Tik Tok’s Indian version Mitron gets popular, despite no promise of privacy

Tiktok vs Mitron

Mitron is an Indian version of TikTok app which has garnered 5 million downloads. Strangely, the app has yet not published a privacy policy or terms of use which raises the matter of safety and privacy.

Mitron has taken India by storm. It has a resemblance to TikTok owned by ByteDance. This app is developed by students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. Indians are moving away from TikTok, a Chinese app that has given birth to many controversies now and Mitron is the new destination preferred by millions.

Popularity of Mitron

In just a month, Mitron has been downloaded over 5 million times on Google Play Store. It is being promoted as a domestic competitor. In a single day, Mitron gets more than 5 lakh downloads. Mitron grew and went viral when Tiktok was facing extreme anger of Indian internet users after TikTok got indulged in two major controversies.

The first one was an online feud between TikTok creators and YouTubers, the result of which was a ban on YouTube video by creator CarryMinati.

The next one came with another video by TikTok influencer Faizal Siddiqui. In that video, he is seen allegedly making fun of acid attacks. Amir Siddiqui, Faizal Siddiqui’s brother is the centre of TikTok. This second incident is connected to the first TikTok vs YouTube fight.

The above mentioned two incidents called for Twitter trends calling for the ban of TikTok in India. After these controversies, the ratings fell from 4.7 to 1.2 on the Google Play Store.

Some apps such as Mitron, are in the competition to capitalize. Tiktok is slowly and steadily clawing back to its virality on Google Play Store. Mitron gained its popularity because Mitron is used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech to address the gathering in his messages. For the newbies and unfamiliar ones, Mitron is a Hindi word which is usually used to address a group of friends. PM Modi’s clear call to create a self-reliant India and to support the local brands might have played a part in Mitron’s rising stock.

On the upfront, this application is particularly not available on iOS or the Apple App Store. One reason could be the Apple’s strict and rigid app review policy and because the developers have to pay fee to launch an iOS application.

The missing privacy policy

Just a glance through this TikTok clone, Mitron, a short video making app has some resemblance which is seen even in the user interface. For example, similar to TikTok, Mitron doesn’t show a sign-up form or ask for any information upon starting but it takes the users to reach to homepage.

Despite some similar options compared to Tiktok in the bottom tabs but Mitron has used different icons for two out of the four available options. The right swipe menu is the same as Tiktok it seems. This signifies that the developers of Mitron have not actually developed a new feature for this app.

Again, the imitation can be ignored but the real reason to worry is that the developers of this application have not released any end user agreement or a privacy policy. The application at the sign-up page says- “By signing up you confirm that you agree to our ‘Terms of Use’ and have read and understood our privacy policy.”
However, there is no way to see this policy for any user. Again, the link of privacy policy of the application on the Google Play Store redirects to a website which displays absolutely nothing.

On the other hand, a few users also noticed that the search option isn’t working properly of this application. Some others also raised their concerns as they aren’t able to add music to their videos. As compared to TikTok, Mitron is quite slow.

Indicating the Anti-China sentiments that does have a role to play in the popularity of Mitron, some users have said that they will continue to use Mitron, as it is developed by Indians.

Launched in India in 2017, TikTok is still facing issues along with the privacy concern issues. These privacy concerns are not limited to Mitron only. TikTok too has been facing privacy issues from day one.

In the early days of TikTok, it was surrounded by these controversies and landed the company in the public courts and a temporary ban was imposed. Later, the company was accused of not providing privacy policy in the regional languages it supported in India. Since then TikTok has claimed to have made several changes in its platforms to make it safer for all the users.

Reason to accept Mitron

In India, Mitron rose at the time when the central government was pushing for local products. Popularity Mitron has gained is a proof that many of the Indian users are convinced by this domestic app irrespective of the fact that it is a superior product or not. 5 million Indian users joined Mitron despite all the flaws that it has. The probable reason could be the Indian origin tag.

No doubt, backing local products will result in more such applications and services that will gain success, but it does not mean even the inferior products will be backed just because they are local. It would be interesting to wait and watch how far and long Indians are going to use such homegrown applications especially when they do not have any privacy, data security and other aspects which make it a truly International Tech product.

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