“1 shirt, 5 skirts”

That’s the caption on the video I’m watching. The creator, Kiki, snaps her fingers and her skirts change. But Kiki is not an Instagram fashion influencer sporting looks from her latest haul; she’s actually selling these products live, and the video I’m watching has a link that takes me directly to her store.

The platform is Roposo, and its format, akin to short video apps like TikTok, has a very un-TikTok-like quality to it. It’s getting people like Kiki to engage in live commerce.

Roposo, launched in 2014 as a short video app, was acquired by InMobi’s Glance in 2019. Mobile adtech company InMobi’s Glance—which we’ve written about written about The Ken With Glance, InMobi wants to rule Android’s screens Read more before—brings a user’s lock screen to life. The service—which comes pre-installed in new Android-run phones from brands such as Xiaomi, POCO, Samsung, Vivo and Oppo—last month launched Glance Live for live commerce, among other things.

Look Here

Glance replaces the default lock screen of an Android phone with dozens of interactive content screens—crafted by a few hundred of InMobi’s staff—with software algorithms then deciding what content to show which user

Glance hit 150 million active users in India in the second quarter of 2021, with “one in four Indian smartphone users” active on the platform, read a recent report recent report Counterpoint Research Glance Active User Base in India Crosses 150-mn Milestone Read more  from market research company Counterpoint Research. And these 150 million are the potential buyers for creators like Kiki, who sell on Roposo.

No wonder the company is pivoting. On 13 October, Roposo’s app underwent a redesign to turn its focus to live commerce over short videos. “We have all seen how content itself has evolved, from text to images to long-form video with YouTube to short form with TikTok; and we feel that live is the next frontier for content altogether. Glance wants to own that space potentially,” says Piyush Shah, co-founder of InMobi and president of Glance.

What inspired the short video app—which currently has a 30-million-strong user base in India—to get into the business of selling consumer products via live streams? The short answer is money. The short video creator space can’t be monetised, but Roposo hopes live commerce can.

As for business-to-business (B2B) firm InMobi, the move helps solidify its business-to-consumer (B2C) play, where it already has made strides with Glance.

AUTHOR

Munsif Vengattil

Munsif keeps a tab on what Big Tech has been up to in India and all things OTT. He was with Reuters previously, where he wrote investigative pieces on Facebook’s content moderation operations and WhatsApp’s troubles in the run-up to India’s national elections. If you want to talk to Munsif about journalism, tech policy or his love for seekh kebabs, write to him at his first name @the-ken.com.

View Full Profile

Read this story. Subscribe Now

This story is available across both editions. Subscribe to the one that’s most relevant for you. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.