Trend Alert: Bigo Live

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

Did you know that India has the second largest population of internet users in the world? Facebook is huge with 16-24s, while WhatsApp is India’s favourite messaging service. However, there’s a new kid on the block which has become an obsession for Indian internet users, and could be a contender for the next global social phenomenon.

Just two years after it launched, Bigo Live claims to have been downloaded 40 million times in India and 200 million worldwide. It is among the top 10 grossing apps in India, Singapore, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, and in March alone it generated revenue of $8 million. It’s bigger than Twitter in India, and almost as big as Snapchat worldwide.

A post shared by BIGO LIVE (@bigoliveapp) on

What makes Bigo Live’s rise most interesting is that it’s not simply an Indian clone of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s an original concept that brings together several of the current digital trends, including gamification, digital currency and micro influencers. Bigo Live is similar to Twitch, YouNow and, interactive live streaming platforms where viewers can send digital gifts to their favourite streamers.

According to Indian technology experts Factor Daily, the appeal of the app is down to features which turn making connections and growing your online following into a game. Users broadcast themselves to the app as they take on challenges such as a Daily Task, for which they can be rewarded with coins. Other elements include HQ Trivia-style quizzes and Snapchat-style incentives for using the app every day. Bigo Live’s revenue comes from users buying digital gifts to give to their favourite broadcasters, in the hope of getting noticed by them.

Bigo Live has become known for women broadcasting provocative videos to earn gifts from male viewers, which may hold it back from mainstream acceptance as the next Facebook or Instagram. However, its functionality does have broad appeal and gives an insight to what the future of social might look like.

Whether or not Bigo Live can take on the global social media giants, the concept will no doubt influence the future development of those major social platforms. While digital marketers outside of the Asian market may not be aware of Bigo Live, social media platforms will certainly be taking note of such a fast-growing product and formidable competitor.

Want more stories like this? Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates on the latest youth trends direct to your email inbox.