Indian apps see an uptick in users after Centre bans Chinese apps

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on July 01, 2020

After India banned Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, influencers, users and brands are quickly shifting to similar Indian apps such as Rizzle, Roposo, and ShareChat.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Mayank Bhangadia, Founder of Roposo, said that in approximately 24 to 36 hours, Roposo saw a growth of 10 million users.

“We were very humbled to see that influencers, whether big or small, themselves were promoting Roposo on their other social media portals which got us more downloads than ever. What was more reassuring was that even government authorities have started their accounts in just 24 hours on our portal,” he said.

Like Roposo, ShareChat has clocked more than 15 million downloads since the ban was announced. “We are excited to see the way people are exploring ShareChat for the endless possibilities it offers to the people and making it the preferred Indian social media platform,” Farid Ahsan, COO, and Cofounder of ShareChat.

TikTok’s remote connection

TikTok claims to have over 200 million users in India. The Centre’s ban on 59 Chinese apps, is likely to impact Tiktok and its influencers the most, according to experts. TikTok on Tuesday had said it is in the process of complying with the government’s order.

TikTok has seen influencers and creators from extremely remote places in India who either created lipsync videos or original content.

Sohini Ghaie, had over 1,72,000 followers on TikTok and she created original infotainment review content. She quit her job last year as a marketing professional, and is a freelance publicist right now. She has been on the portal for over eight months now.

“Tiktok taught me that I don’t need a boss or an organisation to talk to the world. I can do it on my own terms. I always wanted to be on camera or interact with the audience in some way, I wasn’t able to secure a job and here I enjoyed my work because it helped me produce my content on my own terms.”

According to her, people with similar followers can get a cash deal for promotions anywhere between ₹1,500 and ₹2,000 for a 45-second video. “It’s a great revenue,” she added.

Like Ghaie, Manoj Jadhav, with over 1.1 lakh followers, too, was able to garner exposure on the platform. “Being choreographer at Bollywood isn’t that easy, I needed the exposure. I used to make TikTok videos to get more work from the platform, though I did get a few endorsement requests from speakers and shoes companies, my main motive was to showcase my work, which I did.”

TikTok was prevalent among people from across geographies. TikTok often boasted about being a portal for those in the countryside. So much so that it has managed to create an industry of agencies that wanted to represent these influencers who have a sizable number of followers. It also became a stream of revenue for some and exposure for others.

Influencers and cash rewards

Whisttler is an influencer marketing start-up that started its ‘Influencer Program’ only seven months ago. The company has onboarded over 120-130 Tiktok influencers since. Niranjan Singh, Founder at Whisttler, said, “Over 60 per cent of the influencers the company manages are ones between 1.5 lakh to 5 million followers” which he calls medium scale.

On a monthly basis, the Influencer Program churned ₹35-40 lakh of gross profit. “More than 60-70 per cent of those people made a fortune from TikTok. In the short-term we may lose the money,” he added.

While he did get multiple calls from his influencers, there was no under current on the way forward for them. Like Ghaie and Jadhav, Singh too, has a plan B and that is to move to another portal.

“Since we advise them on the content strategy and marketing plans, we have already started preparing a transition plan for the TikTok influencers who will gradually, through content and brands move to alternate portals like Rizzle,” Singh added.

Rizzle claims to have over 1 billion users on its portal. Sana Afreen, Content and Marketing Manager, said that their portal has seen a spike in the number of users in the past couple of days, though she did not quantify it.

She said that the company will soon change its business model to accommodate different streams of revenues for both the company and the creators. One among those will be endorsements with brands.

According to Roposo’s Bhangadia, just like a spike in the number of users “we have seen similar traction in the revenues generated from advertisers in the past 24 hours.” In the future, they may introduce advertising for creators and artists themselves.

Published on July 01, 2020

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