Sangay Lhamo 

What began as a platform for sharing short videos has now become a source of income for some TikTokers in the country. Popular Bhutanese TikTokers express their talents, entertain audiences, participate in TikTok challenges, promote and advertise products and services, and earn in the process.

Bhutan has seen a drastic increase in TikTok users over the past years, with a diverse range of contents from entertainment to promoting products and services provided by consultancies and companies. From this popular app, Bhutanese TikTokers have realised its potential for making money. 

Phuntsho Choden, 21, a student of Sherubtse College, popularly known as Phuntsho Kinrab Dema is a rising star on the app. She said: “Earning from TikTok is not the same as how we earn from Youtube channels because we can monetise our Youtube channel whereas for TikTok, Bhutan does not have the facility to monetise our accounts.”

“I have earned about USD 600 by going live on TikTok. Viewers living outside Bhutan throw us gifts and we can convert these gifts into money,” the youth added. 

As she cannot avail Paypal account in Bhutan, she gets help from her friends living in Singapore and Australia to withdraw money from her TikTok account. 

She also said that she collaborated with companies to promote and advertise their products and services through the platform. 

Currently, Phuntsho is working as an ambassador for Smart Education Consultancy and she gets monthly payment from the consultancy for promoting their services through her TikTok videos. 

As a student, earning through TikTok has helped her meet the college expenses.

Ugyen Lhendup Rabgay, 24, had started using TikTok in 2019, and now has 16,200 followers. He said, “During the lockdown, I started going live and had casual conversations, questions and answers with the viewers, and they gave me coins. My first earning was USD 100.”

Ugyen also said that he got offers from companies to promote their products through his TikTok videos. 

Another rising TikToker, Phuntsho Wangdi, who is a singer and a music composer at Shangreela, said, “I usually go live twice a week and now I have earned more than Nu 100,000. I sing and entertain viewers and interact with the commenters.”

He said that earning from TikTok is a side hustle. 

He added that earning from TikTok is very easy, as he does not face any challenges in doing so. He withdraws money from TikTok by giving his TikTok account to his friends living abroad.