From Million Fans To Zero: TikTokers Look to Rebuild Paradise Lost

Content creators are looking to start afresh by migrating to Indian apps like Chingari, Trell, Roposo and Mitron.

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Tech News
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TikTok has been banned in India for security reasons.
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The ban on TikTok in India has left a void for content creators as their insatiable need to post content and engage with their audience has taken a major blow.

Since the ban, most of these content creators are looking to start afresh by migrating to Indian apps like Chingari, Trell, Roposo and Mitron which are the cream of the crop.

But since TikTok offered a user base which still numbers in the millions, it’s a paradise lost for these creators as they have to start all over again building content and a fan base.

The Stark Difference

Most of the content creators on Chingari whom we spoke with said they had followers under 100 and that’s nothing compared to what they had on TikTok.

Shilpi, who is a professional belly dancer and content creator, has around 50 followers on Chingari. On TikTok, she had almost 300k followers.

Similarly, Giri Gunjan, another TikTok content creator, has 718k followers on the Chinese platform and that number has come down to a meagre 11 on Chingari.

Payal Kohli, another TikToker, had 2.1 million followers on TikTok and her current following on Chingari is just 100.

The difference in follower count between the two platforms.
The difference in follower count between the two platforms.
(Photo: The Quint)

These are stark differences and the current gap is massive. For these numbers to get anywhere near TikTok, the user base on Chingari has to grow exponentially. It currently stands at around 18 million users.

According to a report by the Indian Institute of Human Brands, someone with a million followers on TikTok can earn Rs. 30-35,000 a month. At double that number, the earnings could be in the Rs 50,000 range.

Since brand advertisements and mentions are the primary sources for these influencers to earn they have immense pressure of growing their follower count.

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Trell is one of the fastest-growing video-making apps in India and as per the company it has garnered over 4 million new creators in the past couple of days, assuming that 20-30 percent of them are from Tik Tok.

Since the app was released in 2017 it has been able to push the platform to the right audience which is why it has more users compared to Chingari.

Sanjana Pandit migrated to Trell a few days ago and has approximately 65,000 followers on the platform. On TikTok, she had 1.2 million followers. So it is still a substantial drop.

Khabri is an audio platform.
Khabri is an audio platform.
(Photo: The Quint)
When asked how much time she would take to build a fan base of at least 1,00,000 on Trell, she said it “depends on the content and the number of videos influencers post per day.”

Since Trell has more than 45 million downloads on the Google PlayStore and 5 million daily active users, many influencers might hit the projected growth in the days to come.

Still Growing

Bolo Indya is another homegrown platform with over 4.5 million downloads and 3.6 million monthly active users.

There was a massive jump in user base in the first week of the ban, and the app saw a 92% percent increase in sign-ups.

That seems to reflect in the engagement that content creators are getting on the platform.

Suzanne Bernert, who had 1 million followers on TikTok, has around 220k on Bolo Indya. Similarly, English guru and Rajeevthehealer have 125k and 100k followers on the Indian platform respectively.

Bolo Indya has more than 3.6 million monthly active users.
Bolo Indya has more than 3.6 million monthly active users.
(Photo: The Quint)

Khabri is an audio platform that’s been roping in influencers and caters to the Hindi-speaking markets across India.

Mahendra Dongre, a motivational speaker who had around 7 million followers on TikTok, is also creating content for Khabri. On the Indian app he has 61,000 followers which gives us a picture of how important TikTok has been for content amplification.

TikTok also has users all over the globe.

Undoubtedly, the current picture for Indian apps is not that bright compared to their Chinese counterparts but these are just the initial days.

A look at some of the Indian apps and their engagement in India.
A look at some of the Indian apps and their engagement in India.
(Photo: The Quint)

TikTok is still in conversation with the Indian government and is looking to make a comeback in India. Whether that happens or not we’ll have to wait and see. Until then, the Indian platforms can try to rope in as many users as possible.

Because, if not now, when?

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