The third session of the first day of Goafest 2022 witnessed Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and CEO, ShareChat and Moj, in discussion with Vikram Sakhuja, group CEO, Madison Media and OOH, Madison World.
The duo spoke about the birth of ShareChat.
From curiosity to creation
Sakhuja asked Sachdeva if it was his curiosity from his IIT Kanpur days that led him on the pathway to create ShareChat.
We had a very interesting start. I and my co-founders when we were in college this idea of ShareChat came in. Before ShareChat we had tried 14 other products and kept building products while we were on campus. The main thing was trying to get traffic into a medium. To start having effective traffic I started posting my product's website links into Facebook groups to generate traffic," revealed Sachdeva.
Talking about how the idea for ShareChat came into fruition, Sachdeva shared, “While I started to post my website links on Facebook groups. I saw that groups were created on WhatsApp for fans of Sachin Tendulkar. My curiosity led me to create 10-15 of my own WhatsApp groups named ‘Sachin photos’, and ‘Sachin videos’, with phone numbers I sourced through these FB groups.”
Within an hour, Sachdeva received hundreds of messages. He remarked, “People are hungry for content and that was what led us to create ShareChat. We wanted to build an app where people can share content in their own languages.”
Importance of English content
While responding to Sakhuja's question about English content, Sachdeva said, “A lot of people wanted to consume English content, so we started off in that language. 70% of our content was in English on ShareChat. However, as the time passed the engagement was pretty low. We called our consumers and asked them for their feedback. We realised they had zero English vocabulary, but when given an option between English and Hindi they would still speak in English because of aspirations they have to speak in that language.
“Our fundamental thesis and aim are to help our consumers with content through our machine learning capabilities”, shared Sachdeva.
He further explained that Tweets on accounts of Bollywood stars on Twitter get engagement for 90 days with a hundred thousand tweets. But the content analysis is done through the users' followed accounts.
Sachdeva said, “We don’t have to wait for our users to jump through hoops and follow different accounts. Through our ML capabilities, we are smart enough to figure out what the consumer wants at any given moment.”
“We are in the business of aggregating public information and serving it to the user at the right time. But we are anti search”, he remarked.
The future of monetisation and ShareChat
The talk ended with Sacheva's projections for creators on the app.
“We have millions of content creators. We have an internal segment called ‘Superstar Creator’ where we are essentially aiming to create a million superstar monetisable creators. In the next three years, we want to help our creators to receive 450 million dollars of creator earnings,” he said.