These apps are now reportedly courting stars and influencers from TikTok to join their platforms.

Chingari among other apps are taking TikToks placeImage Credit: Picxy.com/immadhu
Atom Tech Shorts Wednesday, July 01, 2020 - 19:31

TikTok, which has over 600 million downloads in India, has left a massive void after its ban that Indian app makers are swooping in to fill.

Fifty-nine Chinese apps were banned in India on Monday and arguably, the biggest hit was by ByteDance’s TikTok, which had a wide user base of over 200 million (who were reportedly mostly between 16-24 years of age), and had major expansion plans in India.

Looking to fill the void are Chingari, Reposo and a few other short-video format apps. These apps, which began gaining popularity amid the boycott China sentiment, are now blowing up, adding lakhs of users with every passing hour.

These apps are also reportedly courting stars from TikTok to join their platforms.

Chingari

Chingari was founded by Bengaluru-based programmers Biswatma Nayak, Sumit Ghosh and Siddharth Gautam last year.

According to Sumit, Chingari is adding 300,000 new users every hour and 2 million views per hour.

At the time of writing, the Google Play Store showed that the app had had over 5 million downloads. While a major chunk of these downloads came after the ban was announced, the company started seeing traction when the anti-China sentiment began gathering steam. 

Similar to TikTok, Chingari allows users to download and upload videos, browse through a feed, share content and more. It also allows people to chat with their friends, as well as interact with new people. However, unlike TikTok, it also has a trending news section. Its other sections include entertainment news, funny videos, video songs, love quotes, videos for WhatsApp and more. 

It supports English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Odiya, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, and Punjabi.

It has three main tabs — Videos, News, and Game Zone. While Game Zone allows you to play games with others on the app, the News tab shows a selection of stories from news publishers you follow. 

Chingari lets content creators monetise their videos depending on how viral the videos become. For every video that users upload, they get points per view, which can be redeemed for money. 

At the time of writing, Chingari was the second most popular social app on the Google Play Store in India. 

Things are looking up for the app, with Nayak telling IANS that investors are now interested. 

"As Chingari is setting new benchmarks, a lot of investors are showing interest in our app. We are holding crucial discussions to get a good investor(s) on board so as to scale up our free-of-cost social platform," he said. 

However, this hasn’t come without its share of problems, with Chingari having to scale up. The sudden surge in customers led to the servers of the app crashing frequently in the past two days. It’s even hiring people urgently. 

Roposo

Currently the top social app in India on the Google Play Store, Roposo is a short video-sharing social media platform, with a browsing experience, and has editing tools for users if they want to upload a video. The app, which has been around for six years now, has over 30 channels, including fashion, comedy & jokes, homemade healthcare solutions, entertainment, singing, sports and news.

It describes itself as a 'Made in India' short video app with over 65 million downloads.

Roposo is available in 12 Indian languages. The company claims to have more than 14 million video creators creating 80 million videos every month.

Even prior to the ban, Roposo reportedly had 50 million users, when an anti-China sentiment was prevalent. 

It also wants to market itself as a “clean” video platform.  “If you only see clean and good stuff, you will be forced to post videos on that domain,” Mayank Bhangadia, the co-founder told Indian Express. He told the newspaper that they focus on content moderation, first using AI and machine learning to flag content and a team to go through it. 

Roposo said that it offers the revenue scheme for creators, according to News 18.

On Wednesday, Zee5 also announced an alternative to TikTok called HiPi. While the app is yet to be launched, it is inviting content creators to join the platform, promising ‘fame’ and ‘entertainment’.

Sharechat

At fourth place on the Google Play Store social apps, ShareChat, a regional social media platform for non-English speakers that offers services in multiple Indian languages is also gaining traction. With a focus on vernacular languages, it doesn’t have English as an option. It positioned itself as a competitor to ByteDance’s Helo, and has been around for nearly five years, and finished its Series D funding in 2019, and has been burning cash for market share. 

Sharechat gained 15 million new users in 36 hours, it told Mint. It said that it has over 150 million registered users, of whom 60 million are monthly active users. 

ShareChat welcomed the ban on Chinese apps, and since then, has got over half a million new users. 

“Bans like these create a void in the market, where there is a demand for a service. In such a space, there is already an existing user base, which in turn leads to investors getting attracted. This can certainly boost the Indian startup ecosystem in this space, and is something that may see stronger growth of homegrown services than before,”  Berges Malu, director of public policy at ShareChat, said

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