The ban on TikTok and other short video apps in India has created a frenzy among large content companies to fill the void. This has been a sort of gold rush in which some big players and a few early stage startups have thrown their hat in the ring including Times Internet, ShareChat, Roposo and ZEE5.
Goldman Sachs-backed Dailyhunt has now joined the party with its short video app Josh which was launched on July 4.
The app looks like a TikTok clone and is available in 14 languages. On Play Store, the app has surpassed the 5 million downloads mark.
The description of Josh says that the app is made in India and lets users upload videos in any language to get famous and connect with others. In a short span, some videos on the app have gained 3 million views with several thousand likes, comments and shares.
“Departure of TikTok has created FOMO (fear of missing out) among growth stage companies in the content space. Although they all are shooting in the dark as no one knows how long the ban will last, short video apps are offering temporary momentum,” said one of the venture capitals who didn’t wish to be named.
“It’s not hard to convert existing users to download but retaining them on the merit of the product will be highly challenging.”
ShareChat had launched Moj while Times Internet placed a separate app MX TakaTak and also integrated ‘HotShot’ as a feature on its music streaming app Gaana. The two companies along with Dailyhunt are in the perfect position perfectly placed to drive downloads as well as engagement.
According to Sensor Tower data, Dailyhunt has 50 million monthly active users (MAUs) while ShareChat and Gaana have 60 million and 45 million MAUs. MX Player sits on 100 million MAUs. Driving downloads up to 50-70 million won’t be challenging as they all have existing users who were on TikTok, Likee and Vigo parallely.
Besides these growth stage content companies, a clutch of apps including Chingari, Trell, Mitron, TikTik and many others have also been in the fray to become the desi TikTok. Within three weeks of the ban, these apps had witnessed a spurt in downloads.
While the oldest player Roposo has over 50 million downloads on Play Store, Mitron Tv has surpassed 25 million downloads. Chingari is the third most downloaded app in the category with close to 20 million downloads whereas Moj crossed 10 million downloads within a week of launch.
Entrackr’s sources have been emphasising that TikTok is trying hard to get back in India. It may register an Indian entity and has been engaged with local stakeholders to comply with regulations.
The question that continues to loom over desi apps is: what happens to them if and when India’s government allows TikTok to make a comeback?