HT Brunch Cowl Story: The tradition of content material

Think about incomes sufficient cash through a beloved interest to maintain your self! That’s what three 20-year-olds, born and introduced up in Mumbai, have completed, because of their interest of creating and importing movies on social media.

Not like the principally millennial content material creators we’re used to nevertheless, these three are Gen Z-ers. They usually have a really completely different tackle on-line earnings and affect than their rapid generational predecessors do. It’s a distinction that stems from the truth that social media is a strict a part of their on a regular basis lives, fairly than one thing aside from it that must be exploited for earnings. It’s a distinction that’s as refreshing as it’s actual.

Meet Dev Raiyani, Taneesha Mirwani, and Leisha Patidar, the Gen Z-ers who preserve the digital world actual.

 When Instagram was trending…  

“I began posting when Instagram was a brand new factor in India; all my pals had been on it. It was like a celebration! I had no intention of entering into the content material creation area,” says Dev Raiyani, who has 366K followers on Instagram, the place he places up humorous posts and likewise focusses on dance and music. 

(Left to right) Leisha posts mainly fashion and beauty content; Dev is known for his dance Reels, and Taneesha’s no-filter, relatable content has struck a chord with many
(Left to proper) Leisha posts primarily vogue and wonder content material; Dev is thought for his dance Reels, and Taneesha’s no-filter, relatable content material has struck a chord with many

Presently pursuing pc science at school in Los Angeles, after ending faculty at Jamnabai Narsee Faculty in Mumbai, Dev enjoys making movies that give viewers a peek into his life. The 20-year-old has been doing this on varied platforms for over eight years—he and his finest buddy started by importing movies on the now discontinued app Vine, and by the age of 12, Dev had his personal YouTube channel. When his YouTube video titled ‘Expectations vs Actuality’ went viral, Dev bought his first style of fame.

“Nobody used to speak to me at school. However after that video went viral, everybody spoke to me. I cherished the eye I bought from class seven to 10,” Dev remembers. “After which, it went to my head. My mum was the one who saved me grounded each time I acted too cocky.”

Right this moment, Dev’s movies of himself hanging out together with his pals provide you with squad objectives, as a result of they aren’t flashy or about going out and partying. The truth is, they’ve the identical form of chill vibe as Taneesha Mirwani’s BTS (behind the scenes) movies.

“I’m simply on social media to have enjoyable,” says Taneesha, who has 392K Instagram followers. Taneesha shot to fame throughout the lockdown in 2020 for her South Bombay character sketches.

“I bought into it out of boredom and realised this was one thing I might do recurrently on social media,” says the creator, who juggles her life between Mumbai and the US the place she research promoting at Boston College. Although she was making movies when she was 13 years previous, on platforms like and TikTok (earlier than the latter was banned in India), it’s solely on this previous yr that her relatable Reels have discovered an enormous viewers. What works is their harmless, no-filter really feel.  

The three believe that content creators can’t be influencers. Dev says, “We just make videos on trends. You know who was a real influencer? Mahatma Gandhi!” (Subi Samuel)
The three consider that content material creators can’t be influencers. Dev says, “We simply make movies on tendencies. You understand who was an actual influencer? Mahatma Gandhi!” (Subi Samuel)

In the meantime, Leisha Patidar, who has grabbed eyeballs for her vogue and wonder content material on Instagram (the place she has 794K followers), a platform she signed up for when she was in school 11, is totally within the glam zone. Whether or not it’s make-up or transition movies, her selection of music with every Reel is spot-on! The following-gen Komal Pandey, some would say. However, as she herself factors out, her pores and skin tone appeals to a wider Indian viewers.

“I used to be all the time explicit about my make-up and needed to get into Bollywood. However my mother didn’t let me. So, I took up content material creation. I solely turned severe about it after crossing 400K followers a couple of yr and a half in the past,” explains Leisha, who’s at the moment pursuing a Bachelor of Administration Management diploma at RD Nationwide & WA Science School, Mumbai.   

 Caught along with her whole household of round 80 individuals in a haveli in Jaipur for six months throughout the 2020 lockdown, Leisha started posting GetReadyWithMe movies the place creators present their make-up routine/outfit transitions. She started with make-up tutorials, however when her transition video to a Padmaavat tune bought 200K likes and 4M views, she was inspired to proceed.  

Assist system  

As a result of their dad and mom aren’t social-media savvy, it’s taken the three Gen Z-ers a very long time to persuade them that spending hours on their telephones is definitely a very good factor!

Because their parents aren’t social-media savvy, it’s taken the three Gen Z-ers a long time to convince them that spending hours on their phones is actually a good thing (Subi Samuel)
As a result of their dad and mom aren’t social-media savvy, it’s taken the three Gen Z-ers a very long time to persuade them that spending hours on their telephones is definitely a very good factor (Subi Samuel)

“My dad and mom solely began respecting content material creation as soon as the cash began coming in,” says Dev. His inside designer mom and pc scientist father had been clueless about his on-line presence until his aunt chanced upon his Instagram profile, discovered that he had 100K followers, and shared a screenshot on the household WhatsApp group.

That was the second that his social media fame sank in for Dev. “My dad and mom need me to be sensible, greater than something. That’s why I get my diploma as a security plan. They’re supportive, though I get a shouting if I publish a video exhibiting my center finger or saying a nasty phrase,” he grins.  

 Taneesha, whose mom is a homemaker and father a businessman, believes that her people are nonetheless oblivious of the influence a 300K following on IG has, however says they’re supportive however.

