Short video can be used for meaningful content: Vincent Yang of Firework4 min read . Updated: 25 Feb 2020, 04:10 PM IST
- 'We came to India in mid 2019 and have over 10 million monthly active users'
- Building partnership with publishers who have Firework feed embedded in their app
NEW DELHI: After taking the millennial world by storm, short form videos are finding takers among a more mature demography and it is not TikTok that is the go-to platform for them. US-based Firework, which lets users upload 30- second videos, is emerging as the short video platform for mature content and professionals creators.
Speaking to Mint, Vincent Yang, CEO and co-founder of Loop Now Technologies, which owns Firework, elaborates on the company’s India strategy, tie ups with publishers and how it regulates content on its platform.
How was Firework started and where does it stand today?
During one of my trips to China I was surprised to see the amount of time people spend on their mobiles, particular watching videos. And in China, short form is actually overtaking the long form. I wondered if something can be done on similar lines outside of China. Globally, there were platforms like TikTok which were doing short videos but back then they focused on 15-second videos and YouTube was focused on long videos. We saw the space in between them and quickly raised 30 million in series A investments. We started our services in the US in 2018 and have more than 3 million users there. We came to India in mid 2019 and have over 10 million monthly active users. We are adding thousands of new content every day and very soon we will be doing 20,000- 50,000 content on a daily basis.
How is Firework different from other short form video platforms like TikTok?
TikTok is a short form video platform for teenagers, whereas Firework is a short storytelling platform for professionals in the age group of 18 to 30 years. Also, our focus is on delivering meaningful and good quality content. Also, we don’t encourage the ‘like’ culture and so there is no ‘like’ button on our platform. Also, our model is very different. We also partner with many publishers who embed our Firework feed inside their apps or websites. We also have some unique features like Reveal which essentially allows users to shoot in any mode, be it landscape or portrait and it will still show the same video content in both formats. This has allowed us to tap on to young professional social community. We have also filed a global patent for it.
Firework caters to professionals and mature users. How do you ensure the platform stays viable for them?
We cannot stop people from uploading meaningless content. But we try to maintain high bar so a user will feel ashamed to even upload random selfie or a meaningless content that they usually do on other platforms. Also, what we have realised is that we don’t need a million content uploaders putting out new content very day. In fact the lower the creator percentage the higher the quality of content is. If you look at YouTube, the ratio between YouTube creators and viewers is 0.1% to 99.9%. We also don’t offer any gimmicky effects.
What is your strategy for India market?
Our strategy in the US has worked very well for us. So we are using the same in India too, which is focusing on content generated by professionals and maintain that high bar. This will allow us to show to people in India that short video can be used for storytelling and provide meaningful content. Our platform is already being used by filmmakers in India to create short films of 30 seconds.
By focusing entirely on professionals, won’t you miss out on a large user base?
There are many ways to segment the market. One typical way is to segment on the basis of age, the other is on geography. We segment by psychographics, which makes anyone living in a metro, tier 2 or even a tier 3 city with aspirations for a better life is a target audience for us. That is how Instagram works and that is how we are positioning ourselves.
How does Firework regulate offensive content?
We treat content moderation and curation very seriously. There are two things that we do. On one side is moderation which is first done using automated tools to make sure there's no violence, blood or porn. Then we have human moderation which goes through every video before it is made available to public. We try to do it very fast and within a few hours.
How does Firework monetise its platform?
For monetisation, right now in India, we are building a lot of partnership with publishers who have Firework feed embedded in their apps and websites. We share the revenue with them and they will share their users with us when people watch Firework feeds on their platform. Also, we share revenue with creators. For example, if you love cooking, you just have to keep uploading cooking recipes and need not worry about number of followers. The minute that your content is starting to be viewed by many people on many of our partner networks will put the advertising on it will share the revenue with you.