A few months back, if anyone said TikTok will be banned, I would have laughed. But after the Sino-Indian border clashes erupted at the Ladakh LAC, anti-Chinese sentiments gained momentum across the country, followed by a complete crackdown on 59 popular Chinese apps by the Indian government.
A vacuum for a social media application left is in the country. 200 million Indians who earlier spent time on TikTok suddenly lost their source of entertainment, especially in the post-COVID times. To fill this void, the Indian social media app list is racing with a high number of downloads on the play store.
The government has been pushing for ‘Made in India’ apps in order to reduce the dependency on countries like China. ‘Elyments’ application was launched last week, which claimed to be the Indian first social media application.
After the ban on Chinese apps, the number of Indian social media application list has increased due to the present anti-Chinese sentiment, seems to be pressurizing the locally developed apps to capture the market swiftly.
Adding to the environment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Digital Indian AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge,’ aimed at developing the Indian application ecosystem in the country. Under the program, the government will promote existing Indian social media application list and also the newly developed ones.
TikTok had nearly 200 million active downloads in India. The people who used to spend time watching the short videos on the app are now in search of new ones. This triggered the huge spike in downloads of Indian app like tik tok once the ban was implemented.
In the social media market, it is impossible to replace an existing player. TikTok created its new niche by introducing new short videos but couldn’t replace Facebook, Youtube, or any of the existing popular apps. Now, as the ban is facing hurdles, Indian makers want to capture and target a significant chunk of users.
Chingari, the Indian made short video sharing app emerged as one of the top alternatives to the banned TikTok. After the ban, Chingari is seeing nearly 2-3 million new downloads every day. Presently the app has already crossed 25 million downloads on the Google play store. Now, the app has invited Indian music composers to create and share music on the platform. It aims to reach 100 million downloads in 3 months, however, it took one year for TikTok to cross this target.
‘‘Propose’ is the next emerging app that offers a TV interface and already exists in the market since 2014. The Indian social media app already had 50 million downloads before the Chinese app ban. Later, it witnessed 22 million new users in just 2 days after the ban. Local lifestyle short video app ‘Trell’ crossed 12 million downloads on the play store.
Mitron app, which is also a short video creator, crossed 17 million downloads on Google play store. The app also raised two crores in a seed funding by ‘3one4 Capital’ and a ‘Lets venture’ syndicate.
Some other short video making Indian social media applications such as ‘Tik Kik’ saw a huge increase in its downloads. ‘LitLot’ is a similar app that crossed one million downloads recently in the app market. The ban on Chinese apps has been an advantage for homegrown apps. It has helped in increasing the user base and also in establishing Indian brands in the market to compete with TikTok if it ever comes back.