April 4, 2019 04:00 PM NPT
TikTok, a new social networking app, has taken by India by storm. The 15-second video sharing network is also quite popular in smaller towns of the country. TikTok, however, has come under scanner over misuse of the platform and is now facing ban in India.
Madras High Court on Wednesday asked the central government to ban TikTok, saying the app is “encouraging pornography”. Following the ban request, TikTok responded by saying that the company will review the court order and “take appropriate action.”
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social networking platform where users can upload 15 second videos. Users can add music clips and sounds to their videos, and even act out dialogues from popular movies and TV shows. TikTok also offers editing tools like merge, cut, trim, duplicate.
Merger with musical.ly
Before TikTok there was musical.ly, another product from the same parent company, ByteDance. While musical.ly was more popular in countries like India, TikTok’s dominance was present in its own turf. ByteDance merged musical.ly with TikTok making it one platform. Musical.ly’s 100 million monthly active users were automatically moved to TikTok.
1 billion downloads
According to Sensor Tower’s report, TikTok recently achieved a feat of having 1 billion downloads collectively on Android and iOS. In 2018, TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps globally making it close to the biggest social media platform, Facebook. In comparison, TikTok was downloaded 663 million times, just little bit shy of Facebook’s 711 million downloads.
TikTok in India
India users account for around 25% of the total downloads, and the app’s user base is estimated around 250 million, according to an ANI report. TikTok has a widespread presence across India with the app immensely popular in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
Not the first ban
India isn’t the first country seeking a ban on TikTok. In fact, authorities in Indonesia went ahead and banned TikTok last July. Reasons for the TikTok ban were “pornography, inappropriate content and blasphemy,” according to a Reuters report. TikTok also faced criticism in the US where the app was accused of exposing young girls to inappropriate comments.