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Why are Millennials Hooked to New-age Social Media Platforms? The meteoric rise of inexpensive smartphones, low-priced Internet data packages, and improved access to the Internet are ushering the rapid diffusion of video platforms in India

By Nagesh Banga

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Millennials stand out for their innate understanding and quick adoption of technology. With mobile devices becoming ubiquitous, they are spending most of their time on smartphones for shopping, chatting, social networking, and media consumption. As a result, the world today is brimming with curious millennials who are more receptive to truly mobile-first experiences. This has triggered the growth of mobile-only social media platforms. These video-driven platforms allow users to create highly engaging content showcasing their creativity using dynamic video creation tools on multiple themes (movies, fashion, food, music, dance, and so on). The video apps have ascended to become global juggernauts, both in terms of reach and content repositories.

Further, the meteoric rise of inexpensive smartphones, low-priced Internet data packages, and improved access to the Internet are ushering the rapid diffusion of these platforms in India. People from across the country, including rural regions, are flocking onto the platforms to experience video-led social engagements.

What makes video-apps unique?

Well, these platforms hit the sweet spot when it comes to content that appeals to millennials' short attention span as well as their preference for visual-oriented social media feeds.

Major Internet companies are creating a new wave of content through their innovative platforms. These platforms are at the forefront of technology, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI)-led functions that provide unique in-app features for enhanced social media experience. Users can create dynamic videos for quick sharing effortlessly as the platform's integrated AI assists them in selecting trending hashtags, filters, augmented reality-based effects, EFX tools, and more. Moreover, these platforms throw addictive content feed to their users by quickly understanding individual preferences with the help of AI. By leveraging modern technologies, platforms have evolved from being "informative" to "empowering", allowing users to expand their social networking activities based on their individual preferences. For millennials, these platforms have emerged as an extension of their personalities, and hence, they keep coming back to these platforms to explore their personal spaces.

Furthermore, the new-age social media apps are emerging as admirable platforms for millennials to participate in a video-led two-way communication process; allowing them to be a consumer as well as a content creator. Other noteworthy attributes of these apps are video calling features to connect with multiple friends simultaneously, the ability to share virtual gifts, or to play in-built trendy games. In the coming days, short-form videos and live streaming methods are expected to become cornerstones for online interaction and content creation. By encouraging generation and consumption of diverse content at an exponential rate, the platforms are leading us towards a better-engaged community. Additionally, live streaming platforms have evolved to become a vehicle for information sharing, education, and basic skill training. So, new-age social platforms are playing an influential role in reshaping the social media landscape.

Other factors contributing to the growth

These apps provide ample opportunities to the users helping them pace their journey towards success and recognition. India is home to many 'accidental celebrities' such as 'The wink girl,' 'Dancing Uncle,' and more who gained popularity overnight by flashing unique moves in just a few seconds. With every passing day, content creators are striving hard to create exclusive content which resonates with masses and help them achieve celebrity status. Also, many brands are collaborating with these platforms to create innovative #challenges that allow brands to promote their products/services to the right target group, the millennials. With the high probability of garnering millions of views and hits overnight, these #challenges are emerging as a popular social activity among millennials and brands alike.

The new-age social media platforms are addressing a vital gap that was non-existent in earlier platforms; the need to express oneself through engaging content. By delivering a culture of 'shared creativity,' these platforms are emerging as the new language of millennials; who are hopping onto the platforms to experience the magic and fun of it all. As these platforms evolve, we can only expect an upsurge in the number of Gen Z and Gen Alpha joining the bandwagon.

Nagesh Banga

Deputy Country Manager, Bigo Live

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