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Average time spent on Instagram and ShareChat doubled after ban on Chinese apps: Kantar

The overall time spent online was not as strongly impacted as one might have expected, given the size and scale of the affected platforms

In the wake of GOI banning 59 popular Chinese Apps, Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company’s Web Audience Measurement (WAM) panel, released insights on the impact of this ban on consumers’ digital behaviour. The ban came into effect from June 29, 2020.

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Summarizing the learnings, Akhil Almeida, Vice President (Insights), Kantar, said, “Although consumers lost access to some of their favourite short-form video sharing apps, the bulk of consumers switched over to alternate platforms in an almost seamless manner. We saw that overall time-spent online was not as strongly impacted as one might have expected, given the size and scale of the affected platforms.”

Key highlights of the report:

No significant impact on Engagement

The app-ban impacted platforms with a sizeable following. Given that users were spending hours every week across these platforms, one would have expected to see a dip in the overall time spent online once these platforms were no longer accessible. However, the avg. time-spent dropped only marginally (-6%), indicating that consumers were switching over to rival platforms much faster than anticipated.

Big wins for rival platforms

Instagram and Facebook saw an immediate increase in engagement.

Avg. time per day on Instagram more than doubled (2.3X), and Facebook too saw a significant 35% jump in time-spent on the platform with the bulk of this additional engagement being driven by smaller town consumers.

Among the youth audience aged below 24 yrs., Avg. time per day on Instagram grew by 35%

Sharechat, India’s very own video sharing platform which focuses content around regional languages also witnessed a 2.5X increase in time spend.

This has primarily been driven by the younger faction of internet audience (aged below 24 yrs.). They have more than tripled (3.4X) their Avg. time per day on Sharechat since the ban came into effect.

YouTube is still king

The most impressive gain was seen in YouTube. Already the most popular digital video platform in the country, it saw a further 25% increase in time-spent!

OTT also gets a boost

Other players also enjoyed their fair share of rise in engagement levels. Hotstar, India’s leading Video OTT player saw their daily time spent grow by over 25%. Time spent in the video OTT space grew by 40% overall once the ban was imposed.


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