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Mitron's new magic motto

The fast-growing the short-form video app is expanding, seeking fund, and innovating

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KOLKATA: Young India – like several other countries – has fallen hook, line and sinker for short-form videos. Evidence of that was the sudden explosion of downloads of the Tiktok; in fact, India accounted for 611 million as against China’s sub 200 million. Also, reports say that Indians spent 5.5 billion hours on TikTok and had nearly 200 million users until July 2020. There’s no doubt the Bytedance owned app along with Jio spurred India’s affair with the format and made ordinary folks from small towns into celebrities.

Then came the shocker: the Indian government showed Tiktokthe door citing data theft following escalating tensions with China, leaving TikTokers in a tizzy. Into the void stepped a clutch of indigenous and global short-form video platforms: Mitron, Chingari, Roposo, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels. And each one of them is working hard to lure former TikTokers to sign up to their offerings.

At the forefront, leading the charge is the five-month oldvMitron. Launched in 2020, it has managed around 35 million downloads on the Google Play Store. A month after its launch, that figure was a paltry five million.

Read more news on short format video category

Mitron founder Shivank Agarwal says the journey has been exciting indeed. The computer science graduate happily shares that the app has been able to retain growth and users - thanks to its product and service quality - after seeing a meteoric rise initially.


AGARWAL:  WE HAD THE COURAGE
TO LAUNCH THE PLATFORM
EVEN AFTER HAVING BIGGIES LIKE TIKTOK IN THE SPACE.

Mitron also courted controversy in its early days when Google removed it from the Play Store “due to violation of its ‘spam and minimum functionality’ policy.” However, it was back up and running in no time. 

The homegrown app is generating good traffic from tier II, tier III cities following the initial adoption in tier I markets. And surprisingly a sizable proportion of this is people above the age of 40. The demographic has different expectations, as compared to the usual younger folks who are active on short-form video platforms,

“We had the courage to launch the platform even after having biggies like TikTok in the space. We provided Indian creators a new platform to showcase their talent. That's why we have a great brand recall. Because of the recognition that we saw early on, we witnessed a massive growth within a few months of the launch,” Agarwal says.

Agrawal claims that Mitron has 16 million monthly active users per month. And he is pleased that numerous others are entering the space. Says he: “It's a good thing that the content ecosystem that we created for Indian creators is mushrooming with more apps.”

Agarwal leads a team of 20 which will expand soon with eight more being recruited. He is also seeking an infusion of capital, knowing that more muscular and deep-pocketed rivals are beginning to make their mark.

Read more news on Mitron app

Following Instagram’s Reel, YouTube has also launched YouTube Shorts. Acknowledging the growing competition, Agarwal says it is better to focus on how he can improve the service on a day-to-day basis rather than worrying about competitors.

“We are exploring different ways to integrate with some of the top brands. Our focus right now also lies in bringing creators of different skillsets on the platform and giving them an opportunity to connect with the right set of audiences that they would have liked to be connected with,” he states.

The app recently launched categories to make it easier for users to navigate to the content of their own choice. According to Agarwal, the short video space has been more about a common domain. He adds that TikTok users never got to decide what they wanted to see. “We decided that we want to give this power to the user. We wanted to bring creators and users on a common platform where they can start communicating in a better way with different communities,” he says.

It is yet early days for the Mitron app in the Indian market but the opportunity ahead of it is extremely large as the short format video category is going to stay. 

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