Bhutanese use social media platforms to make money, despite challenges

The growing popularity of social media platforms is also making waves in the country. As such, popular Bhutanese social media users or influencers as they are called are gaining popularity on both national and international levels. And along with fame, these platforms are also providing users with the opportunity to make money.

For most Bhutanese social media influencers, Tiktok and Youtube seem to have become the most popular social media apps to make money.

BBS talked to a few of them who said they can make a decent amount from these different social media platforms.

On TikTok, a popular short-video creation and sharing app, users can receive gifts from other users which can be converted into dollars. But users say withdrawing the money is a hassle.

“I got a lot of gifts from a lot of people who appreciated my post, but the sad thing was it was not possible for me to withdraw money from my Paypal account. So, that’s why I asked for help from one of my friends who is living abroad and he did help me with that,” said Phuntsho Choden, a popular TikToker.

“We need to get help from our close and trusted friends to encash our money. With this, if concerned authorities could make such applications accessible then our Bhutanese Tiktokers can withdraw their money without relying on our friends,” said another Tiktoker, Thinley Gyeltshen.

Currently, banks in the country do not have access to international payment applications such as PayPal. The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) says they previously contacted Paypal but the company declined the offer to tie up with RMA sheerly due to Bhutan’s small population. The central bank is now exploring other options.

Meanwhile, Youtube is another popular social media platform where Bhutanese are earning money. Bhutanese influencers, just like influencers in any other country, can make money on Youtube through various means, the most common being through uploading music videos and video blogs and earning money depending on the number of views.

A popular YouTuber, Tandin Phub, says withdrawing money made through youtube is done through Google AdSense which is supported by local Banks.

“AdSense is a programme run by Google through YouTube content monetization…we need to verify our local address and for the location verification, they send us three pins to Bhutan Post,” he said.

People can also make money from other social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram, but BBS could not get in touch with any Bhutanese influencers doing so.

Despite the odds, the opportunities for people to make money through social media platforms are abundant.

With the right strategy, creativity and hard work, anyone with a large following can turn their online presence into a lucrative business.

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