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Mr. Faisu: ‘Regular Updates Are Most Important’

The TikTok mega star insists that the secret behind viral success is making sure you don’t get complacent

Riddhi Chakraborty Jun 10, 2019

In 2019, Mr Faisu (with 9.8 million followers) led the TikTok roster in terms of engagement. Photo: Priyank Nandwana

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Shaikh Mudassir Faisal, better known as Mr. Faisu on social media, is the most followed Indian on TikTok with an audience of over 19 million. It’s a staggering number to even think about and while it makes him one of the biggest names on Indian social media, he admits there are still many who don’t take what he does seriously, calling TikTok stars ‘faltu’ (useless) or gimmicks. But he won’t let it get to him. “It’s only faltu to those who don’t make videos and content (for a living),” Faisal says calmly. “You need only ask a professional how much work and time goes into making videos and how much effort it takes.”

TikTok may be largely underestimated, but it’s still one of the most powerful players in the social media sphere in India, becoming the most downloaded app in 2019—despite its brief government ban in the country. It’s the reincarnation of the popular (but short-lived) video sharing app Musically, but seems to be doing much better on round two with users embracing it on a much larger scale globally. Videos created on TikTok find their way onto Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook with users sharing relatable clips and pushing them to viral levels and it’s one of the first apps that’s given everyone equal footing, no matter their background or location.

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Faisal’s rise on the platform has been particularly steep, his followership jumping to its current might in just one year to take the crown of ‘most followed TikTok user’ from actress Jannat Zubair. He leads Team 07, a collective comprising his fellow TikTok stars and friends, each with their own powerful fan following. They create comedic videos of themselves lip-syncing to popular tracks, acting out dramatic scenes from pop culture and making other meme-worthy and relatable content. Unlike Instagram or Twitter, TikTok’s reach goes past urban India to almost every corner of the country thanks to its filmy and desi appeal. Faisal’s biggest strength is being able to create content based on this fact and therefore content that almost everyone in the country can find entertaining. What’s the biggest piece of advice he’d give to someone who wants to make it big on social media? “The first thing is regular updates,” he says with no hesitation. “If you want to be a success on social media, you have to update your platform with content regularly.” It echoes what Ritu Agarwal, Lilly Singh and most other creators consider their mantra: the secret is making sure you don’t get complacent. He also advises aspiring social media stars to invest in a phone with a great camera–you don’t need much else, just your own talent and instinct.

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The second question most have on their minds about TikTok is, ‘What’s next?’ Most TikTok stars are aware that the app might fade from relevancy someday, and are prepared. In addition to keeping his Instagram regularly updated with posts about fitness and fashion, Faisal admits he is an actor at his core (it’s those skills that gave him the ability to be a comedic sensation on TikTok after all) and is aiming to make the jump to films. “The next step is the big screen,” he says with a smile, adding that he hopes his powerful nationwide followership could be a spotlight on an artist that wouldn’t have otherwise been noticed. “I began using TikTok just like that and now (my followership) has grown so much… I hope it can take me to films as soon as possible.”


Styled by Myntra 
Photographed by Priyank Nandwana
Art Direction by Tanvi Shah 
Fashion Editor Neelangana Vasudeva
Hair and Makeup by Jean-Claude Biguine India
Location Courtesy The Bar Stock Exchange, Juhu, Mumbai 

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