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With TikTok Out, Replacements Hope to Take its Throne

Just under a month of India banning the video app, there are several competitors big and small wooing creators and users

Anurag Tagat Jul 17, 2020
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On June 29th, the Ministry of Information Technology in India announced a ban on TikTok, amidst data security and privacy concerns. It was soon after that a whirlwind of activity, migration and fervent app store browsing ensued, with millions of users of the China-owned TikTok looking for an alternative.

Steadily sharpened into a becoming a crucial tool for creative artists in India and the world over, TikTok’s ban – even if it ends up being temporary – meant that creators (even musicians) were now left to seek a new alternative to grow their fanbase. Here are a few new developments that have either intentionally or coincidentally blown up around the same time that TikTok got blocked in India.

Instagram Reels

Last week, Instagram introduced Reels in India, much before it’s being introduced in markets such as the U.S.. The video mode allows users to add music and filters to videos from Instagram’s catalog. With livestreams, bespoke AR filters and more, Instagram was already the go-to app for musicians when live concerts became part of the old normal with the pandemic. With Reels – plus distribution companies jumping in to make sure Indian indie music is available for usage – Instagram clearly hopes to become the one app musicians won’t close any time soon.

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American music and video sharing app Triller has quickly become one of the biggest winners in the wake of TikTok’s ban in India, and the looming block in the U.S. as well. The app partnered with chart-makers Billboard for two new artist charts – Top Triller U.S. and Top Triller Global. As of July 15th, Indian singer Armaan Malik’s turn to English pop, “Next 2 Me,” was number one on both lists globally and in the U.S., while other artists included RIKA. With Indian users flooding in, it’s no surprise that the Top Triller Global chart features several more Indian artists, including Jaz Dhami, Pritam, Jubin Nautiyal and more.

Hotshots by Gaana

Music streaming biggie Gaana have gone on to work in video content on their platform by introducing HotShots last week. While it previously had started up Gaana Vertical Videos last year specifically for singers and influencers, HotShots seems to be squarely in place to lure in influencers with a sizeable following on TikTok and migrate their following. Adding to the star power so far are singers including Darshan Raval, Neha Kakkar and Tony Kakkar, amongst others.

The Others (?)

Other homegrown apps who have also been catapulted into the spotlight after TikTok’s ban include short video sharing app Chingari, which has had its fair share of complaints and bugs along with millions of new users. Another app called Mitron has also racked up over 10 million installs via the Google Play store.

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The Old Guard

Old only in terms of the fast-paced world of technology and innovation, apps like DubSmash and InShot are also drawing an audience in India. Interestingly, Snapchat too is testing a new navigation style for content.

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