The Race To Build An Indian Social Network

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Over the past three months, home-grown variants of short-video social networking apps have cruised through some unusual times. Border tensions and #BoycottChina campaigns had already resulted in a steady uptick in their user base. And then came the ban on 59 Chinese apps on the evening of 29 June, which targeted TikTok, Helo, Vigo Video and Bigo Live, among others.

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The fact that these platforms are based in India and keep data in India may also make little difference to the user. Data residency is often equated with data privacy and security, but the two are unrelated, said Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder and CEO of Greyhound Research. “Data localization only allows the government to regulate the data. It doesn’t offer any additional benefits from a privacy or security point of view at all,” he said.

“We think it’s a bit late in the day to be starting such applications all over again,” said Greyhound’s Gogia.

“India just doesn’t have the talent,” he added. In fact, the country’s best talent is often working in the Valley and building the greatest products in the world. According to Gogia, we don’t have the best talent in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), UX and more, all of which are essential to make world-class apps.

Gogia pointed out that the fact that big companies have larger and more mature user bases is a big bonus for them. It allows them to refine their product quickly. Trying to say you provide better services or more security than them is almost impossible. “Any app, especially when launched only for a specific market or country, just won’t work because you won’t have the critical mass of users to learn from and improve the project,” said Gogia.

HT Mint

<strong>Analyst: Sanchit Vir Gogia</strong>
Analyst: Sanchit Vir Gogia

Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Research, a Global, Award-Winning, Digital & Technology Research & Advisory firm.


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