India, as many other countries around the globe, is currently under lockdown, fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. People in the country are flocking to all sorts of social media apps to kill time while being unable to leave their homes. Interestingly, some Chinese apps have emerged as the most downloaded social media apps in India.
TikTok – Most downloaded social media app in India
Chinese short video app TikTok launched in 2017 by ByteDance, the company known as the world’s most valuable startup, is the top downloaded app in the social media category during India’s enforced lockdown, followed by WhatsApp and Facebook. The downloads of the Chinese app have soared by 20% in the first week of Indian lockdown since March 22 compared to January 2020. TikTok reached a total of 49 million downloads on both iOS and Google Play. With over 800 million users in India, TikTok’s average session time rose from 39.5 minutes to 56.9 minutes.
Helo – Bytedance’s social app catering to Indian users
Helo, another short video app developed by ByteDance, is also among the most downloaded. This social app is a Chinese variant of Sharechat (a local Indian app), specially targeting Indian users. The Helo app is now among the most popular Indian social platforms with more than 40 million users. Helo supports multiple Indian languages including Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Odia, Bhojpuri, Assamese, Rajasthani and Haryanavi, which allows users all over the country to connect with friends and family in their native language with great ease.
VMate – Alibaba’s video sharing app surging in India
Developed in 2017 VMate by UCWeb (Acquired by Alibaba Group in 2014) the app raised over $100 million from Alibaba in May 2019 to compete with ByteDance in the Indian video sharing market. Some describe VMate as “Rural TikTok” as despite its interface that is similar to most video streaming platforms, it’s content comes mainly from rural areas. Now VMate is one of the leading short video platforms in India with a total of 50 million active users.