For Chingari, the initial idea was to bring a Made in India TikTok rival and compete against the platform. “The ban was never in our business plan,” Sumit Ghosh Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Chingari told indianexpress.com.
Since the Tiktok ban, the homegrown short video platform has gained wide popularity in the country. It is one of the most popular Indian alternatives to Tiktok available right now with over 25 million downloads and close to 3 million daily active users.
Ghosh, however, claimed it’s not the TikTok ban but the anti-China sentiment and Atma Nirbhar Bharat that gave Chingari the “initial push”. “Make in India and Vocal for Local were key driving factors for us,” he added.
With millions of users now on Chingari, Ghosh is confident that even if the TikTok ban is lifted in the future users will stick to his platform because of the “unique” camera features it offers. “We have already made a mark and users know there’s an app called Chingari which is India’s Tiktok and has features like Tiktok. We don’t care if Tiktok comes back, if it does, it will be a fight between Indian and Chinese competitors,” Ghosh said.
Chingari refers to itself as a camera-first company. “We spent a lot of time building the camera of the app. If you look at other apps and their camera and compare them with the Chingari camera you will know the difference. Our camera is technically capable, there are editing tools, filters, and many more tools you don’t get elsewhere,” Ghosh added.
In the days to come, Chingari aims to provide creators with more and more tools to create unique content on the platform. The team is working on adding advanced edition tools — users can pick parts of a track or movie dialogue, add fast and slow track motion filters. “Our team is developing Indianised AR filters like dancing on Delhi metro and underground Kolkata metro. These Bharat-specific features we are building are going to be our USP in the days to come,” Ghosh explained.
The team is also working towards enhancing the UI and UX of the platform. “We want all our users coming from TikTok to feel at home,” Ghosh said.
“We provide video and audio editing tools to our creators backed by best-in-class machine learning personalised recommendation tech. This means once you log in to Chingari, it will automatically learn your taste of short videos and start recommending related content,” he highlighted.
Ghosh claimed Chingari takes content moderation very seriously “unlike Tiktok that doesn’t care about the kind of content being posted on the platform”.
When a video is uploaded on the platform it first goes to 100 users, and then 1000 and if no one reports the video, it goes to others. “We follow the Waterfall model and a video on Chingari doesn’t go viral immediately,” Ghosh said. The platform also has a computer vision algorithm in place that checks videos uploaded on the platform and flags objectionable ones before it appears on the feed. “We have a team of 4-5 people who look into content and alert users who post objectionable content,” Ghosh added.
The platform currently offers content in 11 languages and the company is in the process of adding more languages in the future to enhance the overall user experience.
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