Vocal for local: Users flock to made-in-India TikTok alternative Chingari, crash servers
Homegrown short video apps are witnessing a collective surge in traction post the Indian government's ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps.
The biggest gainer has been Chingari, which has skyrocketed to 3.5 million downloads from nearly nothing in less than 48 hours. The app, which launched in late 2018, is being touted as India's TikTok alternative, and is currently witnessing 90,000 new users per hour.
Chingari has recorded 26 million video views over the past 24 hours, with three million videos swiped per hour and 10,000 users per minute, the company revealed. On July 1, Chingari also became India's #1 social app on Google Play Store. (It had broken into the top 200 apps only a fortnight ago.)
Chingari has shattered all records for two successive days and even crashed its servers due to a massive spike in downloads and usage. Its Co-founder and Chief of Product, Sumit Ghosh, called for users to be "patient" as they get their servers on AWS back.
The Bengaluru-based startup has also gone on an overnight hiring spree. Chingari is "immediately" looking for UI/UX designers, Android and iOS developers, and social media executives as it hits one lakh downloads per hour. "If you [know] any rock stars, please connect," a company executive wrote on Twitter.
In the latest development, Chingari is contemplating building a tool to let users import all their TikTok content to the app. "As the user-generated content you own, [you] can move it anywhere you want," Co-founder Sumit stated in a tweet.
Interestingly, Chingari usage is not just restricted to India. It is also witnessing significant traction from the US, Singapore, and the Middle East, possibly due to a large Indian immigrant population in these countries.
Chingari has been hailed as a "shuddh desi success story" from all corners. Shortly after the TikTok ban, top industrialist Anand Mahindra tweeted about getting onto the app.
Chingari's other Co-founder Biswatma Nayak took to Twitter to field user queries.
"Chingari is not limited to be a video sharing platform like other short video apps. It's a platform where you can read local and international news, check the weather forecast of your city, play games, participate in quizzes, and win prizes... Anyone can download a video and share it on other social platforms. We have a dedicated download button in the app for this."
"We're considering all possible care for implementing appropriate safeguards, policies, and procedures for safeguarding [the] private data of users. Currently, we are manually monitoring and filtering out the inappropriate/ fake users and banning them from app usage," he added.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)