Chinese video-sharing social networking service TikTok, which came to India in September 2017, has been one of the fastest growing platforms in the country, growing faster than social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
According to App Annie, Indians spent 5.5 billion hours on TikTok in 2019 as against 900 million hours in 2018, a six times increase.
Owned by ByteDance, the short-video sharing platform emerged as the most downloaded application in India last year. TikTok was followed by Facebook.
Also, TikTok recorded 323 million downloads in India in 2019 as the country accounted for 44 percent of total TikTok app downloads.
Currently, TikTok has 145 million monthly active users and a total of 200 million users in India. The platform expected this number to rise to 300 million by 2020. In comparison, Instagram has 88 million users in India.
In an earlier interview to Moneycontrol, Apaksh Gupta, Founder, One Impression, said TikTok’s monthly active users are higher than that of Instagram, which is a clear sign of its higher engagement. He added that in 2018, TikTok’s majority audience was very young, in the 21-22 age bracket or even lesser than that, but that has now grown to 28 to 30 years.
According to him, a more mature audience has been coming on the platform, as also a more regional audience.Brands liked TikTok
According to experts, brands have realised in a big way the potential TikTok holds for them. Even an old brand like Bata has experimented with TikTok.
Experts told Moneycontrol that TikTok has become very important to brands because they see product sales across categories and markets, especially in Tier II and III markets which are very important for these brands. Cola brands, which are among the biggest endorses in the world, are also on TikTok.
In fact, even during the lockdown, Instagram and TikTok were doing the same amount of collaborations with brands.
Experts added that TikTok had a first mover advantage, which would be hard to beat for a new competitor.Competition heating up in short video sharing space
Coming to the video sharing space, TikTok faced competition from many desi rivals including Mitron, Roposo and Bolo Indya. However, all these platforms started gaining greater traction since the anti-China sentiment grew stronger in the country.In fact, video streaming platform ZEE5 too is planning to launch a short video sharing app next month called HyperShorts. With TikTok banned, these platforms may see a more fast-paced growth.