After an allegation of copying ShareChat’s product and manipulation in Google search result, Bytedance has reportedly changed its design. While Google is yet to verify allegation over Ad-Words, Bytedance has changed its product name to ‘Share, Follow & Chat’ on the Google Play store from ‘Share&Chat’.
The aforementioned case was tabled at Delhi High Court, which ordered the Chinese content player to stop using “ShareChat” as an ad-word on Google. According to SharChat, Bytedance was inappropriately using its name to get a higher ranking on search words.
However, the court did not say anything over Helo design and copying ShareChat’s product during the maiden hearing.
Besides, the Bengaluru-based vernacular social media startup had also alleged ByteDance of engaging in ‘ambush bidding’ for the keyword ‘ShareChat’ to promote the Helo app on Google.
Since its launch in India, Bytedance’s Helo has been touted as a copycat of ShareChat because both apps have identical categories like Ladies’ Corner, Lifestyle, Jokes, WhatsApp Status, Love Bytes, Wishes, Quotes, and others.
Soon after the case came to light, Bytedance had reached out to Entrackr and explained that the company is focused on being a responsible company, in compliance with local laws and regulations. Further, it will work with different stakeholders to make the app a better place for all Indians to share content in over 14 languages.
Industry experts are not much surprised by Bytedance tactics. They feel that this is standard practice by tech companies to buy subscribers using the names of rivals in keywords of Google AdWords.
Google developer expert for marketing Sreeraman Thiagarajan said that removing ShareChat from its keyword will not make any significant dent on organic search results for the Chinese player, reports ET.
Moreover, Bytedance through Tik Tok and other apps in India can cross-promote Helo, that has already received applauds and a decent number of downloads in just 5 five months of inception.
Helo arguably has between 5-10 million daily active users in comparison to Shunwei Capital-backed ShareChat that claims around 10 million DAU’s.
Meanwhile, the reactions from Google and ShareChat haven’t come yet.