ByteDance to shut down Vigo Video and Vigo Lite apps in India
Chinese social media company, ByteDance, has announced plans to discontinue two of its apps – Vigo Video and the liter version Vigo Lite in India in India on October 31, 2020, asking users to export their videos to TikTok also owned by them. Vigo Video and Vigo Lite, the two apps to be discontinued, allowed users to create and share short-form sketches and lip-syncing to Bollywood songs. ByteDance also operates a social networking app Helo.
The apps, which were available on Android and iOS, have already been discontinued in Brazil and the Middle East. ByteDance did not offer any reason or explanation for the decision, but said that the company has decided to focus energy and resources on other businesses. It still isn’t clear whether the apps will shut down in other markets such as Bangladesh and Russia also.
ByteDance released a post titled a farewell letter to make the announcement. The company said in the post that it was feeling sad over shutting down of the apps.
The company stated in the post, “We want to thank you for the time you’ve spent with Vigo. It’s you who made us who we are today. We regret to inform you that we’ll discontinue our service after 31st October 2020.”
The company also said, “Users will be informed about the app shutting via in-app notifications with detailed instruction on downloading their personal data or deleting their account permanently, including videos, personal information, chat history, and favorite list.”
The release further remarked, “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.”
Vigo Video functioned similar to TikTok and the app let users create and share 15-second videos on the platform in various various genres like dance, food, stunt, beauty, art, comedy, music, and pets among others. Similar to TikTok, Vigo app allows allowed users to add special effects, stickers, and lip-sync music and more to make their short videos engaging and entertaining.
With the shutting down of Vigo, the short video entertainment space will be taken over by TikTok largely. TikTok already dominates the short video apps segment in India; Vigo Video wasn’t able to gain much footing. It had about 4 million monthly active users last month while a lightweight version Vigo Lite had about 1.5 million users. However, TikTok has a reported 120 million monthly active users in India, as per the app’s listing on Google Play.
Recently, ByteDance had also shut down its artificial-intelligence-based news aggregator TopBuzz, one of the company’s earliest products.
Despite TikTok’s popularity, it has also drawn severe criticism in India and was even banned for some time for exposing kids to sexual predators and spreading pornography.
TikTok is also under scrutiny in India in recent weeks for failing to actively remove videos that promoted violence, animal cruelty, racism, child abuse.