Facebook is betting on short-form video content in India

Video, especially the short-form format, is arguably the fastest growing medium in India’s content industry today, with more than 70-80 per cent of all data consumed being video. “Which, therefore, makes it a priority for us,” Paras Sharma, director, media partnerships, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) said at the India Mobile Congress on Thursday.

He said that one of the emerging trends in the OTT content industry is short-form video which makes it easier for people to be a creator and it is, at the same time, a format that’s challenging traditional storytelling narratives. “Today, more than 1.25 billion people visit Watch on Facebook to discover videos from millions of creators. India is one of the leading markets for Watch globally. Our focus is aligned with India’s biggest passions, be it cricket, movies, music, TV and news. We’re committed to grow the creator ecosystem by building sustainable economic value for them,” Sharma added.

India was the first market where Reels, Instagram’s short format, was launched globally. “Creators and publishers have taken to Reels like duck to water. Reels has democratized creativity like never before. What’s moving this video flywheel of creation and consumption? It’s because we bring the core tenants of social network: conversations and connections. The watch experience on Facebook is personalized, it’s socially powered and effortless entertainment,” he said.

He said that Facebook has been a part of India’s story since 2006 with nearly 700 million people accessing the internet. “Indians are indeed transforming the digital landscape with new innovations, social commerce, digital entertainment, education and healthcare. The scale of our reach continues to be very strong with more than 3.5 billion people engaging with our family of apps every month. This scale of reach is driving the impact of businesses and communities,” he said. According to Meta, more than 200 million businesses connect with their business through the company’s platforms.

“Our partners across platforms are using it to monetize their video content and are finding the right kind of audience for their content based on their interest. They’re not only doing one-way marketing they’re also building engagement. They’re building loyal fan communities and driving conversion. We’re focused on developing a range of creative and monetization tools across our platforms to support publishers and creators,” he said. Over the last year, Meta has seen 35 per cent year-on-year growth on the number of monetizing Facebook video creators and video publishers in India. Sharma adds that there has been a growth of over 160 per cent year-on-year in terms of the revenue earned by these monetizing creators and video publishers in India. “The effects of digital hysteresis are here to stay. The past year has been a tipping point for digital adoption and acceleration in India. Businesses have pivoted to digital, borne out of necessity: whether it’s distribution or marketing or rise of digital-first businesses. Content creation has equally evolved to keep up with the times. We’ve seen an exponential growth in the creator ecosystem,” he said.

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