Third-party apps make hay as Indians take to video apps
“Bigger platforms like Instagram tend to put more visuals like photos and videos. This creates a requirement for bios, captions and hashtags. So, we are able to leverage the strength of social media and use that to create a platform,” said Anurag Kumar, head of TNine Infotech that created CaptionPlus, which has over 500,000 downloads.
WhatsApp’s Status is emerging as another popular photo and video-sharing destination for social media users. Facebook recently revealed 500 million people globally were using the feature daily. “The fundamental reason for these apps to grow is content scarcity,” said Abhilash Inumella, CEO of Samosa Labs, which counts Xiaomi and Sequoia Capital as investors. “These videos go on to be uploaded on platforms like WhatsApp and YouTube,” Inumella added. Samosa Labs has been downloaded over 5 million times. Inumella said 95% of the users of Samosa Labs use the app to upload content on WhatsApp.
“WhatsApp is one platform which helps in sharing content one-to-one. Roposo provides the right filters for people to express themselves on trending topics. Roposo enables users to add innovative features like filters, stickers and voice-overs to their videos,” said Mayank Bhangadia, CEO of Roposo, which is funded by Tiger Global Management and Flipkart founder Binny Bansal.
Many apps are eventually acquired by social media companies to make interesting content more freely available. Snapchat acquired Bitstrips, the creators of Bitmoji personal avatars, for $64.2 million a few years ago. Another app Giphy, which helps search and share GIFs and stickers that can be used to message and chat with people on social media and messaging platforms, is supported by Google Ventures. “As someone who creates content, I find the presence of additional apps very useful while uploading content on social media platforms. It helps me edit videos and create symmetry for photos, before uploading my content,” said Lavanya Chandra, a college student and an active user of social media platforms.
A mail sent to Instagram did not elicit response until press time, while WhatsApp declined to comment. “While we welcome additions to the growing online video industry, at TikTok we are committed to empowering our users, from across the country, to use the platform to express themselves and showcase their talent in the most creative way,” TikTok said in an email response.
Experts say such apps have a short shelf life and users typically move away from these apps once a fad is over. “The presence of content development apps is very transitionary. It is timebound and the content at some point can become stale unless people find apps that have a longer interest, for example websites and apps that help find hashtags and trends,” said Karthik Srinivasan, an independent brand consultant.