It was only a matter of time before the next social media revolution swept the nation and changed the game for content creators across the country. TikTok burst onto the scene in 2017 with a robust app and an astute marketing strategy that put the power of content creation in the hands of the masses.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Before we proceed further with this article,
It's necessary to ask: “What is TikTok? Why did it become such a huge deal?”
TikTok is a short-form video creation and social-sharing app. The videos, usually lip-synched memes of trending pop culture songs, are generally 15 seconds long but can go up to 1 minute. A user-friendly interface, myriad editing tools, an expansive library of songs, and integrated sharing features have made TikTok one of the hottest social apps in the world.
In 2017, Beijing-based tech startup ByteDance launched TikTok. In the same year, ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based social video app Musical.ly for around $900 million.
In 2020, TikTok usage peaked in India with over 119 million active users until June 29th, when the Indian Government imposed a ban on the app along with 58 other China-based apps.
So what is happening in India now?
Emboldened by the success of TikTok and its sudden removal, numerous short-video social apps have entered the scene, to varying degrees of popularity. Here are 11 of them who have done a great job in limiting the effects of TikTok’s absence in the Indian market.
Instagram launched Reels in India soon after the TikTok ban. Reels, an added feature of Instagram rather than an independent app, can be accessed at the bottom of the home screen of the Instagram app.
It has nearly the same features and functionality as TikTok but with the convenience of being in the same place where you create your regular posts. With Instagram having over a billion monthly users since 2018, Reels is the frontrunner to fill the gap left by TikTok.
Another rising star among the TikTok alternatives list is MX TakaTak. An android app known for its video editing as well as dialog dubbing features created by MX Media and Entertainment.
This fun video maker allows you to create and share a variety of video formats across various top social networking channels.
Apart from that, MX TakaTak also lets you recreate the hook steps of popular songs. Equipped with the latest features such as multi-language content, beauty cam, rich music library and more, this app is surely quickly rising in popularity among Indian content creators.
Chingari is one of the apps that drew lots of attention after TikTok was banned in India. Currently, it has more than 10 million downloads on Google Play Store.
The app comes with an easy-to-use interface and has three main sections - Videos, News, and The Game Zone.
The Game Zone allows you to play numerous quizzes and mini-games such as Sudoku, Cut The Rope, etc. And it rewards you with points or Paytm cash when you play.
Chingari comes with the usual social video app features such as filters, song options, video speed, video timer, GIFs, status videos for WhatsApp, and much more.
Mitron is another Indian app that rose to fame in the fervour that followed the ban of TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps. An easy-to-use app, Mitron features simple video editing tools with the option to add sounds, filters, and timers to your videos.
While viewing videos posted by others, you can swipe right on a video to easily bring up that creator’s profile and follow them with a tap.
While featuring a simple user interface, Mitron has limited song choices compared to other apps.
Bolo Indya is a short video app that is gaining immense popularity. It currently has more than 1 million downloads in the country. This video-sharing app allows users to create and edit short videos in multiple local languages.
The aim of the app is to empower Indians to discuss ideas, exchange views, gather information through the power of social video while negating any language barriers.
Bolo Indya is leading the charge for making social media a more knowledgeable place with videos across topics such as health, travel, food, general knowledge, etc. and encouraging conversations around the same.
ShareChat, an Indian social-networking app, launched Moj the day TikTok’s ban came into effect. The app features all the necessary short-video tools such as effects, filters, stickers, timer, music, and more.
The app comes with a similar interface to Instagram and allows you to easily watch other creators’ videos without logging in. While this feature is convenient for those wishing to remain anonymous, you still do need to sign in to create and share your own videos.
Roposo is a short video social app owned by InMobi and has over 50 million downloads on Play Store.
Available in 10 different languages apart from English, the app features a clean interface for smooth interaction and video uploading.
Roposo offers a plethora of editing options including filters, GIF stickers, time lapse, slow motion and a whole lot of lighting tweaks.
One prominent feature of the app is that it allows you to download videos to watch later. Super-convenient for those who travel often.
Arguably one of the most popular alternatives to TikTok, Triller is an entertainment platform designed for creators. The app lets users not only create short videos but also allows groups to collaborate on video creation with the assistance of an auto-editing algorithm.
The platform comes with over 100 filters that help the users personalise their videos to the greatest degree possible.
Similar to TikTok, users can access trending tracks or use their own audio when making videos. But a winning feature is that the videos can be shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, directly from the app, a true social media experience.
Way before TikTok came into the picture, Dubsmash introduced the trend of lip-synched videos with popular songs and soundbites in India. Once only a video-editing app, Dubsmash now boasts robust social sharing features.
The app is useful for mixing your videos with pre-recorded audio known as dubs, lip-syncing to songs and famous lines from movies, and many more creative ideas.
One of the most popular entertainment platforms with over 100 million downloads, Dubsmash is a firm favourite alternative to TikTok having been the original app to introduce the concept of combining videos of yourself with famous music and audio.
Trell is a popular social-video lifestyle app known primarily as a travel and living genre video app.
Now videos are categorized into different categories making it easy for you to fill your feed with the content of your preference.
An interesting feature is the Trell Shop section from where you can buy products made by fellow users. There is also a blog section for publishing written content instead of just using the platform for making short videos.
Dailyhunt, one of India’s largest local language discovery platforms, introduced their own short video app known as Josh in light of TikTok’s ban.
Operating in stealth mode over the past couple of months, Josh has reached over 50 million downloads, 1 billion video plays per day, and 23 million daily active users.
Targeting the vast local language market of India, Josh is a strong candidate to replace TikTok in India.
TikTok has left an indelible mark on social media globally. The app changed the definition of ‘content creation’, perhaps for good.
But in a twist of fate, its ban has paved the way for opportunistic tech minds to take advantage of its absence in a market primed for a TikTok alternative.
Countless TikTok replacement apps have flooded the market, especially since the ban. And each of them have their own pros and cons. Reels can leverage Instagram’s large existing audience to become the new TikTok.
Triller’s robust editing suite may win the day with content creators. Or Chingari, Mitron, Moj and other Indian apps may sweep the Indian market with their vernacular-based offerings.
The market has blown open since TikTok’s ban and the dust has barely settled. Time will tell the ultimate champion of TikTok’s replacement battle but until then, we can all enjoy the myriad of offerings to quench our social video thirst.
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