The ban on ByteDance’s TikTok in India has given space to its rival applications and even progressive Indian applications to flourish. There was a gap which resulted in several TikTok users move quickly to find the next best substituting application. Indian applications are now mushrooming in the market ever since TikTok got banned in India in June 2020.
Post TikTok’s exit from India, even companies have re-adapted their platforms to provide a broader array of functionalities and services to creators and influencers for instant earnings. Just like TikTok, there are brand collaborations, advertisements, local business growth, and several other aspects that a social media influencer integrates to earn on the platform. This helps drive passion based economy in the country and provides the new age content drivers with an engagement led model to monetize their high follower base.
Recently, one such platform - Bolo Indya launched ‘Bolo Meets’ claiming to be industry’s first engagement led Peer2Peer commerce service capability on its platform for a wider audience base. Through ‘Bolo Meets’, the creator can launch an online service to his/her follower base. Sessions can be facilitated either through one-to-one private video chat room, or a group video session with a maximum of 10 people in one session. The most popular categories in demand include astrology, fitness, music, dance, instruments, comedy, personal finance, and mental wellness. Average ticket size for the sessions start from as low as Rs 100 for a personalized astrology service, and goes up to Rs 5000 for someone willing to learn a language or dance.
Varun Saxena, Founder, Bolo Indya told News18 that post-TikTok ban, his company’s revenue has shot up. “On an average, our revenue is increasing at 35-40%. Earlier it was at 20%, when TikTok was operational in India," he said.
According to 22-year-old Ishban Yadav, “Personally, I have a substantial earning now which came through consistency and meeting many of my followers regularly through Bolo Meets. With Finance Ki Baat aimed at viewers who are between 16-25 years of age, I have a friendly connect as they are looking to get advice from someone who understands their dilemmas as a peer from Gen-Z and not necessarily as elderly. Now the retained audience not only books my session but many of other creators present on the app."
We spoke to Chingari, another video-sharing social networking service platform that offers over 20 languages to creators & users to engage. “Thus far we’ve seen platforms like YouTube and Instagram be the opportunity for talented folks to express themselves and earn good money, for the English speaking audience. But platforms like Chingari have been able to penetrate to the larger India by their offering in 10+ regional languages. Chingari has also become the platform for the larger local audience to express their skills and earn money from it in various ways, some of them include brand tie ups, #hashtag challenges and much more, it not only gives them an opportunity to earn but also to earn fame and be a larger influencer," said Sumit Ghosh, CEO & Co-founder, Chingari.
The Chingari app has been promoting ‘Vocal for local’ initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Being a creator on the app is fun, yet innovative. You see extraordinary talents that inspire you to be better at your craft. The team is generous, always there for their creators, be it helping them with technical issues or releasing payment in time," said the twin sisters Shivangi Vyas and Gaurangi Vyas, who are famously known as ‘Twinsis’ on Chingari application.
We spoke to the founder of UDo-now, a budding android app that lets people connect to thousands of experts with over a hundred categories to select from. As per Teja Gudluru, CEO & Founder, UDo-now, “Creators willing to make money now have vast avenues, like paid blogs for Brands, Video Content, Integrated communication for marketing, Youtube and Instagram paid marketing assignments. The catch however, is the content itself. Choosing a niche, understanding the content that is being consumed the most etc are critical for being successful and get paid well as a Digital Creator.”
Roposo and Moj are applications which are also rewarding creators on their platforms and building an independent creator ecosystem.
But Varun Saxena believes that Indian applications should not try to be another version of TikTok if they want to create a long-term sustainable platform. “Even if TikTok returns to India, which I can foresee, the platforms that try to create a different value for themselves will bloom. It’s time to develop your user base strongly," he said.