India is unique in terms of its size and scale when it comes to content creation, a top Facebook India executive told Moneycontrol as the company doubles down on strengthening its footprint in the country's burgeoning creator economy.
On September 30, Facebook announced the next phase of its creator education programme, Born on Instagram, by making it a self-paced free e-learning course that guides creators through the Instagram ecosystem, available creator tools, community guidelines and best practices to build their presence on the platform.
India has been a key market for Facebook-owned Instagram to test several of its features and creator tools before a broader rollout into other markets as the company witnesses growing usage and engagement levels for its products. It was among the first markets where the firm rolled out its TikTok rival Reels on Instagram in July last year.
In March, Facebook piloted the ability to create and view short-form videos (Reels) on its platform. It also worked with select Instagram creators in India as part of a test that recommended their Reels on Facebook to reach new audiences. On September 29, Facebook said it is launching these features on its iOS and Android app in the United States.
In July, Instagram also tested a feature called 'Collab' in India and the United Kingdom that lets users add another account as a collaborator on a post or a Reel.
Reels consumption trends in India
An average of over 6 million Reels are being produced in India and is the most reshared product on Instagram in the country, said Facebook India's managing director Ajit Mohan at the company event earlier today.
"India is the tip of the spear for Reels where we have seen a huge amount of success. Reels are being created across the entire spectrum, including financial services and astrology among others" Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships at Facebook told Moneycontrol.
Chopra said music plays a massive part in the whole experience since it fundamentally forms a core of entertainment and is in the country's cultural fabric "A lot of leading artists and musicians are choosing to use Reels as a method to get more people to be able to see the first video around the launch of their music or movie" he said, adding that a lot of Indian music is present in the global top charts.
Cricket-oriented content is another key area which is seeing huge adoption on Reels. "With the ICC T20 World Cup coming up, we are going to have content that will be on exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. We're seeing a lot of creators come together and partner with ICC as the rights owner for the content" Chopra added.
Facebook is the exclusive digital content rights partner for ICC cricket events in the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives) until 2023. As part of the deal, the company had said it will offer match recaps, in-play key moments and other match-related clips across 12 tournaments between 2019-2023.
In terms of monetisation, branded content partnerships and affiliate partnerships are some of the big ways creators are able to monetise on Facebook and Instagram, Chopra said. On Facebook, creators earn money through in-stream ads on their videos, where they get a share of the revenue.
Facebook said earlier today that it has seen a 35% increase year-on-year (YoY) in number of monetizing creators and video publishers in India who have clocked over 160% YoY growth in in-stream revenues, without disclosing any specific details.
On September 29, Facebook also announced a Reels Play bonus programme to help creators earn money based on the performance of their reels. This is part of the company's commitment to invest over $1 billion in creators through 2022. However, the programme is currently in an invite-only mode and limited to US creators, although Facebook said it will look for a "potential global expansion over time".