The TikTok Algorithm, the ban and how marketers think.

Let’s learn #TikTok algorithm and how marketers think.

The “algorithm” here means what type of videos TIKTOK automatically prioritizes to show you (Tiktok Algorithm)

When you install Tiktok, you mostly get content consumed and liked by the people in that region.
So the dance moves you see are enjoyed by the society you live in. Want a break? Leave that region. But I’m not sure if there is a land where only wise people live. Being “wise” is more important than being “educated.”

But the algorithm doesn’t stop there; it then starts learning your behavior of watching and scrolling videos. If you keep watching those dance moves (that you so hate but still watch), the Tiktok algorithm will keep showing you more of it. BUT – if you don’t care and scroll the video up, the Tiktok algorithm will throw different types of videos to see what kind of content you enjoy. You can also report Tiktok that you don’t want to see any specific type of video, but where’s the fun, eh?

So if I enjoy and consume posts related to “PUBG” game plays on Tiktok, most of the content I’d see would be gameplays of other PUBG players. But the moment I stop and watch a dance move, the algorithm will pick that up and start showing me a mix of those.

People who keep telling they haven’t learned anything from Tiktok might not have explored the platform or followed influential people there. You can search content through hashtags such as #socialmediatips, #startupadvice, etc. Information given within 1 min is crisp and to the point. The more you go through those, Tiktok will start showing you good quality content. I know tons of people doing great work on Tiktok, but that’s for you to discover (when the ban is over).

One more thing, no one can claim they fully understand the algorithm of any social media platform but can experiment and learn. For example, do posts having images work better than plain text to increase FB reach, or does a shorter text work better than longer text, etc.

Another question that people love asking is “quality” of content on TikTok when compared with other social platforms, Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram etc.?

They are the same! When Snapchat started getting popular, people said it’s used for all the wrong reasons (I don’t want to go into details here), but people started using it for all the right reasons too. Ban Snapchat? Most of Snapchat users moved to Instagram as Facebook introduced stories there, but you get my point. Do you not see “disturbing images for kids” when you hit the “search” icon on Instagram? There is no social media platform where you’d be free from disturbing content because, in the end, it’s the people who generate content on all platforms!

Want to change that, educate the younger generation, and find means to make them “wise”!

Many wannabe influencers who couldn’t catch up with Tiktok influencer fame or got viral still hate the platform for their egoistic reasons. Either they couldn’t be consistent on Tiktok or experimented enough, giving up saying, “only if we were girls or danced we could be viral on Tiktok” To them, I see, keep working hard.

There is one rule for marketers: go where the audience is and bombard that platform with your smarter ad strategies! And when the boom of that platform is over, jump to a newer one!

Real marketers don’t fall in love with any platform.
They have no love or hate relationship with any of the social platforms. They learn, experiment, and help people during their journey.

Some people made money by selling their products to millennials through TINDER and scraping that data.
(But I know you all aren’t ready for this story yet, never mind)

You can disagree with my opinion. I’ll still love you as we all can see things differently, and that’s what I love the most!

For Govt: The ban is not the solution.
For Tiktok: People aren’t smart enough to filter content they don’t like yet consume. The moderation level should be enhanced or automated.

I hope both parties sit and resolve this issue, so Facebook still has a competitor in the social media space. Competition is excellent as it gives a chance to innovate. In the past, whenever a new platform came in, Facebook either bought it or nearly killed it.

I hope we set ourselves as examples for our younger generation to follow and get inspired!

Propaganda against the unity of Islamic sects in Karachi amidst pandemic

I write this with a heavy heart.

The Government of Sindh or Media or someone in a greater power, is flaming the fire of Islamic Unity between Sunni-Shia in Karachi. And if you haven’t noticed, the younger generation is already debating/fighting on social media calling each other out. It is 2020. It has taken a lot many lives to have the current peace and love we have between the two sects. I’ve friends in a different sect who’d take a bullet for me and I’d for them.

But clearly, someone is not happy about this peace in Karachi.

And to understand this, you need to put your Islamic “sect” lenses away for a while.
If you can’t, this post is not for you, scroll away.

