Short video content ecosystem grew by 100x in last two years: TikTok's Nikhil Gandhi

TikTok boasts of about 200 mn users in India


MUMBAI: Streaming services started democratising content creation a couple of years ago but TikTok has made easier for the mass also to express and create. Bytedance’s most popular app has taken young Indians by a storm along with boosting vertical video growth. TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi said that they have been now on the forefront of creating a new economy.

Gandhi got the mandate to lead  ByteDance’s most aspiring product in India last year. In a fireside chat with Indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari at the Content Hub 2020, the TikTok India head shared the growth of short-format video, how TikTok is helping a new breed of creators, how they maintain a self-moderated standard of content. He said that the app actually promotes and inspires creativity. Moreover, it has given wings to young creators to fly , to showcase their creativity and bring out their art form.

As he comes from a rich broadcasting background, it’s a new learning phase for Gandhi as well. He mentions the suit of four products from ByteDance that operate in India. Along with TikTok, helo, and Vigo Video, the latest addition is a music streaming app Resso. Hence, he pointed out that the suite of apps that they have reach out to all ends of the spectrum. He added that it has been a fascinating journey for TikTok. “We've taken off on a great start. And in the last two years, we've seen massive, massive growth as far as the user base is concerned in India,” Gandhi said. Although he did not reveal the exact number, reports say it boasts of 200 million users in India.

“The average consumer in India spends a little less than three hours a day on TV. But he spends about three and a half hours a day being online. And out of that, he spends about two hours plus just watching video content. So I think it's a very, very encouraging trend for content creators who are in the digital space. And I think this is going to continue,” he commented.

Not only video viewing is growing, the bite size, short video content ecosystem also grew by 100 X in the last two years. Gandhi shared the total consumption of short video was about 530 million per month in January 2018. Exactly after two years, about 5.3 billion minutes of short video is being consumed.

“From our analysis, about 70 odd percent of people tend to continue to watch the entire short video which is a full length of one to three minutes. However, the moment you have a video, which is about 20 minutes, almost 24 per cent only consumed the entire content,” he said.

While content creation has already become a career for many youngsters, Gandhi added that if a creator’s video is good, brands will also follow them. According to him, as long as the creator has the ability to promote themselves and bring out the art form, the app lends a lot of support. Many TikTok influencers are now working with brands, getting featured on TV shows, collaborating with B-Town faces. Even established creators are gradually coming on the platform. He said that the platform hosts right from popular creators to unique talent, which is unlikely on other platforms. He added that the discoverability is huge.

But along with more native creators, the risk of unsolicited content also increases. Gandhi noted that TikTok has got a very comprehensive set of community guidelines to create awareness about trust and safety. They keep updating community guidelines every year.

“We do a lot of social awareness campaigns for creators to make them conscious to promote the fact that they should be posting responsibly and sensitive issues that are related to India and overall trust and safety. And anybody who violates our community guidelines is not welcome on the app. So we take those content off the app,” he pointed out.

“We have a very strong tested safety moderation system, which is a huge factory of about a huge number of people who are just constantly moderating content and the numbers of the total uploads as is huge on a daily basis is in India. So it's a very, very big push for us,” he added. 

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