Indian social media apps have been quick to take advantage of their government’s ban on scores of Chinese apps and, having accumulated users, are now looking to monetise them.

Indian apps, such as Public, ShareChat, Chingari, and Roposo, have filled something of the vacuum created by the absence of TikTok and many others, but they have invested almost entirely in encouraging downloads and building up a base of monthly active users (MAUs).

What they are now searching for is a way to turn these into money, Pitch reports. They are looking at ad-based revenue models, including banner and video ads, along with push notification ads. Brand hashtags and associated content are also being explored.

As to the type of brands using these new platforms, Gautam Mehra, Chief Data & Product Officer, dentsu Asia Pacific (APAC) told Pitch, “It’s a mixed bag. But clearly brands come on these apps from an engagement perspective.

“Digitally native businesses like Oyo and Amazon are key advertisers for them. Nevertheless, compared to their overall media spends, spends on these platforms are still like a drop in the ocean.”

ROI is currently measured by soft metrics like Engagement Rate and CTR, he noted, adding that, to be serious players, that would need to be replaced by KPI-led performance marketing, or else brands would need to go for massive reach and become dominant players.

Homegrown apps have gained from Government bans and anti-China sentiment, but not all Chinese brands are suffering, as the example of phone brands shows. To counter the mood, a number have been burnishing their “Made in India” credentials, reports Pitch.

And the fact they have held their market share is down to something ever more simply, according to N Chandramouli, CEO of TRA Research– the Indian consumer knows a bargain when one comes along, and the draw of a bargain trumps everything else.

“One must understand the general Indian consumer mind-set,” Chandramouli explains. “If a brand is able to provide great functionality and also gives the best price, an Indian buyer will prefer the function-price combination over anti-China feelings.”

Sourced from Pitch; additional content by WARC staff