“They’re pleased with me, and cash is coming in. After I ask my dad to be in certainly one of my movies, he’s all the time prepared. They see it as a profession possibility. My dad even mentioned I ought to give up faculty and pursue this as a substitute, however my mom needs me to complete my diploma,” she divulges.   

Taneesha (right) and Dev did collaborations for TikTok and after they met at an inter-school competition when they were in class eight (Subi Samuel)
Taneesha (proper) and Dev did collaborations for TikTok and after they met at an inter-school competitors once they had been in school eight (Subi Samuel)

 Leisha’s mom, a homemaker unaware of social media, had needed her daughter to do one thing associated to enterprise. However as soon as it turned clear that Leisha’s ‘interest’ is a money-maker, she’s been studying and helps her daughter residing her desires.

“I as soon as posted one thing the place my cleavage was exhibiting a tad. My grandmother made an enormous deal about it however my mom stood up for me. It helps that I’m good in my research,” Leisha laughs.

 Going with the stream 

Not like millennials, these Gen Z creators don’t plan life objectives. However that doesn’t imply that they aren’t sensible and sensible. Every of those three has backup plans in place, at the same time as they dwell within the second. 

“I lately switched my main from movie research to promoting. That’s what I’m it. I don’t see content material creation as a profession path. I believe I’ll take up a job after my diploma,” says Taneesha. Leisha, in the meantime, remains to be nursing the evergreen Bollywood dream.  

The difference between Gen Z and millennials
The distinction between Gen Z and millennials

 It’s due to the ephemeral nature of the web world that Dev is definite that he isn’t going to be knowledgeable content material creator. “Instagram could possibly be deleted in the future identical to TikTok was banned. Apart from, I don’t have the psychological stability for it, and like a peaceable life,” he says. Not that he’s going to cease posting although. “I really like entertaining individuals and being part of the web group,” smiles Dev.   

As college students, when push involves shove, research all the time win over content material creation. “There may be all the time this stress about navigating faculty, socialising, making content material and likewise determining life,” says Taneesha, who calls her mom to destress after which strikes on with out overthinking issues.  

The stress comes partly as a result of their content material creation brings them cash—on a median, their month-to-month earnings are 50k to 3 lakh, generally at the same time as a lot as 5 lakh. “However when I’m in faculty, my earnings are zero as there isn’t any time for content material creation,” says Taneesha. 

Most of their earnings go into financial savings accounts, however cash isn’t why they bought into creation. “I used to be doing barter collaborations even after crossing 80K followers on IG. Cash wasn’t on my thoughts. I used to be merely doing one thing I favored,” laughs Leisha.

“TikTok didn’t have cash—in India no less than—and Reels changed TikTok. Lots of creators make the error of getting cash as their motivating issue, which results in a decline in creativity and originality,” factors out Dev.   

While Leisha aspires to get into Bollywood, Dev is pursuing a degree in computer science (Subi Samuel)
Whereas Leisha aspires to get into Bollywood, Dev is pursuing a level in pc science (Subi Samuel)

Millennial vs Gen Z   

“Millennials have been on this recreation for much longer. Sure, Gen Z is best with know-how, however a number of millennial creators are a lot better and extra skilled. We’ve got extra time due to our age, and we’ve additionally had extra freedom in comparison with millennials,” says Dev.   

Gen Z creators additionally are inclined to know each other, having discovered one another on social media platforms years earlier. For instance, Taneesha and Dev did collaborations for TikTok and after they met at an inter-school competitors once they had been in school eight.

“As most of us are already pals, it’s simpler to construct a group. Apart from, social media and popular culture are a lot greater elements of our lives than they had been for millennials,” Taneesha states.   

   It’s this group facet that basically differentiates the angle of Gen Z content material creators from that of millennial influencers. There aren’t any fan followings, they are saying. There are solely on-line friendships. And, perhaps it’s as a result of they’ve been within the public eye since a youthful age than their millennial counterparts, however these Gen Z creators know how you can not let get social media get the higher of them.  

“I’ve reached an area the place I don’t really feel burdened. A yr in the past, the second followers or likes decreased on IG, I felt like life didn’t have a function. I’ve learnt to like myself first now. I edited a Reel for six hours the opposite day, however deleted it inside half-hour of posting it as a result of I didn’t like it,” says Dev.  

Quick questions
Fast questions

The ‘everyone seems to be entitled to their opinion so there’s no level in over-thinking it’ strategy Taneesha has adopted for coping with detrimental feedback retains the stress of posting day-after-day at bay too. “If I don’t publish, my DMs will probably be crammed with involved messages asking me if I’m okay, or followers telling me to not be lazy. Nervousness solely units in after I put the stress on myself,” she says.  

 Content material Vs Clout

So, do these 20-somethings consider themselves as ‘influencers’ or as ‘content material creators/entertainers’? 

“The latter, as a result of I’ve no need to affect anybody. ‘Influencers’ are unnecessarily placed on a excessive pedestal. Content material creators can’t be influencers. We simply make movies on tendencies. You understand who was an actual influencer? Mahatma Gandhi!” says Dev.

Nods Taneesha, “An actual influencer is somebody who has completed one thing main. I don’t assume it’s a good time period to make use of for content material creators.”   

 And because of this they don’t consider themselves as stars. “I don’t wish to be a star. I don’t like being recognised after I exit. The telephone is my stage and I’m simply performing in isolation,” says Dev.  

Observe @Kkuenzang on Twitter and Instagram

From HT Brunch, July 30, 2022

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