over two minutes, Boseley eloquently and succintly gives an overview of the conflict in the region, using images, maps, and references to other articles published by The Guardian.

It’s not The Guardian’s first TikTok explainer video – they have published a number on both domestic and foreign affairs, particularly Australia’s current COVID situation. The video is, however, unusually high performing.

This is evidence of the power of TikTok’s ‘for you page’ algorithm: you don’t have to be following a user for their videos to appear on your feed. While the platform has never revealed the precise details of their algorithm, videos that are receiving traction tend to appear on more and more people’s for you pages. For example, Boseley’s video has not just reached viewers in Australia, but in the US too.

Other publishers have been using TikTok for news updates as well.

The Washington Post has an extremely popular account, with well over 900,000 followers. Similarly, NBC News has a million followers, while publications VICE and HuffPost have amassed around 50,000 followers each.

Also utilising the platform are government departments, notably NSW Health, who has started providing COVID-19 updates using the app, as well as broadcasting the daily 11am press conference live.

@nswhealthYour press conference ##twentysecondtakeaway for Monday 16 August 👆🏼♬ News Late-night news alert sound 2 – uuUuu Recordings

Boseley’s reporting on Afghanistan using the medium has won praise, particularly for making news accessible to young people.

In fact, it was praised by the Washington Post’s own self-proclaimed ‘TikTok Guy’, reporter Dave Jorgenson, one of the first to use TikTok for news.

Edward Snowden extended his praise as well, pointing out that one in four Americans weren’t born until after 9/11, making news like this esssential.




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Matilda Boseley The Guardin Australia TikTok

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