How TikTok ban in India will affect marketers?

The covid-19 has created a lots of uncertainty globally, there are job cuts, purchasing power parity of people has decreased, consumption of many products are low, disposable income has been decreased. All these have impacted the advertising and marketing sector, and the recent ban of 59 apps including TikTok changed the dynamics completely and left many influencers and marketers disappointed.

Due to the lockdown, the internet consumption in the country has gone up to a great extent, so was the popularity of TikTok. It enjoys a huge popularity in India as it accounts for more than 30% of the total downloads globally ( The app was downloaded close to 650 million times since January 2018 on the App Store and Google Play. In May, India ranked as the top country for new TikTok users, accounting for 20% of the app’s nearly 112 million downloads around the world, according to Sensor Tower (

As TikTok was a great and effective medium to reach and engage the target audience, many brands and influencers were relying on the platform heavily. The small 15 secs video have become quite a rage and people were hooked into the app either while travelling or in their free time. Many marketers were trying to target audiences who were not very active on other social media platforms.

TikTok ban is a blow as it had attracted huge number of users and marketing budgets over the last couple of years. Many major brands have invested a lot of money on the platforms ( and have done some interesting and innovation campaign on the platform. The money spends by advertisers on TikTok were also rising over the last couple of years. Hence, this sudden ban of the app must have been a jolt to them and now they need to plan and shift their budget accordingly.

TikTok is a platform which was being loved by the masses due to the entertainment factor and it was available in 14 regional language. Along with established celebrities who were very active on the platform, many story tellers, educators, and performers also became popular, many influencers became star on TikTok. Today, an influencer charges Rs 2 to Rs 2.5 lakh for a 15 second video, and for brands, it can go up to Rs 3 lakhs. These TikTokers then made 15 such videos in a month, earning up to Rs 50 lakhs. In a year, these 16-17-year-old teenagers would end up earning up to Rs 6 crore per annum, reveals Pratik Gaur, who mentored some of India’s leading TikTokers ( Now, unfortunately the TikTokers are currently in loss and they have to make use of other platforms if the ban continues to prevail.

Way forward

Only time will tell what would be future of TikTok as their official have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarification on the issue. But this situation creates an opportunity for other platforms and many companies are working to come up with similar platform. Brands have to think how they can re-strategize and adapt to other platforms where they will get similar audiences. On the other hands, influencers will also need time to gain their followers on other platforms. Few smart influencers are already enjoying good amount of followers on multi-platforms, and many TikTokers are already requesting users to follow them on Instagram and YouTube.

With ‘Make in India’ movement, a number of Indian tech companies are capturing user interests and online behaviour and are building apps. The Indian rivals like Mitron, Chingrari, Bolo Indya are hoping to grow their presence in the country and expand their user base by attracting several TikTokers to their platforms ( Apart from these platforms many more such apps might come in the near future. Seeing the opportunity, a Mumbai-based live streaming analysis platform Toch has already built an app, inviting the TikTok users in their platform. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for them to attract new audiences, influencers and marketers across India.

The big players like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are in their comfort zone as the moment as many users are going back to these platforms. But these giants are not reluctant either, they also want to encash this opportunity. Instagram has just recently launched Reels in India where users would be able to record small videos and will be integrated into Instagram. It will allow users to record 15 second videos and creative filters and music can be added as well. Instagram is already collaborating with several content creators who have an eminent presence on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube (

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