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27 May 2021
Life after TikTok: India's apps are still getting it right
Devices & appsDouyin/TikTokSocial media planning & buying
When TikTok was banned in India in summer 2020, home-grown apps stepped in to tap the 200 million users left looking for a new short-form video platform – but while user numbers are now back to that level, the user experience doesn’t always match up.
Why it matters
The disappearance of TikTok and the emergence of around a dozen new platforms threatened the reach and earnings potential of influencers and the attraction of those platforms and individuals for advertisers. And while mimicking the look of TikTok has been straightforward, replicating the experience has proved more difficult.
Many Indian companies are innovating to try and replicate and improve on the TikTok experience, with better filters and music. For example, earlier this year, ShareChat’s Moj teamed with Snap Inc to give creators access to Snapchat’s Lens Carousel.
The tech giants see an opportunity – YouTube shorts and Instagram Reels are available – but observers believe Indian apps can better get the localisation right and do a better job of commercialising the market.
The FMCG and media and entertainment sectors currently spend the largest amount of their digital media budgets on online video, making them the biggest sectors to advertise on short-form video platforms, according to consulting firm Redseer.
Redseer also sees scope for light commerce to start on the platforms, “maybe in a year or so”.
“People in smaller towns aren’t so much into four seasons of a fantasy show with hundreds of characters as much as they would enjoy scrolling short videos that do not tax the brain. India, hence, is an even better market than China for a platform like TikTok” – Anil Kumar, CEO of Redseer.