What is the Deal With Applications That Copy TikTok? by@apptica

What is the Deal With Applications That Copy TikTok?

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Mobile Market Analytics & Ad Intelligence Tool, mobile market insights provider

Photo by Михаил Секацкий on Unsplash

TikTok became popular during the global pandemic and has not stopped growing ever since: In September 2021, it surpassed the mark of 1 billion active users in a month.

The increasing popularity of this application haunted other developers, and therefore many so-called clone apps appeared on the mobile market.

In the spirit of experimentation, the Apptica team tried to find out if there are any chances for them to steal at least part of the TikTok audience.

Three Categories of TikTok Clones

  1. Total Copycats

Apps like Clash, Byte, Dubsmash and Likee (the last one is a TikTok alternative for Android users) bear an uncanny resemblance to TikTok.

Some total doppelgangers may replace the app in a specific country. For example, Indian Chingari, Chinese Kuaishou and Russian Yappy were purposely created to become a TikTok alternative.

  1. Apps That Created Something Unique

Instead of creating completely different video apps, TikTok clones are trying to bribe users.

For example, users of some applications can earn rewards for getting likes, shares and comments. Cheez app allows users to receive rewards that can be converted into real spendable money even by watching or commenting on videos that other creators made.

Also users can participate in its unique online battles like DanceOff, which became the first mobile dancing game.

Vigo Video and Kwai applications also give users an opportunity to earn rewards, but the last app also has Instagram-like stories that last for up to 48 hours.

Firework app that also looks like TikTok from first sight has more emphasis on creating more high-quality content rather than gaining more followers.

Meaning that even if you don’t have a large audience, a great video can really make you blow up this application. Firework also offers weekly challenges with cash prizes.

Also this summer a kids-friendly TikTok look-alike called Zigazoo was launched. This so-called Social Media for Kids is a short-form video platform that has a mission to develop healthy social media habits for children.

It allows them to scroll the feed or participate in various challenges or activities created by different organizations that work with kids – for example, the zoos, museums and TV studios – or by professionals like teachers and musicians.

  1. TikTok Lookalikes That Have Been Banned From Stores

Certain applications that almost completely copied TikTok were removed from stores. For example, an app called Zynn that was funded by Kuaishou (which is a rival of Doyin, a version of TikTok for Chinese users), was banned shortly after its release.

Besides being an identical TikTok twin, Zynn was accused of stealing user content from other apps.

Another app that shamelessly copied TikTok – and because of this, had a pretty short life – was Indian Mitron. By the end of the spring 2020, this app had more than 5 million downloads and a rating of 4,7 in Google Play.

Despite this, It was taken down from stores in summer of the same year for alleged violation of privacy policies.

Why do Such Applications Appear?

The simplest reason why lots of TikTok lookalikes have been storming the mobile market for past years is a banal desire to earn – popularity, users and large sums of money.

However, some applications come out as TikTok alternatives in countries where the original music app is banned – for instance, India, Uzbekistan – and other places where this social network could be potentially blocked: Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh have tried to impose a ban on TikTok earlier.

There were also cases when companies developed TikTok clones to interfere with its growth. For example, Zynn project received support from Chinese company Tencent that wanted to prevent an increase in the number of subscribers.

Also, many developers hoped to become TikTok alternatives if this social network was banned. And there have already been such cases: for instance, on 6th August 2020, former US President Donald Trump signed an order which stated the ban of this application in 45 days, unless it is sold by ByteDance company. In June 2021, New President Joe Biden signed an executive order lifting Trump's ban on TikTok.

And recent restrictions that TikTok imposed on Russian content creators might also stimulate the outflow of users from this app to its analogs.

On March 6, TikTok temporarily banned all new posts and prohibited live-streaming for users based in this country, in light of a new law on ‘fake news’ which was passed by the Russian authorities.

Logically, due to this, Yappy (Russian TikTok clone) should have been gaining popularity dramatically — but for some reason this did not happen.

According to Apptica, the number of downloads has increased since March 6, but decreased two days later:


Can These Apps Beat TikTok in Popularity?

Although some of these applications are well-made and provide functions that TikTok doesn’t have and have similar structure, there is no chance they can replace this social network – unless it is completely banned, of course.

It is hard to disagree that TikTok, a true content-feeding machine, became a world phenomenon.

The format of an infinite feed with tons of easily digestible personalized content created by ordinary users like you is probably the simplest concept that could possibly appear in a developer's mind.

However, this simplicity makes it extremely hard to create similar applications that could be at least a little different from TikTok and bring something of their own into the mobile world.

Besides this, TikTok has made itself a name that has become firmly established in our heads: we associate short looped videos only with this platform – and we even call them TikToks.

This app became a non-beatable leader in shining armor made of uniqueness and worldwide fame, so its lookalikes have to put up with it.


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