YouTube Shut Down Indian Social Commerce App Simsim
April 1, 2023
The short-form video clip war is still raging with TikTok holding all the firepower. YouTube, in a surprising move, has bought an Indian short-form video clip platform called simsim. What makes this platform different is the fact that it focuses on selling products and not on dance video clips.
News of YouTube buying sims comes to us from a company blog post. Simsim is a platform that helps local organizations. The TikTok craze has spread abroad, as simsim proved to be similar to TikTok. However, there is a twist: simsim meets business. The creators make up video clip reviews of products sold at local businesses. In the video clips, they embed links to market the products that the organizations sell. The app is available in 3 languages: Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.
What makes the platform appealing is the fact that it focuses on small, local businesses, not huge brands. YouTube acquired Simsim around 2021 in a deal that valued the Indian company at well over $70 million. At the time, YouTube mentioned that the purchase will allow the video streaming giant to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new consumers in even more powerful ways. With well over 450 million users, the South Asian market is the largest for YouTube.
The Google-owned video clip platform also sees India as a test bed for experimentation (YouTube Go and Shorts are two examples). Its Simsim purchase came as YouTube began exploring ways to transform the video clip platform into an e-business engine. The problem is that now Youtube is closing the application just 2 years after its acquisition. For YouTube, the purchase enabled the streaming giant to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new consumers with even more powerful possibilities, Gautam Anand, vice president of YouTube APAC, wrote in a blog post.
The video clip streaming service, which reaches well over 450 million monthly active users in India, does not plan to make any immediate changes to Simsim and the startup’s app will continue to operate independently “while they worked on ways to demonstrate Simsim offerings to YouTube viewers,” he added.
A research venture had been announced at Google in India, where it had pledged to invest $10 billion over the next few years. The internet giant has also backed Indian startups Glance and DailyHunt, which operate short video clipping apps. “With well over 2,500 YouTube creators with well over a million subscribers and the success of YouTube Shorts, which we first launched in India, we are invested in bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator society even more. simple for us to start a whole new generation of mobile device creators,” he added.
It is possible that the moment of the thesis has not yet arrived. Last year, Facebook shut down its live shopping functionality once it had shifted its focus to Reels. However, not all remain giving up. Amazon, which acquired Indian social business startup GlowRoad last year, has introduced QVC-style live shopping to the territory.
However, YouTube is not completely moving away from the category. A spokesperson said Thursday that the company will be “working with creators to bring more monetization opportunities to creators through an affiliate program and more in-clip purchasing functionality for long-form, short, and broadcast videos.”
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