New mobile apps ride high on vernacular
TikTok was one of the most-downloaded mobile apps for Apple and Android devices in 2018—dethroning established names like YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat
New Delhi: Did you know that TikTok was one of the most-downloaded mobile apps for Apple and Android devices in 2018—dethroning established names like YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat?
TikTok, for the uninitiated, is a destination for short-form mobile videos that can be no longer than 15 seconds and are based on various themes such as music, cooking, travel, dance, fashion and so on. It enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos. TikTok, though, is simply a case in point. It is just one of the many new social media apps—Indian and Chinese—that have become popular across tier II and III towns across India spurred by rising disposable income, reduced mobile data charges and growth in overall Internet penetration.
While ShareChat, Clip India and Roposo are some of the Indian apps, the Chinese apps include Helo, TikTok, Vigo Video, Bigo and Kwai. All of them work on the same principle: Build an addictive feed based on a mix of sourced and user-generated content and target new internet users, especially in vernacular languages where the market potential is huge. According to a Google-KPMG 2017 report, 75% of India’s internet user base will consist of Indian language internet users by 2021. In 2016, there were already 234 million people engaging/creating content in local languages while only 175 million were English internet users in India. Moreover, downloading such apps gives users access to features such as WhatsApp status, memes, trolls and latest WhatsApp jokes in 14 Indian languages, viral videos from regional and Bollywood movies, stickers and so on.
The latest to join the bandwagon is Bumble, backed by actor Priyanka Chopra that was launched late last year. The US-based brand has three platforms on a single app—Bumble Date, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz that enable users to find love, make friends and network within a professional capacity, respectively. Bumble is the first app of its kind to bring dating, friend-finding, and career-building onto a single social networking platform. Available in Hindi and “Hinglish” on iOS and Android, Bumble gives women the option to only mention the initial of their first names—giving them the choice to disclose only what they want.
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