Many of us have lived through a number of significant technology evolutions in our lifetime, including the rise and fall of the landline, the steady progress in mobile and smartphone technology, the Internet taking over many facets of our lives, and many more.
By Ammar Muzaffar
These are just some trends that have directly impacted our lives. And it has been a significant impact! These changes have transformed how we interact with even our family, how we access and share information, and how we spend our free time. Imagine telling someone who grew up in the 1980s that in just a few years, they would be able to watch their favourite dramas or learn any of Pakistan’s provincial dialects and languages, all on a device slightly larger than a bar of soap!
This bombarding of information and content has inspired scientific research to delve into the question of video attention span, to identify what length is too long. The short answer is that there is no formula, as people are happy to view or interact with videos of different lengths on different platforms – from 30 seconds on Instagram, to two minutes on YouTube. More importantly, the first three seconds of the video is what reels the viewer in, and ensures that they stay for the whole show.
And why are these viewer engagement statistics important? It is because YouTube kick-started a whole new career path for millions around the world – that of video content creator. As the number of video applications grew, the opportunities grew too.
Definitely, The Short video platform has become the most popular and fast-growing industry around the world only in the past three years. In 2019, the total user number of Tiktok, Likee and Triller were over 9 billion around the world. Short video applications have become a fundamental part of Pakistan’s popular culture with a clear and simple promise – you bring the creativity; they provide the technical ability. Short video platforms also act as the new way to socialize for young people, especially during the global pandemic. In short, it is a production tool for many talents. With filters, effects, and so many additional editing capabilities built into the app itself, a career as a video content creator has suddenly become a viable opportunity for aspiring content creators around Pakistan.
Whether it is a homemaker sharing her love of traditional desi cooking with her followers, or a friendly young man who likes to make his followers smile with his sense of humour, or perhaps, even someone like Samosiiii who dreams of inspiring young women around Pakistan to learn about fashion and makeup, short video apps have really come into their own in transforming lives. And this is not only about creators – hundreds of thousands of users around Pakistan are flocking to short video applications such as Tiktok, Likee and Triller, among others, to be a part of this evolution. Many touching, inspiring, and creative stories are playing in the short video platforms, like a young farmer from Punjab introducing his fans to his culture, a young aspiring film-maker showcasing her talent for fans, or even a nurse sharing her experiences of helping people during COVID-19. These short videos provide a much-needed platform to normal people to showcase their own creativity, finding like-minded people, and researching new ways to grow their business.
However, with this growth in user popularity, the question of content ownership, and ensuring correctness and relevance arises. All social platforms invented the mechanical system for ensuring internet safety. On the other hand, we mean to emphasize the rights for content ultimately rest with the creator, and with the host application.
In reality, it is a blended model to ensure the best content on the platform –the creator to drive followership and increase economic opportunity, and the platform to create an enjoyable, safe, and culturally-appropriate experience.