Short-video format is coming of age on platforms.
NEW DELHI: In November, a 10-second movie of a hand suggestion by 19-year-old Tori Pareno from the Philippines went viral on Twitter, drawing on six million views. The video was made and published on TikTok.
Formerly Musical.ly, which was obtained by China’s ByteDance in 2017, TikTok has youngsters in China, India and the US dance to its own tunes. With over 200 million consumers, India is TikTok’s biggest and fastest growing market. And TikTok’s success has spurred interest from rivals.
Facebook-owned Instagram announced Reels a 15-second video format, in Brazil. US’s Firework, which offers slightly more leeway was launched in September in India. The platform claims to have three million users in the US and 100,000 in India. The time limit increased for videos from 15 to 60 seconds.
Videos though aren’t new for social media. Its origins can be traced back to Twitter-owned Vine, which allowed users to create looping videos.
Many believe that Vine was ahead of its time and the crowd wasn’t ready for it. Resources such as faster internet speeds or high quality smartphone cameras were lacking and didn’t allow users to benefit from the platform then. Vincent Yang, co-founder and CEO of Firework, attributed the success of short-format movie in India to operators like Jio, which made fast internet accessible to the common man at very low rates.
“I think for a company to launch anything timing is vital. You don’t want to be too early or too late,” he said. “Until a couple of years back, people weren’t even familiar with using or creating videos on social media. The expression’influencer’ wasn’t familiar to many, and now many young people are thinking of it as a profession.”
Unlike Firework and TikTok, Vine’s feature set was quite narrow. The lack of filters, audio clips and stickers limited. Today, users can even edit and merge videos, use emoji decals, face filters, attractiveness effects, and add their favourite music, sound or dialogues in the background.
To distinguish itself, Firework has a feature called Reveal, which enables creators to capture both horizontal and vertical views in one shot. Instagram, which already has a user base of more than a billion, and is proven to be immensely engaging, is expected to supply massive stimulus to the short-video format.
“Whereas TikTok’s real success comes from the fact that it allows you to be your vulnerable self, which is what makes it so endearing,” he added. While the platforms may have got their breakthrough from’fun’ content, they are now evolving to provide more mature content to draw audiences and creators from a broader demographic.
So users can access them As an example, TikTok recently started streamlining educational content. The Business has even tied up with organizations like National Skill Development Corp. (NSDC), Bhumi Foundation, Josh Talks and Suicide Prevention India Foundation for campaigns on social change, for the EduTok campaign. Many brands, content publishers, actors and production houses also have come on board to interact with their audience.
Clearly, short-video format can be used in numerous ways. All it requires is a bit more creativity on the creators’ part. Take the instance of K.M. Chaitanya, an award-winning Kannada filmmaker, who feels all stories don’t need 20-30 minutes. On Firework receiving quite a few grip, he has created a collection of 30-second stories. Short-form videos is the new buzzword on networking, while videos and photos still hold a good deal of appeal. As of now, youngsters are their main takers, so will the audience but as content evolves.