Case Study of Short-Video Platforms: The Rise and the future

This piece talks about how brilliantly successful Short-video platforms have become in less than a decade. Post the ban of Titktok in India a lot of new players are now entering the market.why tiktok banned in India. why tiktok banned in India. why tiktok banned in India. why tiktok banned in India

With this piece, we take a look at the case study of short-video platforms, we understand why Snapchat failed and the other short-video platforms rose to glory. Let’s jump right in the piece!

If you are living in 2020, you sure are one amongst these:

1. Making a TikTok

2. Watching a TikTok

3. Bashing and cringing on a TikTok

4. Or……. Secretly binging on a TikTok

While short video applications have pervaded the internet and our lives alike; it wasn’t always fathomed to have become such a hit. Now all you need is a smartphone, an internet connection, some funky ideas, and voila! You can have followers in numbers; You can then enjoy the attention, or build a career and earn money out of it. Thanks to the short attention span and consumption behaviour, the future of content marketing and consumption are now via short video applications and its influencers.

Splashed across your news feed, a less than 60-sec video wasn’t planned to revolutionize markets. Albeit, it did.

With this piece let’s trace the journey of short video applications over the years. Don’t worry, you don’t even have to scroll down beyond a decade.

The Case study of Short-video platforms: Vine

Before the glory claims of accounts on Vines having more viewership than the New York Times circulation, the Short-Video Platform Application OG Vine was host to clips so short that they were initially dubbed as – ‘GIFs with audio’. Vine’s comedy vertical is by far its most popular format. Although, the app also inspired music, sports, news, and stop-motion animation was founded by accident. Its creative entrepreneurs had only envisioned a 6-second way of helping people capture casual and share lifestyle moments online.

Internet’s premier tool for making short-form videos in early 2013 soon caught marketers’ attention. By that time it was generating countless memes and making internet sensations of Amanda Cerny, Logan Paul, and KingBach, etc. With over 200 million active users in 2015, what killed Vine was resistance to quick monetization; Lack of vision by parent company Twitter; And biggies like Instagram and Snapchat ramping up their game. Though Vine was rendered rudderless in 2017, the 6-second-entertainment application’s co-inventor Dom Hofmann prepped up to bring another entertainment app Byte in 2020.

Because now, Short-video format had become a buzzword on social media.

The Rise and Fall of Snapchat: Instagram’s Ascent to the Top

Now, a lot of us would’ve seen or sent across fancy ‘Snaps’ of our favourite cafés and evanescent moments of enjoying a party or even walking the poodle. Hollywood bigshots and popular runway faces of DJ Khaled, Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, and Emily Ratajkowski, etc. were obsessed with the application.

If that was the case, why did Snapchat die?

The wave of death came for Snapchat’s main audience when millennials and Generation Z frayed, impelled by a series of disgruntled responses on application updates. Another reason was the dearth of data clarity regarding posts and followers to promoters or advertisers. Snapchat astonishingly saw a $1.3 billion price dip in their market value, due to a single dismayed user. This incredibly powerful influencer was Kylie Jenner, who added salt to their wounds by announcing that she no longer opens the application. A sea of teenagers, popular brands, and influencers swam over to Instagram, which provided better marketing and promotional opportunities. Snapchat’s decline in both B2B & B2C stripped it down from a social media platform to a mere fancy messaging app.

Loaded with filters and music, Instagram took the centre stage and allowed users to create fleeting ‘Stories’ that could be decorated with hashtags, geotagging, stickers, text, filters, and GIFs. And, this is why Snapchat and Instagram are in constant competition with one another. But, with Instagram being widely used and manipulated for promotional reasons and exposure… Snapchat’s one-dimensional way of communication limits itself to the latter half of its name. And therefore, hinders itself the ability to be utilized for more professional means. Let’s not forget social juggernaut Facebook’s Lasso (TikTok clone), that shut down on July 10, after the launch of Instagram Reels.

The 15-second storytelling of TikTok

When Twitter cracked the short-form storytelling by the way of text, initially 140 and then 280 characters… TikTok did it with 15-second videos. It was still a land dominated by the rich and famous until the real disruption was brought by TikTok. Which, unlike any other social network, has a gamut of influencers and meme machines. Who, furthermore, count their followers in the tens of millions, and surprisingly, most of them are not mainstream celebrities.

How many times have you seen YouTube comment section flooded with “came here from TikTok”? A testament to TikTok and mainstream culture coming closer together. Talk about TikTok’s role in the music industry, right?

Related: Take a look at the growth of TikTok from global sensation to a perceived threat
The craze

Your local grocer, the maid, or the security guard of your complex could be a TikTok fanatic. India witnessed various individuals “busy” making 15-sec dance, lip-sync, storytelling, comic videos. Or, simply shipping spiral content individually or through collaborations. The penetration was not only in terms of the number of users but also in terms of engagement these users had in tier 2,3 cities and rural interiors. Rural is a tough nut that Goliaths have been trying to crack, and it was Tiktok that essentially cracked it. The application UI was seamless for those who don’t speak or read English or Hindi. It also worked well on low-speed internet. A perfect setting for a rural takeover.

TikTok also provided multiple ad formats for brands to keep the revenue stream growing:

  • Brand takeover – where you see the ad of a brand for a few second the moment you sign-in
  • In-feed native video – is similar to when you see ads on Instagram when you are scrolling through your feed
  • Hashtag challenge – Here brands create custom challenges under hashtags for the users to participate
  • Lens 2D, 3D, and AR – allows brands to design their own custom filter in the app
Related: Take a look at the TikTok algorithm
Brand Association

Tiktok has partnered with a few of the well-known companies out there. While we cringed over the sort of content we saw, these brands really did see an opportunity.

  • Talking about FMCG, PepsiCo, ITC, Marico, Lay’s Britannia, and Oreo, Moov, Puma, and Clean & Clear;
  • Edtech startups like Cuemath, Masterclass;
  • E-commerce Myntra, ShopClues, Snapdeal, ClubFactory;
  • Video streaming companies Voot and Viu;
  • Hyperlocal delivery company Dunzo;
  • Dating service TanTan;
  • And a few others like OYO, Paytm, SBI;
  • Social commerce platform Meesho and even fellow short video social network Vigo, etc. leveraged Tiktok’s unique ad formats.

All was going well with engaging brands and effectively connecting them back to the audience. And it happened. TikTok was laced with severe criticism for evading norms under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and allegedly spreading child pornography in India. Two weeks later it makes a comeback. However, it was banned again over data security concerns. And obviously, Anti-China sentiments in India. And looks like this time, it is gone for good. This led to mushrooming #MeToo products, to pocket the market share and short video platform way of marketing doesn’t seem to be slowing down shortly

And so if you were to market in today’s time, a simple breakdown of the most vital requirements for online marketing, or any marketing would be:

1. Finding the right platform and recognizing its target audience

2. Identifying the hit content on the platform

3. Balancing traditional advertisement with online and catching hold of established broadcasters – influencers

4. Building and engaging via a loved and much-followed company account

5. Avoiding controversy

Eventually everything boils down to avoiding what led to the demise of these few most popular platforms.

The Author

The author of this piece is Aishwarya Mishra, a student at XUB. If you liked the piece, share it on WhatsApp. If you’d like to get notified about the piece on email, subscribe here.

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