As far in the time, I can remember, I’ve never missed the Taraveh Prayers in Ramadan, including both the Sunnah (To hear complete Quran in Taraveh and to read Taraveh all Ramadan). Friday Prayers in Ramadan had greater importance to me. Itekaaf in Masjids made me want to sit there longer with scholars and learn the forgotten. Ramadan for me and many others comes as a light that keeps us going through the rest of 11 months.

I can say the “Julus” and “Majlis” are equally important for the other sect too.

Then the Corona Virus hit the world. SOP’s were made. Almost all masjid’s of both sects followed SOPS; masks, sanitizers, and distance-markings were done to protect people. But masjids were still locked down for Taraveh, Friday Prayers, and Itekaaf. Almost all Islamic Scholars still agreed with the government’s decision and informed the masses to corporate.
Even then, reporters, media & government spoke against Masjids. Rangers in Sindh took aggressive actions to hit the old or young, with sticks as they left masjids. These videos became viral on social media. Scholars were imprisoned and with their masjid’s sealed.
All this was new in these plague times, but was this necessary or not even after following SOP’s is a different debate which I’m not here to discuss.

Here’s what went wrong. The government of Sindh or someone in power decided to give protection (containers) to block roads and allow “Julus” activities for the Shia sect. They were allowed to perform their practices with no strict intervention from Rangers either. Strangely, no television anchor, media, or government spoke against this as much as they previously did for Friday Prayers, Itekaaf, or Taraveh. This favoritism with one sect leads to endless debates on social media.

Pause. Think again. Rules should be the same for all. If rules are made for one and not the other, it creates a division and forms a subconscious meaning that Sunni-Sect prayers aren’t as important as Shia-sects. That is what most feel. And if you don’t feel the same, you haven’t put the “sect” lens away yet.

Considering SOPS are followed, will there be “Eid” Prayers?
Will Masjids open in the last 10 nights of Ramadan?
Should the Sunni-Sect now follow the laws of government against Masjids?
A very good question and I leave this on you to decide.

PS: This post is not to divide the Muslims, but to call out the decision and power makers to stop this act of poor leadership. Let Karachi live an age free for sect/caste wars!

COVID-19 Breakout – We Need to Stay Calm & Positive

COVID-19 Breakout

Health or illnesses, life or death, happens from the Above. A falling leaf from a tree, or dancing drops from the sky, everything is in control from Allah. 

Do not fear. Have faith.

COVID-19 Breakout

In the recent outbreak of Coronavirus, doctors suggest to keep your surroundings clean, wash your hands, and maintain a social distance. Avoid casual social gatherings. Stay at home as much as you can. 

Cleanliness is the key here. 

These are precautions. Acting on them is Sunnah and necessary. That’s the best we can do. Leave the rest on Allah.

Some other quick reminders are; Always be in Wudhu as it protects you. Pray your five-times Salah. Pray for humanity. Help workers that rely on daily wages through Sadqa/Zakat.

Once upon a time, Khalid ibn Walid (RA) swallowed poison and nothing happened to him by the grace of Allah, Allah saved him.

Before drinking the poison, Khalid Ibn Walid (RA) recited the following dua:


*بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ*


“Bismillahillazi La yadurru Maasmihi Shaiun fil-ardi wa La fis-smaaie, Wahuwas Samiul Alim”


“In the name of Allah, Whose name is when mentioned nothing on Earth or in Heaven can cause harm, and He is the Hearer, the Knower.”


Aban ibn Uthman Radi Allahu Anhu narrates from Uthman ibn Affan Radi Allahu Anhu (his father) that RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “If anyone recites the above dua in the evening, nothing shall harm him till the morning. And if anyone recites the dua three times in the morning, nothing shall harm him till the evening.”

Another dua that comes to mind is; once Prophet said: “If somebody recites this dua while he saw someone else in some fatigue or tensions, he would not be involved in that fatigue or tension.”


الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي عَافَانِي مِمَّا ابْتَلاَكَ بِهِ وَفَضَّلَنِي عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ تَفْضِيلاً


“Al-Hamdulillahi Alladhi Aafani Mimmabtalaka bihi wa faddalani Ala kathirin mimman khalaqa tafdila”.


