2019 has brought some bumps to TikTok’s progress in India, including a brief removal of its app from Google and Apple’s app stores in April. However, the social video app is now firing on all cylinders again in India, telling the Economic Times that it has 200 million users in the country, of which 120 million are active every month.
This is the backdrop for TikTok’s latest campaign in India, which comes with the hashtag #MyTikTokStory. It appears to be an attempt to stimulate all kinds of videos on TikTok beyond the music-focused dancing and miming clips that it’s best known for. Cooking, DIY videos, sports and even pottery are among the genres that TikTok wants to see more clips in from Indian users.
“The social media company is hoping that diverse content will attract more advertisers to the platform,” is how the Economic Times described the motivation for the campaign, which was kicked off with a ‘Creators Lab’ event in Mumbai. “There is research which says peer-generated content is more sticky, relatable compared to just brand-generated content,” said Sachin Sharma, head of ad sales at TikTok’s parent company Bytedance’s Indian subsidiary, in his pitch to potential advertisers.
Pepsi has already capitalised: its #SwagStepChallenge apparently generated 8.6bn views of videos created by TikTok’s Indian users. The regulatory environment in India may continue to throw up challenges, but it’s clear that TikTok is an important platform in the country. Not least because, with 120 million monthly active users, it’s not far off rivalling the total number of music-streaming-service users in India (150 million at the last count).