“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.
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.