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Spotlight, Snapchat’s answer to TikTok, hopes to democratize earnings in India too

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Written by Shruti Dhapola | Ahmedaba / New Delhi, New Delhi |

Updated: March 16, 2021 3:03:17 pm

Snap Inc’s Spotlight, the company’s answer to short video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, is now available in India. Spotlight is available within the Snapchat app and is an entertainment platform that contains user-generated content. Snap claims that Spotlight had more than 100 million users in January.

Spotlight allows users to post their most interesting and funny snapshots or short videos on the platform and then they can be viewed by other users on the platform. On Snapchat, there is no such public place where everyone can see user-created content, unless one is an influencer with millions of followers. Spotlight changes this approach a bit.

The other unique aspect of Spotlight is that Snap will pay creators whose content goes viral on the platform. It has a $ 1 million per day program, which will also be available in India. However, Snapchat users must be 16 years of age or older and, where applicable, obtain parental consent to earn earnings in order to be eligible for earnings.

“For Snapchat users, unless they already had millions of followers or subscribers, getting views on the platform was next to impossible. The end result was that users would create the content using Snapchat’s camera tools, but posted it elsewhere, such as platforms like TikTok (until it was available in India), and even YouTube and Facebook, “explained a Snap spokesperson. Inc to NEWS BLOCK.com via one call.

The spokesperson added that with Spotlight the company wants to “democratize the ability to earn in the same way that it democratizes the ability to obtain distribution.” The idea is that someone with only 10 followers can have a video, which is seen by millions of people, and also earn money as a result of those views.

What differentiates Spotlight from TikTok or Instagram Reels is that there are no public comments. Any messages that users can send to viral content creators will not go to their regular inbox. Snap says this is done to protect users and ensure they don’t face harassment on the platform. Furthermore, the lack of feedback also means that creators will be saved from bullying or any other type of harassment, which has become too common on many platforms.

The Snap spokesperson also said that the idea is not only to send content from the US to India and other countries, but also to encourage local creators to post on the platform and build their own identity. While the company will work on more partnerships in India, it also plans to first explain the feature to users so that they understand the platform and the knowledge required to use it.

Profiles in Spotlight will be private by default, ensuring that the username is never populated with that post, unless a user explicitly opts for a public profile. Once a user searches for a public profile, they can also start to gain followers.

“This ability to contribute without their username being displayed is very important because it requires people who might otherwise never have contributed and provides them with a space where they feel incredibly safe to create without worrying,” added the spokesperson.

For content to get money from Snap, it has to be original. The spokesperson specified that one cannot just go to YouTube and copy a video and re-upload it to Spotlight and then start making money. When a user’s video on Spotlight reaches a certain threshold where they are eligible for payment, they will receive a message from Team Snapchat for payment.

Snap also says that every piece of content posted to Spotlight is viewed and moderated by both human and machine, before being shown to large numbers of people. Human moderators must ensure that the content complies with Snap’s guidelines and also with local rules and regulations.

Along with India, Spotlight is now rolling out to Mexico and Brazil as well. It has previously been released in 11 countries which are USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France.

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