ShareChat made headlines in early 2021 in raise $ 502 million to create the largest AI-powered content ecosystem in India. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an integral part of the business, with technology often the common thread running through the business.
Speaking at TechSparks 2021, YourStory’s flagship tech startup conference, Hastagiri Vanchinathan, Director, AI – Feed Ranking, ShareChat, revealed “Growing Up With AI: The Story of ShareChat and Moj”. The session, moderated by Chintan Shah, Head – Digital Native and Software Business, Google Cloud, focused on the role technology plays in business.
Hastagiri said the company’s vision is to build the largest AI-based content platform in India. AI plays a key role in all areas of operations, but it doesn’t stop there. From AI to video technologies, cloud platforms and large-scale data processing, all new age technologies have been implemented for the growth of ShareChat and Moj, which have slowly become the most major regional social media platforms in India.
While ShareChat has over 180 million monthly active users, Moj has over 160 million monthly active users.
“If you look at the Indian population and the volume of consumption and content creation, you will understand why we need technology,” Hastagiri said.
Growing up with AI
AI is essential for business growth and plays an active role in various fields.
“From user acquisition to the choice of UI elements and to the central core where we do the ranking and monetization of feeds, everything is powered by AI,” Hastagiri said, adding that it would be a good trip for a user on their first day on the app and predicting the decisions to be made are also results derived from AI and data-driven planning.
Hastagiri said their teams are organized into five different verticals:
- Classification of flows
- Monetization AI
- Understanding the content
- AI Camera
- IA Infra
“Apart from that, in every operational area of the business, data analysis and data-driven decision making play a key role. he said.
Time reduction and faster experimentation
Hastagiri said reducing time and learning from data are two extremely important things. To that end, their partnership with Google Cloud has helped them make major changes. When it came to stream ranking, the team made better use of GPUs for training and delivering stream content. This not only reduced their training time, but also lowered their costs.
“More recently, our switch to TPU allowed us to reduce our training time by 2 to 3 times and this allowed us to speed up the experimentation. Hastagiri added.
He revealed that the team had hundreds of machine learning models in production. “In orchestrating this army of models, the Compose service has been very useful to us. Likewise, we have a huge amount of data. We relied on Google Cloud to retrieve them for analytics and ML tasks. “
The Moj and ShareChat teams have achieved these milestones even during the pandemic. The Moj app has millions of active users today, but was created less than 30 hours ago a year ago.
“The AI / ML team has made a huge contribution to Moj’s growth. The ML team numbered 15 people over a year and a half ago, and today we have grown to 90 people, ”Hastagiri said.
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