“All praise is for Allah, Who saved me from what He has afflicted you with and favored me more than many others He created.”

Have faith. 

Do not panic or stress. 

But when things go wrong, and you don’t understand what’s happening in your life, close your eyes, and take a deep breath and pray,

 “Oh, Allah! I know this is Your plan, the very best for me. Just help me through it. And bless me with all your blessings.”

Take care of yourself and the people around you, do the needful for anyone in distress and hope for the best of health and wealth for everyone!

 I wish you and your family the best of health in this difficult time.


Stay Calm & Spread Positivity.


Sameer Ahmed Khan.

Trend of Motivational Speakers

Every second you find a new ‘Motivational Speaker’. You check their past and it’s full of quotes and poems which again are from someone else.

To those who ‘pay’ to attend such sessions, find the courage to ask and listen the stories of your father or mother. Find motivation in them and the ones close to you.

Worst, learn to search such videos on Youtube. You’ll find plenty, with better and newer quotes and poems!

PS: People who work keeping their heads down for a long time, are the ones who inspire and motivate with their experiences. Everything else is a movie – mostly entertaining but not productive.


True Champions behind Team Pakistan at APICTA 2016!

APICTA 2016 polished my pitching skills and boosted my art of storytelling. It made me realize there is more to be done. Being ‘comfortable’ for any ‘startup’ is devastating, I never was, but it firmed my belief more.

I participated in a category called, “Tools & Applications” but the teams from Hong Kong rocked that category. They truly deserved the win with their idea related to Augmented Reality. A Social Media Tool needs to be way more than it is now to compete with a tool related to Augmented Reality.

When my expectations crashed as the winners from Hong Kong were announced, my immediate thoughts were that I’ll never participate again, but it was a moment when I paused, it was a moment when I reflected back, it was when I felt that there is more to do, much beyond than the technology of Augmented or Virtual Reality itself. The process and learning I went through to win, the friends I made in Taiwan, is far more important than winning itself. I’ll do more and move forward with the amazing support of my family and friends!

The love and support, the training’s, the mentoring – everything I experienced is far more greater than anyone can ever expect from a competition. Thank you Jehan Ara for making it happen and enabling startups to compete at such a level. The way you listen to us, fight for us and help us in making a change is beyond one can ever imagine. It takes more than a lifetime to help so many selflessly.

My slide deck kept changing every single day, the story, the start, the end, the pictures, the content – everything. There were times when I thought it was too much for me as the script in my head kept mixing and overlapping. But in the end, I came to know my product more than I ever knew it before. Thank you Jawwad Farid for this gift. Thank you for training us aggressively, for reviewing the story deck, for being so apt in responding to my emails, for helping me in graphs, for training me at The Nest IO, in your office, home and even in your car! This is the way he worked with not only me, but many startups that participated in APICTA 2016! The way he conducted the 30-day experiment on Social Champ boosted my confidence more. Thank you!

The reason I could focus on my pitching was because Rumaisa handled everything related to our travelling, visa, ticket and hotel. Her constant reminders of upcoming events, schedules, made me relax and focus on my pitch. Her constant design suggestions made me significantly improve the dark black and white presentation design I previously had. I’m so glad that she was always there for every startup, advising, suggesting and forcing us to make things right in her own way.

Pakistan broke all its previous records in APICTA 2016 by winning 3 Golds, and 6 Silvers! The details of winning teams and judging criteria can be read here.  It couldn’t have been possible without the support from PASHA and THE NEST IO, the team and the mentors that started training us 3 weeks before APICTA 2016.

Thank you Jehan Ara, Jawwad Farid, Rumaisa Mughal, The NEST IO and PASHA for a memorable and productive trip to Taiwan. I owe the experience and learning I received, to the next upcoming startups. My pitch deck is ready and final, it will stay that way for many months to come, with ofcourse some minor data changes as Social Champ continues to grow!

Thank you!


The banning of Chinchi’s in Karachi!

If you’re one who supports the banning of Chinchi’s and now you can drive in much lesser traffic, I think you are ignorant. You perhaps don’t understand the greater pain.

Chinchi’s competed with the transport mafia, the bus conductors were forced to “respect” the old passengers and did not ask them to leave the bus arrogantly when they were short on few rupees.

