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The Rise of TikTok App in India

TikTok also said it has stopped allowing users below 13 years to login and create an account on the platform

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

The rise of the Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India has been so spectacular over the past year that it is now nearly impossible for any social media user to not have come across its content.

These user-created videos that often contain memes, lip-syncing songs and sometimes sleazy posts regularly find ways to other popular social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp and ShareChat. These are the platforms where most adult social media users are now getting introduced to TikTok.

For the young generation though, especially the teenagers and even younger kids, the app needs no introduction.

In fact, according to a new report from mobile app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, out of the 18.8 crore new users that TikTok added globally in the first quarter of 2019, 8.86 crore were from India.

Globally, TikTok has far crossed 1.1 billion installs and in the first quarter of 2019, it emerged as the third most installed app in the world, ranking behind only Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, the analysis showed.

But how do you explain the dramatic rise of this app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance?

“The rise of TikTok (formerly Musical.ly), highlights where the future of the Internet in India is: video,” leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy told IANS.

“Of the 500 million smartphone and mobile broadband users in India, well over 300 million consume predominantly or only video. And as we get the next 200 million online by 2020, the video-only share will rise to over 70 per cent,” he added, indicating the potential for further growth of video sharing apps in the country.

So far, the big drivers of Internet adoption in India have been WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook, with additional help from shopping and taxi apps, and some streaming services such as Hotstar.

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

“No other app before Musical.ly/Tik Tok really went to a video-only, and especially an interactive video platform. For instance, its ‘react’ feature lets users to film their reaction to a video and its ‘duet’ feature allows users to film a video aside another video,” Roy added.

Another reason for its growth is that the app allows people to express themselves even if they do not have the gift of the gab. So anyone who feel a little ostracized in platforms such as Facebook and Twitter may find solace on TikTok.

“TikTok caters to those who feel left out on other primarily-text platforms, either because of literacy or language inadequacy,” Roy pointed out.

However, the growth of TikTok has not been without its share of controversies.

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Hearing a petition filed by an advocate, the Madras High Court earlier this month asked the Centre to ban the app, saying it “encourages pornography” and is spoiling the future of youths and the minds of children.

TikTok on Friday said as part of its commitment towards providing a positive in-app environment for its users in India, it had removed over six million videos that have violated its “Community Guidelines”.

TikTok also said it has stopped allowing users below 13 years to login and create an account on the platform.

“Unfortunately, social media has been an unsafe space and a platform like this (TikTok) which draws children in, and therefore possible predators, needs to be used with care,” Roy said. (IANS)

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India Becomes the Second Largest Smartphone Market After China: Report

India surpasses US to become 2nd largest smartphone market

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The Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level. Pixabay

New Delhi: Riding on Chinese brands, the India smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level and this is the latest science and technology news, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally — reaching 158 million shipments in the calender year 2019 with 7 per cent (YoY) growth, a report from Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 per cent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 per cent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.

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India has now become the second-largest smartphone market after China globally. Pixabay

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

“Chinese brands share hit a record 72 per cent for the year 2019 as compared to 60 per cent share a year ago.

“This year, we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For instance, Xiaomi, realme, and OnePlus have increased their offline points of sale while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15 times, 24 times and 18 per cent, respectively.

“This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” Jain added.

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Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent. Pixabay

Samsung shipments remained almost flat (YoY) while it has shown a 5 per cent (YoY) decline in 2019.

“This is for the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). However, it needs to double down its efforts to keep the momentum going,” the report noted.

While the smartphone market registered YoY growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of nearly 42 per cent YoY in 2019 and 38 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2019.

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“This is due to slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual
growth despite the overall segment declined showing the untapped potential of the market,” said the report.

In fact, itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019, followed by Samsung and Lava. (IANS)