Analyzing the TikTok Ban: Will Banning TikTok Result in a Loss for India?
You might already know that in June 2020, the Indian government banned 60+ apps – the most prominent of them was TikTok. Owned by ByteDance, TikTok had over 200 million active users alone in India. Needless to say, it was a shock not only to TikTok, but also to the millions of people who were using the app to monetize and share their content. Let’s get to know more about the TikTok ban, its effects, and the likelihood of lifting the restriction.
Part 1: How TikTok has influenced the Indian Social Media Domain?
Saying that TikTok is big in India would be an understatement. The micro-video sharing application already had over 200 million active users solely from India. This means that almost 20% of the total Indian population uses TikTok actively.
From sharing fun content with others to earning money from the platform, TikTok users in India have utilized the app in different ways. Here are some of the major ways the app has already influenced the Indian social media scene.
- Social sharing
Most of the TikTok users share their videos of different kinds to bring joy to their followers. Since TikTok was available in 15 different regional languages in India, it could reach out to people from all states. Also, the app had a lightweight version that would run smoothly on budget phones, letting everyone use it freely.
- A platform for independent artists
TikTok used to be a great platform for independent artists to showcase their music. Whether posting their videos or letting others use the soundtrack for their TikTok shots, the app gives a substantial boost to independent artists. For instance, 6 out of the top 10 tracks used in TikTok last year were from independent artists that raised them to shine.
- Earning from TikTok
With the help of TikTok monetization, a lot of active users were able to earn a substantial amount from the app. Riyaz Aly, who is one of the top Indian influencers in TikTok (with over 42 million followers) is one of the many examples of how the app helped people earn a livelihood. According to a report, the Indian TikTok influencers will lose around $15 million because of the ban.
- Showing off skills
Apart from sharing fun and engaging content, a lot of people used to share this art, craft, cooking, singing, and other skills on the app. This would help them get a wider audience that would appreciate their work and earn from it later on. Mamta Verma (a famous TikTok influencer) is another example of how a homemaker found joy in TikTok while sharing her dance routines and was also able to earn from the app.
- A more accepting platform
TikTok has always been known to be one of the most accepting social platforms out there. You can find dancers to makeup artists and entertainers to comedians in the app. Not just that, a lot of users also head to TikTok to share news, their opinions, and other kinds of liberal posts that are often censored on other traditional platforms.
Part 2: Will banning TikTok Result in a Loss for India?
Well, in nutshell – banning an engaging and socially accepting platform like TikTok in India would be a great loss. The app is already loved by millions of people who would be heartbroken and some would even end up losing their livelihood because of that.
India has been the biggest market for TikTok globally, backing up with more than 600 million downloads solely. Compared to other social platforms, Indians would like to spend the most time on TikTok (more than 30 minutes daily on average).
Not only will it shut the voices of so many independent content creators, but it would also be a major setback to their livelihoods. TikTok is one of the simplest social platforms to make money. Instead of using YouTube (that requires a lot of editing and already has so much competition), TikTok users would upload videos on the go.
The platform was majorly used by the residents of tier-2 and 3 cities in India who would find YouTube or Instagram a bit complicated to use. After the ban, not only has it led to a monetary loss, but the confidence and sense of joy that TikTok users would experience have also been taken away.
Part 3: Will the TikTok Ban be Lifted in India?
After when the Indian government banned 60+ apps, it asked the app developers to share details about their data usage and other back-end norms. According to the government’s cyber cell, it will evaluate the app’s usage and the kind of data it collects. Once the check has been rigorously made, the government might (or might not) lift the ban.
Another major hope for TikTok users is that Reliance Communications (which is one of the biggest companies in India) has been speculated to buy the Indian vertical of TikTok. This means that although the app is originally owned by ByteDance, its Indian operations would be handled by Reliance. Since Reliance is one of the most trusted companies in India, the ban would be lifted once the acquisition is done.
Bonus Tip: Use a VPN to Move Past the Ban
Although you can’t use TikTok in India as of now, you can still access the application by using a VPN. There are plenty of VPN apps for iOS and Android out there that you can use to change the location and IP address of your device. Some of these popular VPNs are from brands like Nord, Hola, TunnelBear, Turbo, Express, and so on. You can just change your location to any other country where TikTok is accessible and then launch the application to use its features seamlessly.
So what are your thoughts on the TikTok ban in India? If you have been using TikTok in India, then the ban must have come as a shock. Just like you, millions of other TikTok users are either moving to other channels or are hoping for the ban to be lifted. Only time will tell if Reliance is able to acquire TikTok India or whether the ban would be lifted in the coming days by the government. Let’s hope the best for TikTok to make a comeback and bring joy to the lives of millions of Indians again!
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