TikTok has seen a meteoric rise. (Getty)
  • MTN has just launched special data rates for the social media platform TikTok, starting at R5 for a 100MB daily bundle. This is around four times cheaper than the normal daily data rate.
  • TikTok is seeing exponential growth, with more than 16.5 billion downloads across the world.
  • In South Africa, a number of TikTok stars have emerged.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.

TikTok is taking off in a big way in South Africa - and its users are now getting preferential rates to upload and watch the short, often very weird videos on the wildly popular social platform.

MTN prepaid customers can now buy special MTN TikTok data bundles, available to all prepaid customers on *136*2# from as little as R5 for a 100MB daily bundle.

“We have heard our customers and hope that the launch of these bundles will enable them to make the most of what is arguably the fastest growing social platform amongst the youth,” says Jacqui ‘O Sullivan, corporate affairs executive of MTN SA.

These are the TikTok bundles for MTN prepaid customers:

Source: MTN

Currently, MTN's "normal" daily data bundle rates starts at R5 for 25MB.

The TikTok platform allows users to share short videos of less than 60 seconds, and it is especially popular among younger users, who use it to share quirky and outrageous videos of themselves.

So far, the TikTok app has been downloaded some 1.65bn billion times across the world - and almost 45% of those downloads came in a single year, 2019.

As Business Insider previously reported, it’s difficult to officially establish just how many South Africans are using the platform, but local hashtags offer some insight. Together, #tiktoksouthafrica and #southafrica have amassed 350,000 fans. Videos categorised with the hashtag tiktoksouthafrica already have in excess of 400 million views.

There are a couple of South African TikTok starts who have emerged on the platform, with former South Africa’s Got Talent contestant Wian Van Den Berg apparently now the biggest.

The 22-year-old Van Den Berg, who goes by WianMagic on TikTok, makes short street magic videos in the vein of David Blaine - tricks like turning chocolate packets into chip packets, pulling abnormally large straws from McDonald’s takeaway packets, “finding” R100 notes in lemons at Food Lover’s Market, and attaching rubber snakes to “unsuspecting” victims

He has almost 2 million followers, and his 120-odd videos, most of which are just a few seconds in length, have been liked by other TikTok users more than 20 million times. This puts him just outside of the global top 1,000 influencers - but comfortably in the top 1%. 

Read more about local TikTok influencers: SA’s biggest TikTok stars are ranked among the world's top accounts - and they include a magician and 19-year old from Pretoria

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