TikTok ban in India has already forced its users to look for alternatives. Many TikTok creators in the country have also started asking their followers to join them on Instagram and YouTube. However, TikTok competitors in the country, on the other hand, are welcoming the latest move by the government. Whether it is Mitron or Chingari, the Indian rivals of the Chinese video-sharing app are hoping to grow their presence in the country and expand their user base by attracting several TikTokers to their platforms.
“We believe that any app that is targeting Indian users should be compliant with local laws and be sensitive to the local community guidelines,” Anish Khandelwal, Co-Founder and CTO, Mitron TV, told Gadgets 360.
The app originally had several bugs and was seen as just another TikTok clone. Some initial reports also claimed that it was based on a code purchased from a Pakistani developer. However, despite all these hiccups, the anti-China sentiment in the country helped Mitron surpass the mark of one crore downloads on Google Play last week. The app currently has over 1.2 crore downloads.
“We believe the momentum will increase significantly now,” Khandelwal said.
Mitron isn't the only TikTok competitor that is looking to add new users after the Chinese platform is no longer in the race due to the ban imposed by the government on Monday. Chingari, another app based on TikTok's format, is also optimistic to expand further in the coming days. The makers of the Chingari app are welcoming the government's decision.
“This is a very good step taken by the Government of India and the IT Ministry of India,” said Sumit Ghosh, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Chingari. “For a very long time, TikTok has been spying on users and sending back the data to China.”
Ghosh through his Twitter account revealed that after the TikTok ban came into place, the Chingari app started getting 10 lakh views per 30 minutes. He also mentioned that the app saw over a lakh downloads in just one hour after the ban was imposed on Monday evening.
Similar to Mitron and Chingari, Bolo Indya, another TikTok rival that has been developed by a Gurugram-based startup, was also pleased to receive the opportunity to attract new audiences in the country.
“We invite all the TikTok stars from India to be the part of fast growing Bolo Indya community,” said Varun Saxena, Founder, Bolo Indya.
He added that his team is committed to the government's guidelines for user-generated content platforms and data security.
Sunil Nair, the India CEO of Silicon Valley-based video-sharing platform Firework, highlighted that any content platform entering India needs to understand the sensitivities towards the culture and build a safer environment for creators, users, and advertisers.
“When a category of content gets impacted by a ban, the entire ecosystem suffers — this ecosystem includes creators and brands that use these platforms to reach its audience,” he said.
Popular creators are heading to traditional platforms, though
Although the Indian TikTok alternatives are aiming to leverage the ban and expand their platforms through the recent restrictions, popular creators are seen moving to traditional platforms including Instagram and YouTube. Many influencers on TikTok are teaching users about how to use Instagram. Several users on the platform are also providing their Instagram profile and YouTube channel links. However, a large part of those users are notably not mentioning any of the Indian platforms.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.