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Azhar Iqubal, Founder and CEO, Public
Over 1000 politicians have joined the app.
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Public app aims to get 100 million users by end of 2020 on the back of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat movement

Over 1000 politicians have joined the app.
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  • The ban on TikTok has helped many Indian video apps come to the forefront.
  • Homegrown app Public is now aiming to get 100 million+ users and be available in all Indian languages by the end of 2020. People use the app to raise and discuss their concerns with local authorities in video format.
  • Over 1000 politicians have joined the app like Hema Malini, Varun Dhawan, Kamal Nath, C.P. Joshi, Chandrabhan Singh, Bhopinder S Hooda, Deepender Singh Hooda, Om Prakash Dhankar, and Dr Alok Ranjan, to name a few.
  • Azhar Iqubal, Founder and CEO, Public shares his action plan with us, talks about evolving revenue model and what makes Public stand out in the clutter of video apps.
Launched in April 2019, homegrown short-form video app Public has been on an exponential growth trajectory. Within six months of the launch, it became one of the fastest-growing Indian social apps and ranked 1 on Play store for providing local updates in a video format.

After the whole boycott Chinese product sentiment emerged in June, Public saw its users sky-rocketing. It added 50 million plus users that month.

While many TikTok-clones cropped up to eat into its space, Public claims to stand out in the clutter for offering informative videos through real-time updates, unlike TikTok which was an entertainment app.

Public app acts as a bridge between local authorities and common people. It allows its users to share their opinion on the status quo, ask questions directly to the concerned authority or raise a complaint against an issue they are facing in their city.

Another thing that has helped Public stand out in the clutter is the brains behind it, Azhar Iqubal. He is well-known in the industry for another short-form news app, InShorts. He is now focusing on taking his short-form video app to the forefront and is aiming to get 100 million plus users by the end of 2020 and be available in all Indian languages.

Telling us the reasons behind this success, Iqubal, Founder and CEO, Public said, “We attribute this success solely to our team for recognizing the gaps that existed in the social media space and offering a product that addresses it perfectly. Our past or future success has little to do with the ban of other apps as we are on track to reach the numbers irrespective.”

Iqubal also said that the idea behind launching Public app was not to offer just any video-sharing platform ‘but one that makes a difference and helps people stay informed.’

Target Audience

Public’s user base is a mix of diverse sets of audiences from metros and Tier III cities. It has about 5,000 influencers ranging from top politicians to local authorities to budding influencers. Indian Youth Congress, Hema Malini, Bhopinder S Hooda, Ranveer Brar and Sadhguru are some prominent public figures on the platform.

“We have users in the biggest of metros to the remotest of cities, and Public app serves a completely different purpose for them, than entertainment focused apps – that is, to create and consume informative video content. Several of our users at local and national levels have emerged as influencers on the platform by providing content related to current affairs, politics, local updates, interesting facts and general knowledge,” shared Iqubal.

On its way to monetisation

The app has reached here mainly through word-of-mouth and on the back of the ‘Vocal for Local’ trend. It is now working on a way to launch non-intrusive ads on its platform like InShorts.

“We have not yet started monetising Public, but it is on the charts and we are going to start soon through advertisements. Our major focus would be to deliver innovative and non-intrusive ad formats to users and the best in class UI experience. For advertisers, we are committed to providing a brand safe environment, quality content and reliable brand affinity uplift metrics. Once we start advertising on the platform, we will welcome like-minded brands who want to connect with influencers to reach out to consumers,” said Iqubal.

Building user loyalty

Iqubal isn’t worried about the ban lifting up and TikTok coming back. He believes in his product offering.

“Creating and consuming informational content is a need that will continue as it is human nature to be inquisitive about our surroundings. With Public app, the sense of proximity is much higher amongst users, and therefore we expect the surge to continue. I am confident that users that are looking to consume, share credible and informative content will continue to stay on the app, despite any external factors,” said he.

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