- In an interview with Business Insider, Chingari founder Sumit Ghosh talks about their latest feature which lets users shop within videos.
- Chingari using Artificial Intelligence algorithms picks similar outfits available on Amazon that a user can opt to buy.
- Monetising video through shopping has been of interest to many players across the globe with even giants like YouTube experimenting with the same.
When Chinese short video platform TikTok was banned in India in June 2020, Chingari, an Indian app shot to fame overnight. But with that, the startup was burdened with the tag of being a ‘TikTok clone’.
Almost eight months later, Chingari founder Sumit Ghosh has launched a new feature with which he believes it has broken away from that perception. “Our whole product team knew that we will build something where we aren’t just a clone, we understand the creator economy we are creating for. We wanted to help users make money on the platform. We aren’t just a TikTok clone, we can innovate,” Ghosh told Business Insider.
The startup has launched a ‘shop within videos’ feature, through which users watching a video on the app can pause, and buy the outfit worn by the creator. With a partnership with Amazon, Chingari using Artificial Intelligence algorithms picks similar outfits available on the e-commerce platform that a user can opt to buy.
Monetising video has been of interest to many players across the globe. While Ghosh claimed that Chingari’s is a global-first move, many others have been experimenting with similar video shopping experiences.
Google’s video streaming platform YouTube is currently testing a variation of shopping by embedding links in video. “Creators in this pilot can add certain products to their videos. Viewers can then see a list of featured products by clicking the shopping bag icon on the bottom left corner of the video,” the company said in a blog.
This Ghosh believes that this shopping model is the future of video commerce or social commerce. “In the short video space globally, be it TikTok or any other Indian company, the only way to monetise content has been through ads. But that disrupts your user and product experience, we thought of what else that can be done here which adds to the user experience and also helps creators as well as platform to monetise, sustain and grow. So, we are making every video shoppable,” he said.
And creators also make money in the process. “If people shop from your video, you also get a cut from it,” he said.
While they have just partnered with Amazon so far, as they improve the product over time and perfect the recommendation algorithm they will explore other partnerships.
The startup is backed by investors like Brian Norgard, the chief product officer of Tinder, and from leading French entrepreneur Fabrice Grinda, founder of OLX. Chingari has now hit 50 million downloads and claims to have 20 million monthly active users and is still filling the void left behind by Chinese giant TikTok.
But Chingari isn’t the only one scrambling for a piece of the pie. It is competing with unicorns and their short video apps like ShareChat’s Moj or DailyHunt’s Josh which are backed by big giants like Google, Microsoft, Twitter among others and not to forget, Facebook’s Instagram Reels.
And what if an Instagram Reels or a TikTok now launches the same feature? “Yes, they might copy us now. But I will be proud to say that we have built a feature that can be copied,” Ghosh said.