The transport mafia, had to lower the bus fares since there was a competition and people found Chinchi’s more safer because of constant looting in buses. In many, the drivers were accomplice too.

█ What changed when the Chinchi’s got banned?
The bus fares were 50% increased yesterday for “NO” reason, (since no competition now, and people got no options). An old man, with his wife and a child was dropped out of the bus right before my eyes, only because the old man refused to pay the increased rates while the rest of us quarreled a bit but paid.

When questioned, the conductor accepted that they had to pay alot to ban these Chinchis and its now their time to earn.

Worst, this transport mafia even managed to ban the 9-seater rickshaws too and impose a heavy fine on them. My younger brother’s driver had to pay heavily just to get out of jail, because he used 9-seater rickshaw to pick students.

█ If you support the ban, but agree that it provided value.
Trust me, you are confused, or maybe you don’t use public transport on a daily basis.
Respected P.M announced a gift of Karachi Metro Buses, which still is a myth.

Commute is a general problem, if there is a solution that could temporarily work, it should be adapted rather than “hoping” that someday, our beloved government will introduce state-of-the-art buses and all our commuting problems will be solved, so until that happens, all “chinchis’ should banned because teenage kids drive those and our traffic police officers are too lazy to keep a check on them as they can be easily bribed, so yes ban all of them!

And let’s say they were unsafe and many lives were lost because of Chinchi’s: So why were the 9-seated rickshaws banned? They were VIP options for the many.

After the ban of Chinchi’s I hoped that maybe, maybe those 9-seated rickshaws will take the route on which these Chinch’s traveled, but.. nah, next day, they were banned too.

And quiet frankly, an old man or a college/university student doesn’t care if somewhere in future a good solution suddenly pops up, solving their current problem which they might not have then.

You cannot ban something completely, problems have solutions.
You don’t kill a patient because of the sickness, you cure it!

I wanted to write this 2-3 days back, but today I had seen enough…


OuzelSystems Nested!

It’s been a year at OuzelSystems, and now is the right time to experiment something different. There is much to happen and you can contribute too. Soon we will be selecting a pool of beta testers, giving early access to our app, providing extra perks in app for the feedback they provide and connect individually with them to know their expectations. So watch out for that announcement soon.

In our backyard, we’ll make sure not to just train good developers, but good humans. Over the past few years, thanks to all the trainings and mentoring we have been involved into, we find it an obligation to pass it unto others. Our achievement is not the number of projects we deliver, but the number of customers & clients turning into friends in the long run.

A year passed out in a flash. It had been a great learning experience for us a team, learning through the experiences and evolution of another US based Startup. What we learned, is beyond explanation. From daily meetings, poker games & estimation; to conversations between a CEO and CTO, their jokes, their reflexes during tense situations, every chapter had a lesson for us. It taught us how to communicate professionally yet differently from that of a corporate culture. And we’ll try our best to transfer this knowledge to our juniors, interns and students and we, ourselves make practical use of it.

Thank you Abrar, for being so committed, daring and for always being there. Zohaib, I thank you for your exceptional skills that sets you one of our magician. Shakir, without your dedication, support, advises and patience, this journey would have been tough. And thank you Faizan and Alveena for bearing with us in our first crucial year. I hope you can learn more, excel and prosper into something the nation would be proud of. Oh, welcome to the fabulous team Adeel. You’ll love working with us!

I shouldn’t forget our Advisory Board Members; Sir Farhan Ahmed Siddiqui & Sir Muhammad Saeed for always being their in our board meetings, resolving conflicts and continuously giving directions.
However, I should be thanking many other names in our journey; Sir Badar Sami, Sir Zia Khan, Sir Inam, Sir Asim, Matloob Bhai, colleagues, juniors and countless other names, and their prayers…

For the next 4 months, half of the team will be incubated at The Nest IO. It was a hard decision, but fair enough for the opportunities articulated. This not only means that time will be of more value, but each of our commitments & responsibilities will stretch much further.

It’d be fun anyway!



Sameer Ahmed Khan

Obtain a NOC from PTA (For smartphones and devices…)

This is one troublesome job. But I managed to get through it “legally”, however it took around a month for me and mainly because I had no clue of what to do. I hope my experience saves time for most people.

