TikTok Has Misplaced 40% of India Market To Homegrown Apps
The ban on the popular Chinese short-form video app TikTok in India in June this year opened a massive canyon in the Indian short-form video app market, sending users on a quest for the next best alternative.
With nearly 90% of Indian short-form video app users spending most of their time on TikTok, India was TikTok’s largest international market before the ban. The app had 611 million lifetime downloads from India in April 2020.
Slowly but surely, other alternatives have made a name for themselves, some international and some national. According to a recent report from RedSeer an impressive 40% of TikTok’s Indian market has now been occupied by domestic apps.
JOSH, Roposo and MX TakaTak: players to watch out for
According to RedSeer’s analysis, short-form content became the most popular entertainment category due to the TikTok boom in India in 2020. Contributing to this boom were India’s low prices for cell phones and data, users’ unwillingness to pay for entertainment (e.g. OTT services) and, most importantly, TikTok’s extremely appealing user interface.
Based on the factors that made TikTok such a success, RedSeer analyzed the top three native alternatives best known to users (> 25%) to determine how they performed on these parameters.
A good short-form app needs to be able to attract large-scale users, build a network of quality creators and content, offer personalization, and monetize users.
In terms of awareness, most Indian users know Josh (44%), followed by MX TakaTak (39%) and finally Roposo (31%).
Josh is a leader in short video in most areas. The app offers high personalization of feeds and has a high quality network of creators and content. Many influencers from TikTok and other entertainment platforms are also on Josh. The report shows that Josh provides the highest levels of satisfaction for both users and creators, and has an ever-growing user base with a high retention rate. However, Josh lacks the content creation tools such as filters, themes and icons, which lag behind his competitors in this regard.
MX TakaTak is the next largest domestic player in the market in terms of brand awareness and features. It is similar to JOSH in its ability to accommodate a large user base. It offers personalized content, although not as well as JOSH. Due to the parent company’s experience of monetizing users through other apps like Gaana, this is also a strength that extends to their short video app. MX TakaTak also has the best user expectation in terms of privacy. The tools offered are more diverse than JOSH’s and offer developers more versatility. However, the ability to attract influencers beyond the local level is insufficient.
The last app with great potential and great user awareness is Roposo. As one of the oldest short video apps in India, it is technologically robust and can accommodate many users. Personalization is also an area of strength. However, the app has not yet attracted or produced major influencing factors and therefore has a lack of quality in the content offered. However, like MX TakaTak, it has different tools. Monetization is another blind spot for the app, so it’s not near the top of the list.
In the future, closing existing gaps would make the domestic short-form video sector in India competitive and in turn lead to more growth. Currently Josh, which was founded in July 2020, has 70 to 75 million monthly active users. Parent company Dailyhunt secured funding from big names like Google and Microsoft earlier this week, most of which will be invested in the short video app. The MX TakaTak, also launched in July 2020, has 55 to 60 million MAUs. Roposo, who has been a player since 2014, has 65 million MAUs.
The report’s results show that TikTok’s return is becoming increasingly difficult for China-based short video app leader TikTok. With influencer advertising brands unable to see TikTok returning to India anytime soon, most of them have changed their strategies and become familiar with local alternatives and other alternatives.
All said and done, if the situation continues the same and TikTok doesn’t make a deal with the Indian authorities, it will soon be an uphill battle for TikTok.