Shortform has been in the limelight for a few years now. It gained visibility after the foray of Chinese firm ByteDance’s TikTok. It changed the content scenario in India forever. But after the ban, while everyone was speculating about the void, a number of domestic apps took over the space, in no time.

Today, the shortform space remains undeterred or rather has emerged stronger with more diverse creators, strong user growth and monetization strategies.

1. India’s shortform going strong with over 200M MAUs

This space, although more recent when compared to social media and other platforms, clocked over 200 million users in March’21 which shows the strong momentum of the segment. Despite the initial hiccups, these domestic apps emerged stronger with their strategies like focus on vernacular content, covering an array of genres, catering to the different user behaviour based on geographies among others.

2. Why is it so popular?

Now while the apps are rightly addressing the needs of their users, the targeted cohorts are also finding different reasons to engage with the apps. From entertainment, trend updates or influencer led content, these have been the major reasons for the users to consume shortform content. The cohorts can be divided as aspiring Bharat (mostly the ones from smaller cities and towns), Gen Z or trend followers, transitional adopters and the Instagram natives.

3. Total creators in India’s shorform apps are now 4x, when compared to TikTok

These apps have been successful in onboarding creators especially after TikTok. This is a key measure to reach out to the users. From budding to matured creators, these apps have paved its way and now have 4x more creators than TikTok. However, a challenge that still remains is still <1% of the overall creator base are serious content creators.

4. Further, the income and satisfaction level among creators is higher than other job opportunities

It has been seen that when compared to other similar jobs, creators are more satisfied with their work and also have more potential to earn as they make progress in the space with more reach and users. As the reach increases, their scope to grow through brand engagements, public events also strongly increases leading to higher incomes.

5. With this gaining popularity, India is surging ahead on content and smartphone usage if compared to other countries

With the gaining popularity and the accelerated pace of online adoption, India, one of the largest economies, is surging ahead when compared to other global counterparts. This shows that India remains one of the strongest countries in terms of digital content and will lead the way for a creator economy.


  • Mohit is an expert in Strategy, Performance Enhancement, Digital Services, M&A, and Due Diligence. He has 25 years of experience in management consulting, financial services, start-ups, and digital transformation.