Flipkart rolls out videos and Instagram-like social shopping feature for Android users

Flipkart has launched two new features, Video and Ideas, on its Android app. 'Video' offers on-demand streaming content for free, while 'Ideas' curates influencer-generated shopping content.

India's online entertainment industry is witnessing its biggest traction ever. Fuelled by the abundance of OTT apps and the availability of cheap mobile internet, a full-blown video-streaming revolution is sweeping the country.

As a result, every consumer internet firm wants to get into video because that is where the highest user engagement rates are.

Flipkart is the latest to join the bandwagon. The Walmart-owned ecommerce major has launched movies and shows on its Android app.

The 'Flipkart Video' feature is being rolled out in a staggered manner. New users are getting the preference. All content is available for free; users just have to sign in. Flipkart has partnered with OTT content creators Viu, TVF, Arre, Dice Media, and VOOT.

The company aims to compete with Amazon in the OTT space. The latter launched its video-streaming service, Prime Video, in India in 2016. Since then, Amazon has produced several original shows for the Indian market, and also offered a rich repository of Indian language content on its platform.

Flipkart Video, too, is focusing on Indian content for now. On offer are Bollywood and regional language movies, talk shows, comedy programmes, and originals from its content partners.

In an earlier statement, Flipkart had said, “Our video content offering is focused on three primary aspects, keeping in mind our understanding of the market: free, curated and personalised. We believe that our customers shouldn’t pay extra for premium content."

Social shopping with 'Flipkart Ideas'

Flipkart is also bringing social commerce to its app to create "meaningful engagement" for its 100 million registered users.

It has launched 'Flipkart Ideas' - an Instagram-like feed for digital influencers. Users can browse through the content generated by these influencers as well as brands, and shop for products from within the Ideas tab.

They can also customise their Flipkart Ideas feed by selecting from 14 categories interest. These include Food, Travel, Reading, Gadgets, Fashion, Health & Fitness, Parenting, and others. Some brands that are already live on Flipkart Ideas are Apple, Syska, Cadbury, Wildcraft, Fujifilm, and others.

Flipkart believes Ideas will help it bring the next 200 million consumers online, who "will need easy discovery, inspiration and post purchase hand holding, as they navigate the benefits of eCommerce".

In a statement to the media, Anil Goteti, Senior Vice-President, Marketplace at Flipkart said, 

“Flipkart Ideas improves users’ lifestyle with credible, inspiring and useful content, which will educate and inspire them in the purchase journey. There are new set of consumers, the next 200 million shoppers, who have a variety of questions and seek to mimic their offline shopping experience, online."

Interestingly, while Flipkart Ideas is modelled on Instagram's social shopping feature, it has reached Indians before the Facebook-owned social media app could launch its own. Tens of millions of users are already shopping via Instagram, but the feature is not yet live in India.

Both Flipkart Video and Flipkart Ideas are Android-only features for now.


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