X-post from Economic thread...........
In the social media (Short Video Format) app space, I can see a new Josh & spark lit up within 10 days. Previously this space was filled up only with pessimism & "Hum/Tum se naa ho payega" syndrome. Ban of 59 Chinese apps by GOI has charged up the moral (& business case) of the desi developers. Hope some at least moderately successful products comes out & sustains in market for long run.
China banned Goggle, Facebook , Twitter to its 140 cr population market & built domestic giants like BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent), which has now respectable size, tech manpower base & product rolled on as well as on pipeline.
Hope this ban of Chinese app stays at least for 5 year (If not for perpetual) The race to build an Indian social network
10 min read . Updated: 07 Jul 2020, 08:15 AM IST // Prasid Banerjee
NEW DELHI : Over the past three months, home-grown variants of short-video social networking apps have cruised through some unusual times. Border tensions and #BoycottChina campaigns had already resulted in a steady uptick in their user base. And then came the ban on 59 Chinese apps on the evening of 29 June, which targeted TikTok, Helo, Vigo Video and Bigo Live, among others.
By 9pm that evening, merely an hour after the announcement which hadn’t even come into effect yet, hourly installations spiked, with 300,000 to 400,000 people downloading the app every hour, according to Sumit Ghosh of Chingari, one of the several India-made apps vying to be a TikTok alternative. Within days, daily active users tripled on Roposo, another Indian short-video app.With roughly 200 million Indians waiting to be snapped up, a mad dash has ensued to build a viable Indian social network from the ground up.
While the Indian government’s ban targets a slew of apps—from browsers to file-sharing platforms—only a few segments have any real “Indian" alternatives. E-commerce platforms like Shein and Club Factory were also banned, but Flipkart and Myntra, which are the supposed Indian options, already have mature user bases.
The race for “indigenization" has thus essentially fallen on the shoulders of social media firms, particularly short-video apps. The prize: the eyeballs of erstwhile users from “Bharat" who were on the banned Chinese apps, which together had nearly one-fourth the total number of users currently on Facebook, the world’s largest social platform.Chingari’s Ghosh said he wants to reach 100 million users in three months, which is the same target that Shivank Agarwal, founder of Mitron, another short-video app, has set for himself. For comparison, it took ByteDance 200 days to develop Duyin (TikTok’s Chinese variant) and about a year to reach 100 million users.The tearing hurry within the Indian app ecosystem is fuelled by uncertainty over how long the ban on TikTok may last. Business plans are being crafted with the assumption that it will last at least 90 days.And this brief period may be the only window of opportunity. In the social media space, it’s nearly impossible to topple a platform that has made it big.
TikTok didn’t topple either Facebook or Instagram. It merely created a new niche for itself by introducing short-videos.“It’s a phenomenal and unprecedented opportunity for startups to build something that is world-class, with content and experiences designed keeping Indian users in mind," said Arun Tadanki, lead of LetsVenture, a Bengaluru-based technology platform that connects angel investors with startups.
“The pace at which an app like Mitron is progressing right now, at the end of three or six months, they’ll probably have 100-200 million users. And then, it’s a completely different game even if those (banned) apps are allowed to come back," he added.
For now, even investors want to get a piece of the action. Mitron raised ₹2 crore in a seed round from Tadanki and 3One4 Capital. Tadanki said the deal was one of the fastest in his career. Chingari, on the other hand, is raising funds too and plans to go for a Series A round of investment, skipping the seed round altogether.
The Indian government waded in late last week with its own app innovation challenge, which seeks to incubate home-grown apps in key sectors. But this short burst of excitement will soon have to grapple with some real challenges. Building a social network requires deep pockets, a large innovative workforce, and a market where digital advertising revenue is substantial, among other factors. Even tech giants like Google have tried and failed many times.Merely cloning the TikTok experience will not work, says technology and policy consultant Prasanto K. Roy. “Source code for lookalikes of popular apps like Zoom are available on various websites and can be bought for as little as $25. But that isn’t enough," he said. “Essentially, this vacuum in the market is an opportunity, but it’s an opportunity for very few players," he added.Read full article here at Livemint............(A long article, but worth of your time.)https://www.livemint.com/technology/apps/the-race-to-build-an-indian-social-network-11594043077273.html