“…TikTok has expanded into something far larger, bringing a massive shake-up to the social media status quo. Users have flocked to the app’s short, ‘snackable’ content, with the 15- to 60-second format offering great appeal, especially among those younger than 40. Looking to keep up with the trend, YouTube and Instagram have released their own versions, namely Shorts and Reels, respectively.” – Forbes
The rise of social media completely revolutionised the way people consumed news and information, creating one of the most valuable platforms for sharing important messages on a global scale. But from the longer format videos of YouTube, TikTok has shifted the space completely with short-format videos now mainstream. For wildlife crusaders like South Africa’s Dingo Dinkelman, this is a prime opportunity to reach younger generations with vital wildlife conservation messages.
Known as South Africa’s Steve Irwin, Dingo reached a global audience after winning the Cell C and Blink Pictures #BreakTheNet (#BTN) competition with his series of seven YouTube videos that netted an impressive 65 000 views. He has continued to ride this momentum through a series of death-defying antics that capture the audience’s attention while sharing the important message of conservation through YouTube.
Handling venomous snakes and massive crocodiles for educational talks; dehorning rhinos to protect them from poachers; reintroducing pangolin, the most trafficked mammal, to the wild; relocating the endangered brown hyena as a result of habitat loss; creating genetic diversity for lions; as well as establishing the sanctuary, Dingo’s Animal Kingdom are some of the incredible adventures shared with audiences.
Having led the charge with YouTube, Dingo has shifted to short-format videos, already racking up millions of views on Facebook. This is allowing him to further his reach with a global audience, many of whom have never had a first-hand experience with wildlife:
“My passion, my calling, the reason I have been put on the face of this earth, is to get animals into people’s lives. As things change, you have to change with them to ensure your message stays relevant. Where three or four years ago, YouTube was the biggest video platform in the world reaching billions of people, shorter format videos have now taken over with the rise of TikTok, Facebook reels and of course Instagram”
He explained this shift in attention span meant that consumers would much rather watch a 30-second reel or three-minute video at a push.
“We’re now competing in a much faster space, but it’s an exciting change. With our YouTube videos, we had received 75 million views in three years, whereas with Instagram and Facebook, we’re reaching in excess of 360 million accounts per year. With shorter content on Instagram, Facebook, and eventually TikTok we can exponentially reach more people.”
Dingo said social media, when used well, is an incredible way to get the message of conservation to the right people: “I’ve always believed that we need to convert the unconverted – to reach people who’ve had absolutely no experience with nature and wildlife, who are scared of snakes and afraid of getting dirty, and to get them passionate about conservation. We can achieve this goal by sharing the right content on these social media platforms.”
Don’t miss out on any of Dingo’s adventures and upcoming activities by visiting www.dingowild.com. Check out his wildlife antics by following ‘Dingo Dinkelman’ on Facebook, Instagram, Rumble, Patreon, and ‘Dingo Dinkelman Reloaded’ on YouTube. Dingo Dinkelman is proudly sponsored by Toyota.