Social Media

ShareChat ropes in celebrities to engage users on its audio chat rooms

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on November 05, 2021

Valued at $2.88 billion, Indian social media platform ShareChat is betting on celebrities to engage users on its audio chat rooms feature.

Launched in April 2020, ShareChat’s audio chat rooms compete with the likes of Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, both of which have seen user engagement in India going down after a few months of initial surge.

ShareChat is battling this user engagement challenge in audio chatrooms by bringing on celebrities to host a variety of sessions. CricChat session is one of such sessions introduced by ShareChat, which saw famous cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajit Agarkar and Akash Chopra hosting sessions in the background of ongoing cricket season.

Talking about the growth in user engagement brought by CricChat sessions, Shashank Shekhar, Sr. Director - Content Strategy and Operations, ShareChat & Moj told BusinessLine that the audience engagement in any community-led session is usually around 100 users to 2,000-5,000 users, but with CricChat sessions it went to another level, touching 50,000 to almost 1 lakh users.

He added that in one of the sessions with Gautam Gambhir, the number has reached an unprecedented 300,000 users. Currently, ShareChat’s audio chatrooms have around 16 million monthly active users, and more than 2 billion minutes are being streamed monthly.

Going forward, ShareChat plans to create more IPs like CricChat. Apart from cricket, the company wants to go into entertainment as well and is working on a show called Love chat with ShareChat, the show is planned to be in Tamil along with another IP called Vanakkam. “Tamil and Kannada were chosen specifically for testing out the use case for entertainment celebrities, because historically we have seen a great affinity from the consumers as well as from the industry. In general, The entertainment industry in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is really close to ShareChat,” said Shekhar.

Emerging use cases

The company has also observed other emerging use-cases on the audio chatrooms like talent showcase, poetry, devotion and astrology. ShareChat has experimented with a jagrata session during Navratri and has also called astrologers to join live chat rooms and answer people’s questions. It also invited famous Kumar Vishwas on Independence day to host a poetry audio chatroom and claims to have seen good traction in all these use-cases.

“Basically, we are creating formats where we can enable weekly interactions again and are able to give a better platform to both the celebrities and communities to engage with each other. So, we are experimenting and we will keep building on the same,” Shekhar added.

Monetisation

Shekhar claims that the company’s monetisation channel for audio chatrooms — virtual gifting (users buy virtual gifts for the chatroom hosts) has been popular among users and the number of virtual gifts bought is in the greater thousands.

The majority of ShareChat users come from Tier-2 and smaller cities. While some customers do come from Tier 1 cities, Shekhar noted that these are mostly users who have migrated from small towns and cities. Similarly, the company also has some international users who are particularly people who have moved out of India and are living in West Asia or Canada. Further, the most popular language on the platform is Hindi, followed by Punjabi and Tamil.

Published on November 02, 2021

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