social media platforms in india

Social media has been incredibly powerful for some time now and has become ingrained into our routines as well. From posting pictures to watching videos to writing and sharing posts on multiple social media platforms, people from all age groups have flocked to the internet in large numbers and continue doing so. 

Social media has given a platform to the people to raise their voices over issues and share their opinion with the whole wide world. The boom is bound to increase in the coming days as newer and better social media platforms get added to the existing roster.

We bring to you the top 5 social media platforms in India to watch out for. These platforms are different from the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and should definitely be tried at least once. Here are more details about these social media platforms, who uses them and how they can be used by the top brands. 

1. Musical.ly/ TikTok

Formerly known as Musical.ly, this one is a social media platform meant to create, share and discover short music videos. It took over the internet by a storm as it is like an online fun karaoke session. Its user base comprises primarily young people who choose to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing on this platform. 

Post its rebranding as TikTok, it got a new logo but retained all other features of Musical.ly. For example, it allows users to create videos recorded in under 15 seconds and share them with the rest of the user community. 

As per TikTok newsroom, it will also be introducing a ‘For You’ feed which is a curation of personalized video recommendations as per individual viewing preferences. The app also introduces several new features like a ‘reaction’ feature, funhouse mirror camera effects, VR-type filters which get activated just by blinking and background effects like a green screen.

TikTok has now reportedly surpassed a 1 billion mark of active monthly users in February 2019. It is now valued at $75 billion and its parent company, Bytedance, has surpassed Uber as the most valuable startup in the world. 

As per TechCrunch, TikTok is “the Instagram for the mobile video age,’ and one of the best social media platforms in India. In case you own a brand with a target audience of Gen Z and are not on TikTok, you are missing out on something good for sure as it is all the rage among teens.

As TikTok expands, sectors like publishing, fashion and even entertainment are all starting to try their luck with it. One can easily find any challenges or videos here which align with their personal brand philosophy. Brands already leveraging the power of TikTok include Nike, Guess, Fenty Beauty, and Apple Music. Universal Pictures is said to have dabbled with influencer marketing through TikTok to promote its movie The House with a Clock in its Walls, where it asked popular creators to share branded content.

2. Houseparty

SMSing has become passé since long, yet messaging apps continue to dominate the market. One such messaging app is Houseparty, which allows for group video messaging and video chats which enable 8 users to hop on at the same time. Users can also have fun during the chat with video-filters, stickers and fun effects. 

The app which was formerly introduced as Meerkat, rebranded itself to Houseparty in 2016 and ramped up its feature as well. Since then, it has been rapidly climbing app store charts and rose from 1 million users to 20 million as of 2018. 

Houseparty has also expanded by introducing an in-chat gaming feature that enables users to play games with their friends. The user base of this app is over 25 years of age but can be played by people of all age groups. Over 10 million users have already played this game, as per reports. 

The app is said to offer ad-space and marketers may actually resort to it and use it in creative ways. Companies, big and small, can sponsor a “houseparty” where influencers would answer questions based on the said brand and show attendees what the brand can really do for them. 

This way one can promote their brand in the process and which would reach many users instantly. Competitors include SnapChat, AOL Internet Messenger and Facebook yet Houseparty aims to erode all competition in the near future and stand out as one of the unique social media platforms in India.

3. Trell 

This one is considered to be a legitimate medium between content creators looking to engage with meaningful content on social media. Looked upon as a video ‘Pinterest’ in India, Trell is a technology-driven community-based platform which enables lifestyle discovery via video-based meaningful content in vernacular languages. 

This platform, which once started as an Instagram handle (trellingmumbai) in Mumbai city wherein used to post happenings and events across the city. Within 4 months, it started going viral and today, it boasts of a content base of over 1.6 million lifestyle pieces within the platform. 

The app has four aspects: discovery, create, share and shop and is available on iOS, Android and Web. For users, it is the perfect opportunity to turn vloggers and add a mix of photos and videos in a single trail in various categories like food blogs, travelogues, trip journals, makeup tutorials, cooking classes and more. From the e-commerce aspect, the tab ‘shop’ will help users to browse through videos for product shopping. 

Vloggers can also endorse these brands as influencers. Also, this app with a simple user interface initiates various activities to maintain user engagement like live games and rewards like coupons for Swiggy, Myntra, Paytm Cash, OYO and more. 

4. Helo 

Helo is a vernacular social platform that showcases content in over 13 Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam and more. It can be called a Chinese version of a successful platform and is one of the best social media platforms in India. This app enables a user to make new friends, and create and follow fan pages of their favourite celebrities. 

It also allows one to share content across various categories like food, sports, entertainment, memes, status updates and more. The content on this platform is quite similar to other regional apps like ShareChat and Daily Hunt, only that Helo is powered by an exceptional technology algorithm in space. 

This social media platform from Bytedance currently commands over 50 million users pan India. Needless to say, it is coming at par with its popular sibling TikTok. What gives Helo an edge over other regional platforms is that local language search and hash tagging is really easy on this one. This app, which clocked in 10 lakh downloads in its first month, has been taken to other Indian communities across geographies including US, Canada, Qatar, Singapore, Bangladesh and more. 

Moreover, it has tied-up with brands garnering popularity among regional audiences for producing, monetising and showcasing content shared on its platforms. Helo was also the digital media partner for Bigg Boss Kannada and enabled the app’s Kannada-speaking users to connect with a vast community of influencers. 

5. Vero

Vero is the digital media equivalent of Instagram. This app allows the sharing of movies, books, TV, places, photos and links. Vero helps open up the ‘collection’ to build a better profile of the individual. It is also an excellent medium for artists willing to release their own art to share it with others. 

Vero displays no ads, only content through 4 options namely close friends, friends, acquaintances and followers. Vero is looked upon as an ‘authentic’ social network as there are no algorithms governing what you see which makes the platform purely organic. It is a sweet alternative for Instagram and one can also use it for research purposes to find out what customers look for. 

Vero boasts of a user base of 3 million. Alongside, it aims to alleviate the pain points found in other social media platforms like data mining of personal information, non-chronological feeds and ads. 

Where marketing is concerned, they can learn their way around the app and create a Vero profile. The best engagement for brands and promotions comes through a visually appealing fee, yet it is too early for Facebook or Instagram to shift advertising to Vero. Yet the app is promising and marketers could look for playing with its evolved business model.

There is no dearth of strong social media platforms in India, yet users continue to look for more transparent and interactive platforms. New social media apps provide a fresh start for social interactions. 

With Facebook having numerous security concerns and Instagram plagued with myriad ads and algorithms, users begin to find new avenues for a social fix. Experimenting is always good and you must try out these novel social media channels. If you wish to upskill, do check out Great Learning’s PGP Digital Marketing Course.

Contributed by: Vinayak Agarwal
Vinayak Agarwal is the co-founder of myHQ, a startup with a mission to revolutionize the way millennials work. myHQ is a vibrant community of 10,000+ entrepreneurs, freelancers and working professionals. An entrepreneur at heart, Vinayak is an IIT Delhi alum and he worked with Goldman Sachs for 2 years before starting myHQ.

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