An IIT-Roorkee student-developed Mitron app, which works like Chinese TikTok known for short, funny videos, has been downloaded more than 50,00,000 times on Google Play Store from where people install applications for Android phones.
Mitron is a new competitor of TikTok, which is now one of the most popular apps in the country. It achieved the feat in a very short time. The development assumes significance at a time when TikTok is facing a crisis in India due to several controversies like the issue of data privacy and complaints of sensitive information about Indians reaching China.
The Mitron app is a free short video and social platform. The IIT-Roorkee team says they designed the app for people to “showcase their innovative videos inline” with light humour. “Our mission at Mitron is to create a platform where people can come and entertain themselves with small videos posted by people across the globe and at the same time create a social incentive for people to share and create their own videos,” the description reads.
The user interface of Mitron looks almost like that of TikTok.
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Mitron is as of now the seventh most popular Free App on the Google Play charts — ahead of Instagram, Helo, and Facebook. It is still behind TikTok and Aarogya Setu.
Deepak Abbot, a former Senior Vice President of PayTM, had tweeted on Monday Mitron was at the second spot.
Abbot, who is also an editor at mobile marketing and analytics company, Growth Bug, posted on Twitter on 25 May:
As on Tuesday evening, Aarogya Setu was the number one app on play store’s top charts followed by TikTok, WhatsApp and Zoom. Mitron was trending at number six.
Mitron: Strengths and weaknesses
Mitron as such is not an improvement on TikTok but rather a me-too product. However, given the infamy of TikTok, it may just work wonders in the Indian market.
The name, associated once with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who would address people regularly with the word during his first term, is an added attraction.
The rate of downloading has been fluctuating over the past 24 hours, though.
Besides, although user rating is quite positive (4.7), written reviews are critical. There are lots of bugs, basic features like editing aren’t supported, login options are buggy and adding audio is limited — many users have pointed out.
To its credit, most reviews begin with “I am glad this is an Indian platform.”
If the developer can use the early momentum to add the features users are demanding quickly, it can do better. Users of apps are known to be impatient.
TikTok is still popular in India as is Zoom, despite all warnings. Allegation of vulgarity and child pornography might have done it good rather than harm its market. The government has sent the owner notices in the past with little impact.
“Mitron is designed for people to showcase their innovative videos in line with our theme of light humour. It provides an easy and seamless interface for users to create, edit and share their videos, and at the same time browse through a library of top videos across the globe,” Mitron’s creator has thus described the app on the play store.