A temporary ban on downloads, imposed after it was accused of spreading explicit content, was lifted after the Madras High Court received assurances that children would be protected.
The app has around 120 million users in India and a report from analytics firm Sensor Tower suggested it missed out on adding a further 15 million during the two-week ban; app publisher Bytedance told the court it was losing $500,000 for every day TikTok was blocked, CNN reported.
But with the lifting of the ban, TikTok is back among the country’s top downloads, helped by an in-app promotional campaign, running for the first two weeks of May, offering daily cash prizes of Rs 100,000 ($1,400) to three users for sharing the campaign page, Quartz reported.
“TikTok has users creating great content even from the most remote towns in the country,” claimed Sachin Sharma, head of Ad Sales and Customer Support for ByteDance India.
“For marketers, this translates into easily reaching an audience that was harder to tap otherwise,” he said in remarks reported by the Economic Times.
Brand consultant Harish Bijoor has estimated that rural usage of the app, at around 106 minutes per user per day, far outweighs urban usage, at just 7.5 minutes. “Engagement on TikTok is higher than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” he said.
In the six months since the app opened up to advertisers a wide range of brands have experimented with the platform, from online retailers and e-commerce sites like Meesho and Myntra, to VOD companies Voot and Viu; soft drinks giant Pepsi, too, has ventured into this area.
Meanwhile, the lawyer and social activist who initiated the legal action against the app has warned that while the temporary ban has been lifted, the main case has yet to be heard.
And in remarks reported by the South China Morning Post, Muthukumar Sankaran indicated he is planning more legal proceedings against the publishers.
“The problem is even more pronounced given most of TikTok’s users are from smaller towns and quasi-urban regions of India, with little exposure to how our grievance redressal systems or judiciary work,” he said.
Sourced from Economic Times, Quartz, CNN, South China Morning Post; additional content by WARC staff