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TikTok was banned in June. AFP (MINT_PRINT)
TikTok was banned in June. AFP (MINT_PRINT)

Brands scroll through apps in search of TikTok 2

  • TikTok harboured a complete ecosystem that no platform has matched till date, said analysts

Indian short-video platforms such as Moj and Josh have spent millions to acquire content creators, but industry insiders say they are nowhere near achieving TikTok’s popularity and network effects.

Experts said that because of immature ecosystems and a lack of engagement, many brands are unwilling to run campaigns on the new platforms that became popular after TikTok was banned in June.

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“If you open one of the new platforms, you will switch it off in probably 15 minutes, whereas on TikTok you will scroll for hours," an influencer marketing expert said on condition of anonymity.

Chief executives of two top influencer marketing firms said they have been advising clients to wait for the industry to mature.

“The influencer marketing industry is yet to warm to the idea of embracing other short-video platforms," said Shudeep Majumdar, CEO of Zefmo Media, an influencer marketing firm.

“This is flowing from the side of the brands, as well as the influencer marketing platforms and social media agencies. It’s genuine feedback that we tend to share with our clients, that if it’s not TikTok, then let’s not go ahead with any other alternative," he added.

Majumdar said the other platforms haven’t achieved the “critical mass" that TikTok had.

“TikTok used to harbour a complete ecosystem. No other platform has matched that till date."

Gautam Madhavan, CEO and founder of Mad Influence, said the “majority of the brands are not ready to experiment with the new platforms because they don’t see a lot of traction there. But people have started experimenting with Reels from Instagram because it’s getting better traffic than other platforms".

Madhavan also added that the major traffic in terms of digital spends is still directed towards Instagram and YouTube.

“They’re doing fairly well, but for themselves," Madhavan said, talking about the new platforms. “You don’t get organic views at all there (on the new platforms) at the moment. Having a million views but 100 to 200 comments does not make sense."

Further, both Madhavan and Majumdar pointed out that the new short-video platforms will take at least six months or more to mature and evolve to get close to TikTok’s popularity. They have also been unable to crack the algorithm—the interest graph—which is TikTok’s core intellectual property and the secret of its success.

Meanwhile, brands are directing their marketing spends towards existing platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, which is where the market was before TikTok rose to fame.

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