Brands in India are reappraising their influencer marketing strategies in the light of the government’s banning of TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps.

TikTok has denied the government’s allegations that it has been “compiling, mining and profiling” users’ data in a manner that posed threats to the “national security and defence of India” and is reported to be considering legal action to lift the ban.

During the COVID- lockdown, TikTok, like most other social networking apps, has seen an increase in the number of people using it and the length of time they spend there. Brands have inevitably followed, putting money into in-feed ads and hashtag challenges.

The ban will affect creators and influencers more than brands – one observer noted that almost one in every two TikTok users in India is a creator – which must now assess the value of diverting monies into other networks, whether the big US ones like Instagram and YouTube, or the many local Indian apps that have seen a marked increase in downloads since Monday’s ban.

“We are witnessing a huge surge and a large number of content creators from TikTok are joining our platform with their followers,” Roposo co-founder Mayank Bhangadia told Financial Express.

More than 30 brands have got in touch with Roposo since Monday, according to Pitch, and it is developing tools to enable marketers to better target their customers.

“We are working on a technology that will help brands integrate video content on their own platform and not depend on other social media platforms,” Bhangadia explained. “We are also working on developing accurate taste graphs of users so that brands can add more personalisation to their offerings,” he added.

ShareChat, Chingari and Mitron have also reported a sudden uptick in downloads, further complicating brands’ media mix strategies. Pitch noted, however, that ShareChat has been a leader in the Indian UGC space and has developed regional strength in Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities which may appeal to brands with highly targeted language-driven campaigns.

Pragati Rana, general manager at mcgarrybowen India, believes the immediate beneficiary of the ban will be Instagram, even though the two are very different; in the longer term a platform like Chingari, whose functionality more closely resembles that of TikTok, could be a winner.

“Having said that, I don’t think the ban on TikTok is going to last forever,” she told Afaqs!. “TikTok has a way of clawing back into the game. Let’s sit tight and watch what happens next.”

Sourced from Economic Times, Financial Express, Pitch, Afaqs!