Despite being less than a year old, homegrown short video apps like Moj, MX TakaTak Player, and Josh now have more than 100 million downloads each on the Google Play Store. They have all stepped into the void created by the forced exit from TikTok and now serve many of its 200 million active users in India.
“The main objective of the short video space was to entertain the user. But if you look at the type of content being created on Short video platforms today, it’s not limited to just entertainment. You will see a lot of DIY videos, cool tricks, there is even content related to health and education, ”Gaurav Mishra, Senior Vice President of Product at ShareChat told indianexpress.com.
ShareChat is a relatively new entry into the short video space with its Moj app, but it has proven to be really successful in a short amount of time. It has seen nearly 146 million downloads to date, according to data shared by mobile analytics firm SensorTower. The app was launched on July 1, 2020, just days after the Indian government banned TikTok along with other Chinese apps.
According to Sensor Tower data, Moj remains among the top five downloaded apps in India from December 2020 to March 2021. In February 2021 alone it had more than 24 million downloads, based on Play Store rankings, data from Sensor Tower. Also, it was the second most downloaded app on the list.
“2020 was a fantastic year for us. Overall, both ShareChat and Moj grew quite exponentially over the year. We launched Moj on July 1, 2020 and have seen a spectacular growth trajectory, and it has consistently ranked at the top of the Google Playstore and Apple App Store, ”said Mishra, adding that they were one of the short video platforms in the world. India fastest to cross 100 million downloads, reaching goal in less than 200 days. The app sees an average user time of 34 minutes per day and has surpassed 80 million monthly active users now, according to the company.
While Instagram has also benefited, by launching its Reels platform shortly after the ban, local apps have been the biggest beneficiaries as they also cater to the regional segment. Mishra, however, wishes to highlight that its success is due to the proper investment in technology and the learnings of ShareChat over the years, especially in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) with a team of its own.
“Many of Moj’s core algorithms are powered by our recommendation engine, which uses AI and ML. Our growth comes from our ability to personalize content for the right user at the right time, ”he explained, adding that“ there is a complexity that comes with content in different languages, ”which ShareChat has solved and this experience has also helped. to Moj. grow.
But many of Moj’s content creators and consumers are from metropolitan areas and Tier I cities. Unlike the Chinese apps that had been introduced on the roads of Tier 2 and 3 cities, Moj is seeing further growth in metropolitan and urban areas. “We’ve seen it as an adoption across the board, but definitely if you ask me in terms of where the focus is where the majority of our audiences are, they are mostly based on metropolitan areas and Tier I,” explained Mishra.
Admitting that the short video space is highly competitive, Mishra said his focus is on developing machine learning capabilities and ensuring the right creator ecosystem. This also means ensuring the best tools and technology for creating videos. In fact, Moj recently announced an integration with Snap Inc’s CameraKit, bringing many of the augmented reality features into its app, adding more tools for creators on the platform.
ShareChat focuses on making sure they are shown the type of content they need and that the core recommendation algorithm does the job right. “We run basic machine learning models to determine if the content is duplicate, if the content is safe for our consumers, if it has any abusive content. Many of the models were developed in-house, ”he explained, adding that in cases where they believe that human judgment is needed to evaluate content, they also rely on it.
The problem for Moj is figuring out exactly what a consumer will consume; the type of videos they will watch. “We invest in the ecosystem of creators. What I mean by a creator ecosystem is to identify the creators that are quite active and the new creators that are coming in and testing the platform. We do this by providing them with powerful editing capabilities, a vast music library, camera filters and special effects, so they can create highly engaging and fun original content, ”he emphasized.
Moj also organizes workshops and trainings for some of the creators although it has not yet begun to pay them, a strategy that other platforms are deploying. The company said it has no such plans for now, as the goal is to ensure correct content delivery and discovery.