January 21 2018
Social media takes over Kollywood
16 August 2017

A look at how the Internet’s reach has changed the dynamics of the film business

The power of social media and its impact on the youth has become the main draw in Kollywood. Today, in the film industry, almost everybody believes that digital is the future. And fans of actors who believe that they eat, sleep and breathe Tamil cinema, cannot miss their inclination towards social media.

Kollywood stars are no longer banking on just their on-screen looks or movie performances, but are using social media to wow audiences with their off-screen persona as well. Each and every update, image or video that is shared adds to the curiosity of fans. Take, for instance, the way in which Ajith’s Vivegam and Vijay’s Mersal are being aggressively pushed by tech-savvy fans on social media. Music composer Anirudh is a rockstar today because of his active posts from his Twitter handle, which he personally handles. Today, for any actor worth his opening, being on social media is of prime importance. In a way, it can make or break careers.



On Monday evening, Simbu aka STR made an announcement that he would no longer be a part of the social media world, thus sending his fans into a tizzy. His final tweet that went viral was: “In spite of negativism, positivity was my forte, but today’s social media!!! Negativity is too dominating, and I’m scared to be a part. Social media was necessary as a celebrity, but I prefer to follow my heart. So before I depart, just wanna say. Always choose love. (sic)” Even Kamal Haasan seems to have got a new lease of life via Twitter. His terse messages and battle of words with the Tamil Nadu Government and popularity via Bigg Boss have suddenly projected the Ulganayagan as a possible political leader.



Dhanush, who hardly gives interviews to the local media, has used the Internet to his advantage. On the eve of the release of his VIP2, the star and other key players did a Facebook live, instead of the usual press meet. The team of one of the biggest releases of the year — Thala Ajith’s Vivegam — is yet to hold a press meet, and prefer giving individual interviews to select press and digital media or holding Independence Day specials on television.

As a policy, Ajith does not give interviews, but his army of fans has made Vivegam trend on an almost daily basis. Similarly, Vijay — and his huge online fan base — are adding to the reach of Mersal; the Rahman-composed single, ‘Aalaporaan Thamizhan’, became the top song in India within hours of its release. Sivakarthikeyan’s recent teaser of Velaikkaran also clocked one million views in record time.

Big stars go all out to promote other actors’ work on social media, thus increasing camaraderie between them. A popular star, with over a million followers on Twitter, says: “I personally use social media to connect with my fans and audiences. This helps in not being misquoted or dragged into unnecessary controversies. At the time of my film’s release, it ensures huge reach and added boost to promotions. The young generation, that forms 85% of the opening weekend, is tech-savvy and hooked to social media, and this has changed the dynamics of the film business.”



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