Monday, 2023 October 2

ByteDance ends Vigo Video in India, following shutdowns in Brazil, Middle East

TikTok’s owner ByteDance is set to cease operations of Vigo Video in yet another market after the app’s closure in Brazil and the Middle East, in a move to merge its users and content into TikTok, according to Vigo’s announcement on its official website on Monday.

According to the official announcement, the app will be shut down in India, its main market, by October 31, 2020, as the team has decided to focus energy and resources on other businesses.

“Users can export their content on to TikTok and continue with their creativity with a seamless experience on India’s leading short-video sharing platform, giving them vast exposure and interactivity with a larger user base,” read the official announcement from ByteDance.

“It is a regular operation adjustment”, a ByteDance spokesperson commented to 36Kr about this matterPreviously, Vigo has already shut operations in Brazil and the Middle East, while it is set to be discontinued in every other market, Techcrunch wrote.

Launched in 2017, Vigo Video is among ByteDance’s family of overseas-focused apps, which also includes social app Helo. However, Vigo Video failed to gain major success, with just about 4 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India, compared to TikTok, which reported over 200 MAUs as of October 2019.

Vigo Video Lite (a light version of Vigo Video designed for handsets with lower storage capacity and slower internet connections) only amassed 1.5 million users, TechCrunch wrote, citing an industry insider.

The closure of Vigo Video and its consolidation with TikTok is part of ByteDance’s strategy of integrating Vigo and TikTok globally. In January, ByteDance also rebranded Vigo’s domestic version, dubbed Huoshan, which competes directly with Kuaishou targeting lower-tier cities and towns, as “Douyin Huoshan”. Although Huoshan Douyin is still a standalone app, users can link their accounts between it and Douyin.

In April, TikTok’s hit another global milestone, when it reached 2 billion downloads on the App Store and Google Play (excluding downloads from third-party Android app stores). India was the biggest driver, accounting for almost one-third of total installs, according to app tracker Sensor Tower’s data.

However, TikTok has recently become a lightning rod of controversy in the country after a user posted content endorsing acid attacks, leading to other disturbing videos on the platform shared to other social media networks by netizens.

Hashtags such as #banTikTok, soon began trending on YouTube and Twitter, while the short-video app’s ratings on Google Play plunged from 4.5 to 1.2 as Indians flocked to give poor reviews. In February, TikTok had 46.6 million downloads in India, but in May the number plunged by 52% to 22.38 million, per Sensor Tower stats.

Wency Chen
Wency Chen
Wency Chen is a reporter KrASIA based in Beijing, covering tech innovations in&beyond the Greater China Area. Previously, she studied at Columbia Journalism School and reported on art exhibits, New York public school systems, LGBTQ+ rights, and Asian immigrants. She is also an enthusiastic reader, a diehard fan of indie rock and spicy hot pot, as well as a to-be filmmaker (Let’s see).

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