Google and Meta Find Video App Success Where TikTok Is Banned

Prateek Bhardwaj broke out as a social media star on TikTok’s short-video platform, drawing in close to a million followers and a slew of big-brand endorsements. But he’s no longer on the app.

The 30-year-old from small-town India defected to Moj, one of several Google-backed TikTok clones that sprouted after New Delhi banned the app from China’s ByteDance Ltd.’s in 2020. He barely missed a beat: his fan base has ballooned to 3.4 million and the content creator still plugs products from Xiaomi phones to Diageo whiskey.

Bhardwaj’s smooth transition highlights the opportunity presented by TikTok’s banishment from the world’s fastest-growing mobile arena. The global leader in short video was swept up in a purge of Chinese apps by India after a violent border clash two years ago. That gave the impetus for Google’s YouTube Shorts service as well as Moj and a slew of other contenders to fill the void. Far from blunting the growth of social video, TikTok’s abrupt withdrawal has supercharged the segment.

US giants Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc. are now battling for the lead in what promises to be a nearly $20 billion market, recruiting content creators with incentives and expanding their investment even while they’re scaling back elsewhere in the world.