TikTok’s Indian rivals use competitions, prizes to drive user engagement

The logo of TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration

After pulling through the sudden spike in new signups following the ban on TikTok, the Indian social media platforms like Chingari, Trell, Roposo and Mitron now face the challenge of making new users stay. A recent report by KalaGato claims that the engagement level of these platforms is lower compared to TikTok. Some TikTok creators have also not been satisfied with the user experience of these apps.

Fully aware that these issues can drive away many users, most of these Indian apps have started work on enhancing user experience, improving engagement levels and building an ecosystem of loyal creator base.

Though getting more likes is an incentive in itself for any creator, some of these Indian social media apps are trying to build engagement through online competitions. Chingari has announced a talent hunt show which can help top content creators earn up to 1 crore from a prize pool of 2.8 crore. To drive engagement at state levels, the competition will also identify and awards top creators 5 lakh. Winners will be decided based on the votes given by Chingari users.

On the same note, Roposo is working on holding 100 online competitions with prize money for creators this year. Around 10 of these competitions will be at national level and will involve big brand endorsements.

In addition to driving up engagement through competition and large cash prizes, platforms like Roposo are also providing incentives to creators on a daily basis by rewarding them for bagging more views.

“Unlike others we don’t discriminate between big and small creators. We have built a distributed algorithm that isn’t biased towards big creators. We also provide creators equal opportunities to earn in-app coins for creating viral content,” said Mayank Bhangadia, founder, Roposo and VP, Glance.

Indian social media apps are also expanding the features available to users to drive up engagement.

Trell, for instance, is soon going to add new features like ‘Live Talk show hosting’ and ‘Reaction Video maker’ to help creators make more engaging content and get more views. “I think the ecosystem is in the very early days and has incredible potential to foster one of the most prominent social media companies originated from India. The Chinese apps did not build themselves overnight either,” said Pulkit Agarwal, co-founder, Trell.

Mitron too is working on building engagement with various upcoming n-app engagement campaigns and product features.

Experts believe engagement and brand doesn’t build overnight and may even take years to reach the levels of TikTok. “Engagement is a very slow game. It can take 2 to 3 years to build. The amount of engagement TikTok had none of these apps have. Despite all the features and competitions these apps will have to wait. It is also about brand building and they will need time for it,” said Harish Bijoor, brand strategy specialist.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.