I had my Lumia 1020 device stuck in customs and the guys from TCS told me to obtain an NOC from PTA, which they’d provide to Customs and clear my device. Anyway, it’s a long story of how I was demoralized that I should forget my device from friends but I tried and it worked..

Here are the steps that I took:
You gotta write a letter requesting for NOC and email it to [email protected], and then keep calling (051 9207079) or (051 9225329-0) and ask them politely to forward and approve the letter and “post” the NOC at your address. (They also email it, but CUSTOMS don’t accept the email, they need hard copy with the “blue” colored signature).

Then, after having NOC in Karachi posted to your home, attach the required documents (told by TCS) and submit it to TCS office, they’d forward it to Customs here. Eventually in few days you’ll have your respected device at home.

PS: I had to keep telling customs that all cost has been paid and further if any costs are there, they would be paid by the sender!

Sound simple eh? Even the guys at PTA didn’t knew that on smartphones I needed an NOC! That’s how I did it.
Worst part, this is Karachi so…. I lost my Lumia 1020 after all that struggle. *sighs…

Good luck.


Shades of Red

The leaves were dancing with the wind
And the kid swung the bottle around his neck
Marching his way to school with a friend
His hands in air, flying off the deck

Little he knew of the color red
Felt the itch, and craved to scratch
Stood he still and watched instead
His body fell, and he gasped

Confused, he saw the color red,
But different from pictured garden bed
The teacher was wrong, he smiled
But stopped as he looked around

Not white but red, turned the bottle he brought
Broken it was, and the child with fear
Tears rolled as he thought of his mother
She had asked, “Not to lose the fifth bottle”

Something bright, was lifting him in arms
Down, he saw his mother rushing to school
He saw her cry, and his tears rolled too
Not sure why, but he felt something too

“Mother, I need a hug”, the kid wept.
Mother stumbled as she ran and fell
A tear drop was borrowed by wind from the child
And carried to the cheeks of his fallen mother

She rubbed her face and felt her boy
The kid was lifted to a newer world
There he saw another kid, of his age
He wept too, and the kid asked why?

“A flying tin, painted me in red and my mother
I know not where she is, how she is
From mountains these tins come flying
They say, it paints red the bad only”

“Are we bad and very bad? I’m confused
They never told me in my Madrasa”
The kid hugged the other kid and cried,
“They never taught me in my school too”.

17th, December 2014

Junaid Jamshed – Your chosen side?

If you aren’t from the group,

GEO VS ARY; debating on Shaista Wahidi or Amir Liaquat and their past resemblance with this incident,


Any of Extremist Islamist Sec; waiting long to attack “Tablighi Jamaat” and becoming heroes in your own fantasy world, or bringing up the old debatable “Shia” or “Barelvi” teachings according to you, or blaming it on the fact that Islamic transmissions shouldn’t be allowed on television,


Liberal Fascist Longing to Change Islamic Constitution; considering that it’s out dated according to modern era, believe that Jihad is an extremist word and should be ignored completely, have no hope in Pakistan, bringing up the atrocities this government had done to Non-Muslims,


And only then…

Trust me, you’re amongst the people where there is hope left in humanity. You feel extremely sorry and sad for the way Junaid Jamshed is being treated as you’d have felt for any other human being treated. You wonder people acting of god, judging him. You know and acknowledge his past struggles, his intention and more importantly you believe that you have no gift of prophecy and would never make a haste decision on anyone whom you have never met and have known nothing about.

I’m not a PhD or a master in my field, even then I teach, voluntarily conduct seminars and give workshops, just to make sure I give back to society what I’ve learnt. When I make mistakes, my friends correct me then.

Curse me, abuse me and I’ll leave this act of kindness… I won’t even care to explain why.

PS: If you think I did wrong in comparing my worldly education with J.J’s religious speeches. I’d say, you haven’t understood the point here. In fact, I won’t even care to explain that either.

It breaks me apart watching people debate on topics they don’t even know about and labeling it as an act of “blasphemy”, just so they can mess a bit more, with whatever remains of this country and laws…