TikTok ban: Influencers ask followers to 'keep in touch' on Instagram, YouTube

Updated: Jul 01, 2020, 16:32 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Some users were reportedly getting paid between few thousand to Rs 50 lakhs per month as per industry estimates when their video used to go viral

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

Chinese short-video sharing app TikTok has gone offline, but influencers have been sharing messages and videos asking their followers to follow them on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. TikTok has been removed from Google Play Store and Apple Play Store after Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps over national security concerns.

Even though the ban came into effect on Monday, many users claimed that they were able to use the app for a brief period on Tuesday. The app now shows a message, "Dear users, we are in the process of complying with the Government of India's directive to block 59 apps. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users in India remains our utmost priority."

Influencers say #ByeTikTok

#ByeTikTok has been trending online with many users of the app, including influencers and celebrities, deleting their posts from the app. According to LiveMint, the platform had 120 million active users in India, including Bollywood celebrities, reality TV stars, and some become stars overnights with their videos. With their post going viral, these users were reportedly getting paid between few thousand to Rs 50 lakhs per month as per industry estimates.

As many of them were only known through TikTok, these stars may have to look for another platform to start their career from scratch. While some influencers stare at an uncertain future, some have already started trying other options.

23-year-old influencer Niharika Jain had 2.8 million followers on TikTok and was making up to Rs 30,000 a month is not complaining about the ban. She told PTI that with her talent she can easily switch to another platform. “We are content creators and it is our talent that makes us popular. If not on TikTok, I can use some other platform to showcase my talent,” Jain told PTI.

The mass communication graduate was freelancing with various reality shows when she joined TikTok and quickly gained 2.8 million followers. She has been a full-time influencer, posting videos about trending styles and fashion hacks, making Rs 15,000-30,000 for every brand video or a campaign.

Faridabad-based Sukrit Jain, 23, who created content under the handle 'TheGreatIndianFoodie' on TikTok, said he is unaffected by the ban. “So what if TikTok is banned. Awesome content won't stop coming and will never end,” the influencer said. “It's our talent that brought us here, and I'm sure that if not on this platform, then on some other. But we will surely rise again soon,” he added. He has already started expanding his content on other platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

Television actress Shraddha Arya took to her Instagram account to bid adieu to the app in which she said with hashtags #LateButNotLast, #ByeByeTiktok, #IndiaIndia, “My Hero is Our Nation’s Hero. You no friends with him I no friends with You! (sic).”

A report in LiveMint mentioned that Tiktok celebrity Ajay Barman has asked his 2 million followers to follow him on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ajay Barman (@ajaybarman.official) onJun 29, 2020 at 1:44pm PDT

Brands in limbo

The ban TikTok has also impacted brands that were running their advertisement campaigns on the platform. According to LiveMint, certain brands had recorded 50 per cent ad revenue last year. The report also mentioned that ad deals in TikTok included home screen ads, hashtag promotion and influencer outreach. With economic ad rates that ranged from Rs 5 lakhs to Rs 50 lakhs, as compared to YouTube and Instagram, it also offered high engagement through user-generated content. It also provided a deep reach in rural areas and small towns where the app was being used the most.

Viraj Sheth, co-founder and CEO of Monk Entertainment, a digital entertainment company, said that the ban will affect the marketing strategies of Indian brands, especially those in the space of fast consumer goods, targeting not just metros but also tier I and tier-II cities.

“A lot of brands catering to a younger target audience had started diverting 25-30 per cent of their social media spends to TikTok. They will now have to reconfigure this strategy,” he said.

Other Alternatives

As far as other alternatives to TikTok are concerned, home-grown platform Chingari has been making waves among netizens after the ban on the Chinese apps was announced. The app, founded last year by Bengaluru-based programmers Biswatma Nayak and Siddharth Gautam, clocked in 3 million downloads. Especially after the ban was announced, the app has witnessed nearly 1 lakh downloads and over 2 million views per hour.

The app has also been trending at the top spot on Google Play Store where its surpassed downloads of another made-in-India app Mitron, which is said to be a clone of TikTok. Nayak said in a statement, "As Chingari is setting new benchmarks, a lot of investors are showing interest in our app. We are holding crucial discussions to get a good investor(s) on board so as to scale up our free-of-cost social platform."

(With inputs from agencies)

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