NEW DELHI: Following an interim ban in India and threat of a similar move in the US, rival social media platforms are looking at developing TikTok clones to cash in on the immense popularity of the app.
Facebook-owned Instagram has rolled out the 15-second long Reels while Snap Inc is reportedly testing a TikTok-like vertical scroll on Snapchat, which could be a precursor to a dedicated section for short-form videos.
This was first spotted and shared by a few users on Twitter and was later confirmed by Snap Inc to TechCrunch as one of their experiments to explore different visual formats.
Snapchat’s entry to the short-form video space can heat up the competition in the segment, raising challenges for homegrown social media platforms such as Chingari and Mitron.
After the TikTok ban in India, the number of downloads for Chingari on Google Play Store grew to 10 million from 2.5 million in the first week of July. Similarly, Mitron crossed 10 million downloads on Play Store within a few weeks.
Snapchat and Instagram have an advantage over these homegrown platforms in terms of UX (user experience) and have proved to be immensely sticky with their existing features.
Indian apps, on the other hand, have their work cut out as many TikTok users and influencers who tried these platforms were not impressed with their interface and overall experience and feel they need improvement. Many have said they will stick to Instagram for now.
A recent report by research firm KalaGato shows that user engagement level on these Indian social media apps is yet to match TikTok’s engagement levels.
Though the Indian app developers are working on improving user experience, they will need to do it quickly or they stand the risk of losing to the likes of Snapchat and Instagram.
Snapchat has recently started making headway in the country, with more India-centric content, stickers and tie-ups with local brands. According to Statista, India is the second-largest market for Snapchat with 28 million users after the US which has 102 million users.