In 2015, when ShareChat was created, every big or small company was talking about booming video consumption. Every marketing campaign was a video, there were reports being published on how video is going to be the next big thing and it gave birth to a string of vloggers, YouTubers, etc.
At ShareChat, we very well knew that a country with a 1.3-billion population, speaking several languages, celebrating hundreds of festivals and with more than half the population experiencing internet for the first time, the trend cannot be the same.
We knew that we have a different set of audience. We were on our journey to create a social media for an audience, which probably might be opening the Google Play store for the first time on a low-end smartphone.
We knew we had to be different. Having our user base across 14 Indian languages helped us identify the consumers’ pulse. We learnt that our audience was exploring the world of the internet for the first time and they were not comfortable creating videos due to the technical difficulties involved.
We wanted to provide our audience with a simple platform where they can express their opinions and emotions. Our users were comfortable expressing themselves through image, text and text-on-image formats. That’s when we decided that videos were not a priority, but making our audience comfortable to the idea of a regional social media app was.
One thing we have always believed is that we will grow with our audience. Today, four years into our journey, we observe that our users are opening up to the idea of creating their own videos based on multiple images. And, I am sure, had we been pushing video content four years ago, we would have ended up being just another app which was not designed for India, but just modified for India.
*Ankush Sachdeva is co-founder and CEO, ShareChat