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A spokesperson from Likee speaks about what the platform is all about, how it works, and how it is working with content creators to provide a platform for collaborative opportunities

Could you tell us more about Likee?
Likee is the world’s leading global short video creation platform with video capture and editing tools equipped with sophisticated special effects. Our goal is to enable people to create unforgettable moments that help them to exploit their creativity in front of a global community, while generating real and meaningful connections.

With a reach of 200 million monthly users worldwide, the app was ranked first in the “Top 10 Breakout Apps” series according to the App Annie’s report in 2019, as well as the fourth most downloaded application worldwide in January 2020

How is Likee different from other platforms?
At Likee, we are committed to giving our users the opportunity to let them shine. Our goal is to provide content creators with the tools and the platform to express their creativity, build a community and facilitate meaningful engagements amongst each other.

Our platform makes filming easy so everyone can record and share their moments freely which in turn inspires real-life creativity whilst offering the opportunity for everyone in the world to be seen and heard. In addition, Likee fosters connections between people to combat loneliness and become more connected as it encourages connection and conversation among users by gamifying the viewing and interactive experience.

We believe creativity and expression are basic rights on social media. Our product features are equally available to everyone and we encourage them to showcase their talent and shine like a star.

Furthermore, Likee is where people go to be seen and heard. It’s a place where anyone can express themselves to a worldwide community and experience connections around commonalities.

We also develop a number of seasonal and culturally relevant challenges that people can participate in. Whether it is a Ramadan challenge: where people share short videos with their families or preparing a meal; or a football challenge to celebrate significant moments during the season; or subjects related to pop culture: such as superhero movies; staycation trends, lifestyle trends, and more; Likee always has a challenge for everyone.

What is the scope of growth MENA region? Why is this market significant?
The MENA region is extremely important for us and our growth strategy. There is a significant number of individuals from across the region that have incredible talent and storytelling ability.

Furthermore, what we have noticed is that people in the region are looking for Arabic content that is fresh and relevant. With many local entertainment production units on temporary hold due to COVID-19, content creators on Likee have started to create fresh and engaging content to entertain their audiences.

Whether they consist of short dramas, revisiting favorite places whilst maintaining social distancing protocols, or creating fun short videos with friends and family, Likee creators are committed to spreading joy and give people the opportunity to enjoy entertaining content in a new format.

How important is the GCC market for Likee?
The GCC market is extremely important for Likee and we have been investing to strengthen our presence in the region. In fact, according to App Annie, the leading global provider of mobile data and analytics, the number of Likee downloads from the Google Play Store ranks it as No.2 in the United Arab Emirates, No.4 in Oman, and No.5 in Bahrain. Going beyond the top five, Likee is at No.6 in Kuwait, and at No.11 in Saudi Arabia. At present, Likee has hundreds of people employed in the GCC market, and we’re planning to hire more local talent in the near future.

Likee has been gaining in popularity across the region and is quickly becoming the preferred platform of choice to create and share short video content. In fact, it has achieved a monthly growth rate of 10% and has over 25 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) across the GCC in August 2020.

We intend to further strengthen our presence and provide users and creators with more opportunities to consume and create content of value that showcases positivity, inspiration and encouragement.

What is the direction you would like to set for Likee in this region for 2021?
For 2021, Likee intends to continue to strengthen its presence in the region by focusing on providing content creators with more opportunities to be discovered, build their audience and potentially open up new opportunities for them to collaborate with creators, users and brands.

In terms of content, we want to focus on family first content – to bring families together; Short Dramas – to entertain audiences on new story telling ability of emerging story tellers, directors, etc. and; pop culture trends – that consist of lifestyle, travel, content related to social activities; and more.

E-sports is also extremely popular in the region and we are exploring opportunities within this area. In fact, it was recently reported by Newzoo that the worldwide gaming industry is worth USD 148.8 billion (Dh547 billion), while in the Middle East and Africa, the industry’s value is USD 4.8 billion – just three per cent of the global total. However, the gaming industry in the MENA region is forecasted to swell by 12.1 per cent between now and 2022.

To strengthen ties with the region’s gaming and e-sports community, Likee has unveiled a new in-app feature called ‘Game Center’. In addition to watching videos of games, Likee users can play single-player games like Treasure Hunt, Racing, Cricket and others, as well as multiplayer games such as Likee Drawing.

In addition, Over the summer of 2020, Likee launched in-app collaborations with leading games such as Conquerors, Lords Mobile, and PUBG MOBILE, initiating a number of challenges for fans and gamers, with prizes including smartphones. During these, Likee users showcased exceptional creativity, creating over 30,000 short-videos. We anticipate to have more activities and challenges like this continue into 2021 as we look to have Likee become an Esports community hub for the MENA region.

Could you please explain how Likee is looking to support aspiring content creators in the MENA region?
Likee is actively looking for content creators to provide them with collaborative opportunities either with us or with our partners. Within the app itself, we have a section where our users can reach out to us directly and pitch their ideas. We do our best to reply to all of them and try as much as we can to support their creative vision and storytelling abilities.

Once selected based on selected criteria, we set them as our featured and recommended content creation stars to follow which will help them to get discovered faster and grow in a manner that has a positive impact on both themselves and their respective communities.

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